Horse grooming hacks that need to stop 


Yes!  We all like barn hacks!  But there are some horse grooming hacks that need to stop.  Mostly because your horse is not furniture or laundry.


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Household products


  • Pledge for tails. As in Pledge furniture cleaner. Your horse is a living breathing creature, not a coffee table. Every read the back of the can? NO THANK YOU. There are tons of safe and horse specific detanglers, conditioners, grooming oils, and tail spritzes that work better.


  • WD 40 for anything that could possibly touch your horse’s skin. Once again, read the can. Super gross and dangerous, not to mention the absolute myth that it’s made from fish oil. WD 40 has zero fish products of any kind in it. If you enjoy my rants about things, head over to this entire page of WD 40 takedown.


wd40 can with warnings on the front

Boy howdy, even the FRONT of the can has a warning.


  • Dish soap, detergents, Orvus, and Oxi-Clean for horses. There is literally only one case in which I think dish soap as shampoo is a good idea, and that’s if your horse has legitimately been caught in an oil spill. Dish soap can take crude oil off an animal! But what if your horse doesn’t have crude oil on him? That soap or detergent is going to take every last bit of wonderful natural, immune-boosting shine and oil he has.


  • Ketchup for whitening up horse tails. I’m not entirely sure if this is wrong, it’s more of a possible waste of time and perfectly good ketchup. Once you load up your horse with ketchup, you have to wash it out! With shampoo! So why not use a high-quality shampoo to start with?


Grooming tool no-no’s


  • Hacksaw blade for shedding. I can see how this one happened, there are a lot of metal types of curry combs out there. Of which I despise, each and every one of them. Metal doesn’t yield or give. You can’t use metal over bony parts, on faces, down legs. Do you trust a rusty metal blade not to damage your horse’s coat?


close up of rusty saw blades

Tetanus, anyone?


  • Soaking your cracked leather tack in olive oil. Nothing is going to bring cracked leather back to life. Sure, you can get it softer, but it won’t be strong. Deep within leather are tons of protein bonds that keep things supple. As leather dries out, those protein bonds shrink and break, creating brittle and easily breakable leather. Save your olive oil for the kitchen or for leather that isn’t cracked!


small saw blades

It’s weird to see ketchup, saw blades, and motor oil in the same photos as things that are put on horses. It’s all a NO!


Major no-go’s for horse care


  • Anything bleach – wipes, for thrush, for tails. Horses are not kitchen counters, and bleach has no business being on your horse. Especially for thrush – which is essentially a wound in which bacteria are eating your horse’s hoof! When used on tails, bleach can damage the hair, causing breakage and more stains.


  • Motor oil on hooves. Just NO. It is gross, toxic, and there are far more safe and pretty hoof polish alternatives out there. This horse hack needs to DIE – just like the dinosaurs that turned into motor oil.


motor oil on a garage shelf

For engines. Not horses.


  • And perhaps, the most persistent of all barn hacks. Stop, for the love of Pete, giving your horse corn oil. Your horse will get shiny. However, the balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids is beyond wacky. Some vegetable oils have an Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio of over 100 to 1, whereas it is surmised it should be closer to 4 to 1. Go for flax or fish oil instead.



What’s the worst grooming hack you’ve come across?



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02/19/2024 09:22 am GMT
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