Horse Tips

Every Day Horse Tips


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Horse Tips




Welcome to our Everyday Horse Tips page.  

 Below you will find categories of every day horse tips.  


We hope you will something of benefit to you and your equine friend.


Disclaimer: These tips have either been submitted  or compiled from various sources.  We do not guarantee the accuracy or the effectiveness.  End user needs to use his/her own judgment and discretion before practicing or administering any tips contained herein.  If in doubt, ask an equine professional such as your veterinarian.



Misc. Tips

Added 1-23-10

I would like to pass on a tip that I found for stopping or at least slowing down a wood chewer.  A friend needed to leave her mare with me for a couple of weeks and she needs to be kept stalled.  While she was here she ate the corners off of the widows and any surface she could get her teeth on.  I was told by some one else to use Irish spring deodorant soap and rub it on all the surfaces that she could chew.  I did and she stopped chewing.  The mare's mom said she forgot to tell me that she was a chewer and appologized.  But she thinks twice now about chewing and it won't hurt them.  If you have ever had your mom wash your mouth out with soap them you can sympathize with my friends mare.





Added 2-2-08

For excelent coat condition and shine feed your horse 1/2 cup of rice bran
daily. If you're looking for more energy for your horse then feed 1 full
cup. This is alot cheaper than buying expensive tubs of coat supplements and
works just as good if not better.

Have a moody mare? or gelding? Feed them 1 tsp of ground up chaste tree
berry twice a day for three weeks then don't give it to them for a week.
Their hormones will settle down and that 'witchy' mare will be more happy.
This dose can also be used for cushings disease horses. Check out this

Instead of spending $20+ for a tail wrap you can easily make your own. buy
1-1.5 yards of fleece at your local fabric store or walmart. cut 3 strips of
about 6"  X 3' (depends on size of horse) if you know how to sew you can
fold over the top and sew it so you can run a shoelace through the top of
all three  to hold them together.  You can also use vetwrap or an old sheet.
Remember to start your braid under the tail bone or else the horses tail
will painfully fall out.



Does your horse get sores from rubbing against
fence posts? Take some old brushes, drill four
holes in a rectangle shape, take baling twine and
tie the brushes to the posts. The four holes make
it more secure, or you can use a drill and screws
if your horse REALLY rubs. Softer brushes work if
they rub around the face, But stiffer ones work
better if they rub the back of their ears or
shoulders. It gets rid of the itch fast so they
don't rub hard enough to take the hair off, and
it can save your fencing too! But be sure to
place the brushes where they tend to itch or the
horse won't use them!



If your horses rub their legs while trailering, from the dividers you can wrap the dividers in an old towel.  Its helped w/ my horses.

Samantha and Cowboy




Added 1-15-07

Having trouble getting your horse to drink water durring stressful situations, such as shows and traveling?  Here a sure fire way to get them to drink.  Cut up apple slices and throw them in a bucket of water.  Offer  this to your horse and watch them "bob" for the apples.  While bobbing for the apples your horse will end up with a mouthfull of water!  Sometimes my mare drinks the whole bucket by the time she has found all of the apples!





Added 8/22/06

Want to get that horse to really shine on show day? To lighten a white horse, apply either a whitening shampoo or a rubbing alcohol and allow it to dry. Then, apply a layer of baby powder and brush it in (this really makes a white coat glisten). If the horse is darker (chestnut or red) you can feed him paprika to heighten highlights and reduce whitening. Then, polish that beauty with a dryer sheet, baby wipe, or "Swiffer" cloth to make him sparkle. A lot of people like to use baby oil to make a horse appear shinier but it has a tendency to heat on the horse. Instead, try a specialized shine product (like one from Cowboy Magic) or even Vaseline.




Added 3/18/06

  • A tip that I have used for years.
For rubber pull-on style bell boots that work so well and are so difficult to pull on and off.....Just flip the boot inside out on the horses leg, spray WD-40 liberally on the underside, flip back to normal position, and pull it right off!  Saves your arms, back....and your horse from the tugging.  To put the boot on, turn wrong side out as usual, again spray with WD-40, and slide on.  Its even faster than closing the Velcro styles! 
As an extra benefit, it leave your horses hooves nice and shiny.
  • WD-40 also works well as a hoof dressing for the clay-type show rings.  Spray on, wipe, ride, and for the next round, you just wipe off and lightly reapply.  Doesn't pick up the clay/dirt/etc that the hoof dressings do.

Lea Ann & Herd



  • If your horse has white sock, try rubbing talcum powder onto it. has always got my horses sock looking very white




Added 12/26/05

For a horse with an itchy or rough coat, bathe them with Aveeno baby shampoo.  It not only relieves the itch but also makes their coats look sleek and they smell good too!



* use a baby wipe as a stable rubber after grooming to bring out a natural shine and keep away dust.
* braid long leg feathers to keep them clean, useful before shows
* apply sudocreme cream to healed but hairless wounds to encourage quick hair growth
* make bunches with your horses mane to keep it on one side but so it still looks natural and can still be used to swat flies.
*rub baby oil through mane and tail before shows or during grooming to detangle and provide a sparkling shine
* use super-groom or other waterless bathing solutions to clean stable marks and poo stains quickly and easily




Frozen water troughs.
Use a small fish tank bubbler with a long wand style bubbler end instead of an electric heater.  The trough may form a ring of ice but where the bubbles come up it will be nice and open for the horse to drink from.  Electric heaters cost about $30.00 a month to run, the bubbler cost about $2.00 And in a real long cold spell ad an old ball to help. We did this last year in Febrrrrrruary in Michigan and it worked great.  Thank you, TwoJay




Horse Hooves

Ok, my horse has HORRIBLE hooves.  They crumble and split and shoes pull right out through them.  Or rather they used to…try using saddle soap and conditioner such as horseman’s one step or even glycerin saddle soap and then neatsfoot oil to condition your horse’s hooves

Another thing that works really well is bacon grease, but it reeks, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Also, I recently purchased a very expensive saddle and I had a professional saddle fitter come out to fit it to my horse. She told me that oiling your saddle is actually not very good for it because it softens it, but causes it to get really dried out later on and it also causes the fibers in the leather to separate and weaken. If you think about it, what she said makes sense because leather is baisically skin and you wouldn’t put oil on your face…would you?  She suggested that instead you use leder balsam to condition it after you use the glycerine saddle soap (which by the way works wonders- if you use something else, it usually has conditioners in it that will do what oil does, so use like a bar of saddle soap)





Have a horse that doesn't sweat? Beer is your answer. Add half a can beer to
his grain or cubes every day and you should see a difference within a week.
The hopps help horses(and people) sweat. Must be an old German trick!

Marsha and Sydney




Added 5/14/05

V Rigging Your Saddle

Most Western saddles are ready to be 'V' rigged.  You start by buying an additional Latigo strap (for the 'off-side').  Install the latigo strap on the back cinch ring of the saddle.  Move the on-side latigo to the back cinch ring as well.  This will place the latigo knot at the back cinch
ring when you're done girthing up...   the latigos (either side) come down to the ring on the girth (enters the ring from the side of the horse), then up to the front cinch ring on the saddle (enters the ring from your side), then back to the girth ring (again enters from the horse side of the ring), and return to the rear saddle cinch ring, where you tie it off with a standard
cinch knot.  Same thing on the other side.  Make sure the girth is even side to side, tighten whichever side needs to be drawn up.  (Once you get this right, you cinch up normally on the left side, leave the right side latigo tied.  You'll need to check this a couple of times over the course of the riding season, or as your horses condition changes.)

I've attached a picture of the latigo and girth done up this way, and
several showing how to tie off the latigo, (6 total .jpg files) so it's
easier to visualize...

PS  if the saddle does not have rear cinch rings, yes, take it to your local saddle shop and have them add them.  Tell them you are going to use them to 'v' rig the saddle, as they might use lighter leather to attch rings used only for a rear cinch.

Click on Thumbnail for Larger Picture



Added 10/15/04



Misc. Tips


Added 9/02/04

How to Apply, Wash Polo Wraps


Added 2/18/04

Does your horse have bedsores or a cut that needs medicine on his hocks? My gelding would always manage to get the medicine off when he laid down, and this is the only way it will stay on. Just cut off the top part of a ribbed sock, and cut a hole in the back and fit it over the hock. It takes a little bit of work to get it over the hoof, but you don't have to take it off until you need to, just pull it down to put more medicine on.

SHOW HOOVES Have you ever wondered how those show horses have pure white hooves? Wash, clean, and dry your horses hooves. Rub some up to date baby oil on them. Wait an hour or so for it to soak in. Then get some sandpaper and rub your horses hooves. Five minutes on each hoof should be enough. Don't fear that you are hurting your horse. It's like clipping your nails, and the baby oil will protect them and make it a whole lot easier for you. Then put some more oil on your horses hooves! Shiny, white, perfect! The Kenyons

In fly season, spray inside the horse trailer 10 minutes before you load the horses. That gives the flies time to leave, and you don't have to put so much on your horses. Zee Adkins

My tip is for those large 50 pound salt block holders. I use an old hay net (not the cotton ones) and put the salt block in it. I hang it in my horse's stall high enough so that he can't get a foot caught end especially where he can't poop on it! You may have to adjust it now and then, but they don't mind licking around it; and it stays clean. After a while the salt may eat the ropes, but mine has been used this way for about two years. It is still going strong. Lori from Maine, NY

I have a quarter horse mare that put her hoof through a steel pole barn. She had three deep cuts on her lower leg that developed proud flesh. Proudsoff works! Dawn

For really persistent or bad thrush scrub the hoof out good with an old stiff body brush and Betadine Surgical Scrub. Dry well and add an anti-fungal. I find that Absorbine thrush treatment works well, but white vinegar or rubbing alcohol work well too. Coat the entire frog and sole with Vaseline, and then put on a layer of hoof moisturizer. That keeps out the water and the dirt! From Mallory and Promise.

For a simple, inexpensive tack trunk at the barn, simply find a plastic bin or trunk like the stor-it-all trunk from The Container Store or the 42 gallon bin from Contico. Amanda

If your horse spreads it's hay all over the place, use an old tractor tire to hold their hay. It might still get spread out but not as much. If your horse likes to play with things, make sure that you tie it down. Otherwise they will try to pick it up and throw it. Tina Miller

Have you ever busted a lead rope? Well, yes probably! I have. If you need one quick, keep a couple of snaps on hand and braid baling twine. Braid the twine through the snap and there you have it, a quick lead rope.

Clean copper bits with ketchup. Leave the ketchup on for a least five minutes to let the acid work it's magic. Boil stainless steel bits to remove caked on grime.

A tiny bit of mayonnaise can be rubbed into scratches to remove them from leather. Test this method on a small, inconspicuous area of the saddle or other piece of leather equipment first.

I use Colloidal Silver to keep my horse healthy, with lots of stamia, and free from worms, fungus, thrush, and virus infections, and much, much more. I put 4 ounces of 20 parts per million colloidal silver in his grain every morning. I purchased a Colloidal Silver Generator, the one where you just dial the parts per million you desire. In about 20 minutes, the light goes out and your Colloidal Silver is ready to use. I make the colloidal silver only with Walgreens distilled water which costs me about $1.00 to make a gallon of Colloidal silver. If you have a computer, just type Colloidal Silver into your search engine and it will give you tons of information about the wonderful effects of using this natural antibiotic. Also ask your search engine how to use
Colliodal Silver for your horse. I live in Texas and many of our Comal County Sheriff's Posse members are using Colloidal Silver for their horses. I also give my family an ounce of 40 ppm Colloidal Silver every morning. We have been using it for over a year now and my family and my horse are extremely healthy. I am 80 years of age and feel like I am16. Robert Colson

The following web site has information about treating horses with Colloidal Silver. There are links to vet research and testimonials.

For a nervous horse, try using a drop of LAVENDER oil on your hands and offer the horse a smell of it. Most horses like the scent and it will have a calming effect on them. It is great before the farrier starts working with them or any time you want them to relax a bit. Polly

For horses that refuse to take a bit, let them smell a peppermint. Then give it to them. You will need lots of peppermints. Let them smell another peppermint. If they want it and try to take it, That's really good. Do only ground work that day. Reward often with pieces of crushed peppermint. The next time you go to ride, put a peppermint in water. Take it out and rub the peppermint on their bit. Let them smell a peppermint as you try to put the bit in their mouth. They will think they are getting a peppermint because of the smell. When they get the bit in their mouth, act like it's the best thing they have ever done in their lives. If they still won't take it, give them a piece of crushed peppermint. When they open their mouths, put the bit in. One little piece of peppermint with a bit won't hurt them. The next day do the same thing, but don't let them smell a peppermint. Just try to give them the bit. If they don't take the bit, try again while they smell the peppermint. This worked for my friend's horse. I hope it does for you to! Megan

For a smelly stall, just sprinkle baking soda liberally around wet areas. It works great and is a whole lot cheaper than Sweet PDZ. Rachel

When cleaning the sheath, apply petroleum jelly or baby oil the day before. Work it in well. The next day clean the sheath as you normally would. The gunk will be a lot softer and will come out easier. Mallory and Promise

Tie a shoestring to your reins, and you won't have to lean forward while your horse drinks from the stream.

For a beautiful, shiny, healthy coat, try putting ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal) in your horse's feed. NEVER feed whole flax seed unless it is soaked extremely well and mushed a little, because it will make them choke easily and is harder to digest. Flaxseed meal is an excellent and cheap supplement to put in your horse's food. I put it in my beautiful Arabian mare's feed (1/2 cup or so), and it has amazing results for her! In a very short time after I started adding it to her feed, she shed faster and easier, she is sleek, shiny, and gorgeous, and her coat is soft and pretty and she has dappled with health! It also worked miracles on a 23-year-old Quarter Horse mare at our barn who was pretty grungy looking, and she has arthritis bad. Now her coat shed out and it is darker, prettier, shiny, and soft! Now a lot of people have started using it at the barn where I board, and I can't wait to see the results! Try flax seed, it works wonders! This is NO joke!

For a cheap and easy no-slip pad for your saddle, use the netting type stuff that some people use in the cabinets. Carole

Use some hoof moisturizing cream to condition your horse's tail. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then rinse it out. If you are going to a show, let it sit overnight in a tail bag; or loosely braid the tail and rinse it out the day before the show. This keeps the tail tangle free and soft. Carole

Here is a trick I picked up to make your own poultices. Take a small handful of Epson salts, and add some bran and water. Mix until it looks kind of like playdough. Place on your horse where needed. Wrap with Saran Wrap, and keep it together with duct tape. If you need to put it on your horse's hoof, use a diaper instead of the Saran Wrap and duck tape it in place. It's cheap and it really works. The diapers are really absorbent. Sharon

Horse won't drink? Just add some apple juice to their water. After they start drinking again, slowly lower the amount of juice that you add. Laura

Six Horse Tips from Maryellen Moore
1. Equal parts vinegar and water will take out manure stains. It is VERY important for white & gray horses.
2. Baby powder is good for white legs before entering the show ring.
3. For the elderly equine, you can use baby food for mashes and cookies suck as pureed carrots & applesauce.
4. Thrush treatment for shod horses- mix cotton batting in Furacin and pack that in the hooves especially around the frog. It doesn't stain like the green thrush busters do and it pulls out easily.
5. If you have a horse that bolts their food, put a couple round, good sized rocks in the bucket. Make sure they are round though so they don't scratch him. He has to nose them aside to get the grain. It slows them down a little.
6. A little baby oil in warm water is a good cleaner for the under tail area of a mare. It cleans them and softens the area. It is REALLY good for dirty mares.

If your horse has a hoof injury that needs to be soaked we have found that a solution of 1/2 apple cider vinegar & 1/2 water is great for an abscess. We put three heavy duty gallon size plastic bags inside each other and pour in enough vinegar & water to cover the hoof then tie it around the ankle with baling twine. I would bring the horse out into the grassy yard to let him graze for 20 to 30 minutes with his bags on. Walking around helps work the solution deep into the abscess and the horse did not mind at all. It is much better than trying to get him to stand in a pan of water for 20 minutes a day! Be sure to clean the hoof thoroughly before putting it in the bag to soak. Kathy Rumsmoke

If you have a horse that will try to bite you whenever you do something with him, this tip is for you. Feed gumdrops to your horse and do whatever you need to do with him. Have you ever tried to get gumdrops out of your teeth without using your fingers?

Twist ties are great to take riding for those saddle and bridle oops! that are inevitable. Just twist your bridle, stirrup, or whatever back together. Today I got a new hose. We could have outdoor horse plumbing for what we spend on hoses over the years! But, anyway, it was a real score because the hose was held on the cardboard with 3 long, strong twist ties. By the way, I am going to put those ties on my saddle now so I have them when we ride. Theresa Anderson of MO

The first time you use hoof black, put Vaseline on the threads of the bottle and lid. Then it won't stick shut. Add more if needed. This way, you can easily use the last drop! I keep empty bottles and pour a small amount out of the new new bottle. Put the new bottle away, and use the old bottle with the smaller amount. If it gets knocked over, you still have a reserve to use. This hint is very valuable if you have kids using it. Mary Bowen

West Nile Virus is a concern to equestrians now. We have been asked to dump all standing water, but we must have water for our horses. You can put 10 or 12 goldfish in your stock tanks. They will eat mosquito larva. They cost 14 cents at Meijer's. Add one catfish to eat the green algae. Goldfish will live throughout the winter in your stock tanks as long as the water does not completely freeze. It's a little more work to remove the fish each time you clean your tanks, but it's worth the effort. Jo Ann Roberts

To keep hoof black off your hands, place the bottle in a coffee cup. That way when the excess runs down the sides it goes inside the cup and not on your hands. After a couple of times, the run off will make the bottle stick inside the cup and you won't have to worry about it falling out. If you still get hoof black on you or somewhere on the horse you did not mean to (white socks are always a target!) use aerosol hairspray to remove it. The really cheap, sticky stuff like Aqua Net seems to work the best. Darliss & Stormy

Preparation H (the one without the steroids) is great for speedy healing of cuts and scrapes. It's a little embarassing to have in your medicine kit but what the heck! Lyn Valdes

This is a great tip if you are going on a long ride or if you do competitive trail riding. Take a regular beach towel on your rides. Find a stream, jump off, soak it in water, and drape it over your horse's neck. It cools them off quickly. I do it for my endurance rides, and it gets their pulse rate down real fast! Bizzy and Beswick

If you do competitive riding or endurance riding and you are getting your horse's pulse rate taken, put your hand on their head and start massaging it while putting pressure on it to lower the head to the ground. Do it gently. It takes their pulse rate down really fast! Also you can massage their ears. It helps too. Bizzy and Beswick

Homemade easy boots are easy to make. Carry duct tape and an old inner tube tire cut in a big circle. Make it large enough to go up the side of your horse's hoof. If a horse loses a shoe, you can make an "easyboot" by cutting slits in the sides of the "boot" to make it fit better. Wrap duct tape around the top to hold it in place. Make sure you do not tape the hair at the coronet band, as that could hurt when removed. I haven't tried it, but it sounds like a good idea. Jeanie

Run out of fly repellent? Use Avon Skin So Soft oil and put it in a spray bottle. It smells great and conditions the hair. The greatest thing about it is that you can use it too! Be careful about putting oil on pink skinned horses during the summer. They can get sunburned.

When my horses have hair loss from scrapes or scaring, I put liquid vitamin E on it. You will notice that the hair grows back more quickly and scars will disappear! You can find liquid vitamin E in the Wal-Mart vitamin section. The last time I purchased a bottle it was $3.68. Be careful not to go in the Beauty Department because it also carries Vitamin E in the liquid in a teeny tiny bottle for the same price.

My horses don't always drink enough water and they become dehydrated; so to fix that problem, I just buy bulk Gatorade and add it to their 100 gallon water bucket. Every week I clean it out and add more Gatorade. The flavor encourages them to drink. In addition, I always add a little salt to their feed to encourage them to drink more. Dusty King

I found that using a plastic storage box, the kind you keep your winter clothes in until winter comes around again, works great as a water trough. I found this out when I had to use warm compresses on my mare's eye. She is scared of water, so I use the clear storage types. It worked for me, and she drinks more now. Carole

I found that using a coffee grinder was SO much better than crushing the sulfa tablets between two tablespoons. I was crushing 10 of them twice a day for 10 days! I didn't like the dust. I accidentally dropped a tablet from the cabinet into my coffee cup only to find it dissolved very rapidly. So then I dissolved the tablets in 30 cc's of fruit juice in a cup, scraped the medicine into a 60cc syringe and fed it to my horse. This will not work on all medications. For example, Bute does not dissolve readily and must be pulverized in a blender. Always check with your vet first. Then I really outdid myself this last episode of antibiotics when my gelding hurt his leg on a gate while running. I put the 10 tablets in the 60cc syringe, replaced the plunger and drew up 30ccs of water (Or juice). The tablets were completely dissolved in a minute. Then I simply 'pasted' my friend. Nansi Myers

Spray regular Lysol on your brushes between groomings to kill the germs. It is a really great idea if you are grooming more than one horse or your horse has something like rain rot. It helps prevent spreading. Jenn Paxton & Benny

Use "grab-it" wipes on your horse to get the dust off right before you enter the show ring. Jenn Paxton & Benny

Got a bad cut? Put honey on it! It inhibits bacterial growth. So far I haven't had any problems with proud flesh using this. It's great to use during milder weather when there are no flies, and in the summer you can top it with some Swat to keep the flies away. Jenn Paxton & Benny

When cleaning your horse's water trough, pour a cup of apple cider vinegar in for every 25 gallons, because it helps prevent colic and breaks down stones. Allison Hardt

Have you ever gone down to your horses water bucket to clean it and there is no brush? If your horse is in a pasture, then buy a brush with a hole near the end of it or drill a hole in your old one! Then with a hay string simply tie it on the fence post. Next time you won't have to look for your brush!

Molasses is great for people who want their horses coat to shine. Every other afternoon, put it in your horse's feed. Use about a tablespoon. This works best if you have pellet food. It will take a while to get the coat to shine, and it usually will start shining in the white spots near the feet and work it's way up. It works great.

I use a string off dog food bags to repair saddle horns and other horse stuff. It works great!

You can take an old Coke crate and hang it on your barn door. It works great for storing anything such as leg wraps. You can even decorate it if you wish. Paige Long

I Just read a great idea for on the trail. If you need to repair a broken head stall or a rivet comes loose, use a couple of strands of your horse's tail to tie it together. It's very strong and will get you back to camp. The Dunlops

Hoof Conditioner - Use petroleum jelly and a paintbrush for cracked or dry hoofs. It works great, better than Rainmaker, Hooflex or any others and its a lot cheaper. Mary

For stubborn proud flesh, try a little amount of Adolph's Meat Tenderizer with a few drops of water to make a paste. Rub on area twice daily until gone!! Incredible? It really works!! Pam Pollard

When we go out riding in fly season, (We have horse flies that are HUGE) I take a fly swatter. My girl got used to it real quick. She now will turn her head for me to rub the flies off her face. I tie it on the saddle horn, because I've lost it before. Don't just start swatting. I gradually rubbed it on her neck and between her ears. Those fly sprays don't last forever. Shari

We use Aloe vera on any scrapes and cuts, small or large. After the first day of Aloe, we use Neosporin for the remaining time. Micotin fungus foot cream works great on rain rot or if a horse has a fungus on his tail. Don't be afraid to use a whole tube on his tail.


If your horse rolls in the mud while wearing his fly mask and gets it muddy, just use your stiffest grooming brush to brush it off when dry. Lisa

Going trail riding? To get your horse used to the new water, buy oil of peppermint in the grocery store and put a few drops in his water at home a few days before you leave. Then when you arrive, put some in the new water and he won't know the difference! jacki

When trying to open your bales of hay and straw instead of looking for your scissors keep a piece of bale twine in your pocket which you can use to open the bales by placing it underneath the twine on the bale and pulling it back and fourth like you would a saw! Kim, Nottingham, England

Proud Flesh
Use equal parts of pickling lime and sugar as a wonder powder for proud flesh! If you feel like you aren't getting enough to stay on the affected area, just moisten the area with water or aloe juice before dusting. Repeat three or four times a day. Deana Hardin

We reuse tuna cans in the tack room. We nail them on the wall to hang our bridals on. That way they keep their shape. People that have a barn with boarders could even spray paint them with rust paint and have them colour coded. Doreen Hamilton

Easy solution for medications in pill form ~ use a coffee bean grinder (I use an electric one). Pour into a large suringe, add water, shake till a paste forms and administer it like you would paste wormer! Barbara

You can use magnets to help keep flies out of stalls. You need to get four cow magnets. You can purchase them from a veterinarian or livestock store. Bury them about four inches to six inches away from the four corners of your stall and deep enough so that they will not get disturbed by cleaning or the horse walking over them. But don't bury them six inches or more deep. You need to lay the magnets in an "X" formation so that the same polarity of each magnet is facing towards the center. There is something about the magnetic field that keeps the fly numbers down.

Look in discount stores like K Mart and Walmart for training cones. You can get eight orange plastic cones for less than $10. They will be in the sports section (Soccer). They are made to collapse on impact and are of a soft plastic so children won't be hurt using them. They are about a foot high and much easier on the pocketbook than cones found in horse catalogs.

When hauling water in a bucket to your horse especially if you have to put it in the back of a pickup without a lid, put an ordinary plastic garbage bag in the pail first. Fill the pail with water, twist the top of the bag closed, and tie a knot. There will be no spills, no splashing, and you can reuse the garbage bag for something else.

I use a five gallon bucket for saddle racks. Take the handle off and nail them to the wall with a few nails on the inside of the bucket so the opening faces out. They keep the saddle in the correct position and the "cubby" inside makes a wonderful place to stash your grooming gear! Jennifer Davidson

My tip is regarding what to do if you get a cinch sore on the trail. I always use or carry a piece of upholstery foam. It prevents cinch sores if your horse is prone to them and stops them from getting worse if your horse happens to get one. I carry it because inevitably someone on the ride is going to have this problem, and it really helps out. Judy Cranfield

Mane & Tail Detangler
Calgon Bath Oil Beads (dry)
Mix the Calgon with water (one part Calgon to three parts water). Store in a spray bottle. It will help recondition your horse’s mane and tail. It also works well on knots. Apply liberally and work the knot out with a comb or stiff brush.

Cool Down Bath
Mix one cup of white vinegar in a gallon of water, and use as an after workout cool down bath and liniment.

Eucalyptus essential oil will remove pine tar, bubblegum, or any sticky residue instantly! Safe, cheap, and effective! Jeri Sax

If you have a show saddle where the polish free silver is gray, use a heavy eraser like you used in school and erase the tarnish. I tried it, and it made my silver look brand new.

For all of you that use glycerin bar soap to clean your leather tack and don't know what to do with all those little leftover pieces, put them in a spray bottle with water and let them dissolve. There you have it! Leather New for free!

Dental floss is great for little repairs on blankets, halters, and stall guards. I've never had a stitch break. Just use a large darning needle, strong thimble, and gloves.

Mend blankets with Jean Mender. It is sold at Tractor Supply Company and is a rubbery glue type adhesive that is water proof. It can be used to glue a patch to material or to fill puncture holes. Jean Mender is made by Val-A-Chicago, Inc., 700 West Root Street, Chicago, IL 60609

Here's a tip I recommend for itchy tails. I have an Appaloosa gelding who doesn't have much hair to begin with, and when the flies start biting he starts scratching his rear. Mix equal parts of Listerine mouth wash (original formula) and cheap baby oil in a spray bottle. Spray on and finger comb it through to the roots. This mixture seems to keep the flies away and the baby oil also softens the hair and moisturizes the tail bone skin. I even put it on his mane as it seems to get rid of dandruff too. Jane Robb

Homemade Show Sheen Recipe
1/4 (one quarter) cup hair conditioner
1/4 (one quarter) cup baby oil
2 tablespoons vinegar (to keep flies away, this is optional)
1/4 (one quarter) cup water

Best Ever Fly Repellent
A golf course near my home passes out Bounce fabric softener sheets to the golfers to repel insects. Next time you go riding, tie one to your horse's headstall and stick one in your back pocket. It works better than ANY fly spray I've ever tried. The flies won't even fly around you. Susan Cafouras

Use Noxema to keep gnats, mayflies, and mosquitoes out of your horse's ears. Presuming that the ears aren't clipped, just put a small dollop on your hand and rub it on the top of the ears. I put some under the throat, chest, belly line, and inside the legs. Use it anywhere the little varmints go! Heidi

If your horse keeps rubbing his tail out, put Listerine in a spray bottle and spray the horse's tail bone. Get it good and wet, and rub it in. It has worked for me. Hollie Jacobsen

For knots and tangles that just won't come out, mix a small amount of water and White Rain Herbs And Blossoms Passion Flower conditioner. It works great! J. Ward

To scrub out a water bucket on the spot, I take a handful of hay; and just scrub the bucket with that. It makes an easy clean up, and the hay rinses right out with all the gunk. Then I don't have to worry about finding a brush or sponge to clean with. Vanessa Eros-Baron

I use an old spaghetti strainer to strain out hay and stuff from the water buckets or water tanks. It also works good when trying to get broken ice chunks out of same. Your hands stay warmer! Diane Kaser

To keep my salt block clean and high and dry, I visit my local tire shop and find a tire that is just wide enough for a salt block with a tight sqeeze to hold it firmly. I then drill serveral holes in the bottom to allow rain water to escape and tie this tire to a tall fence post or nail it to a barn wall. Michael Smith

I find that using A & D ointment on my thoroughbred gelding helps his scars to disappear. It also works on any old or new wounds, because it keeps the flies off the wound and helps new hair grow in. Just rub it right on the wound. Chelsea C. Howe

My helpful horse tip is to prevent proud flesh. Make a dilution of one part water and one part Clorox bleach and apply to the area of the wound. This helps the skin retreat instead of growing outward. One application every other day is adequate. Charlotte Snyder

In very cold climates to save on your electric bill, you should insulate your water trough. The easiest way to do this is to use a chest freezer that no longer works. I cut a hole in the lid and keep the heater in it. The freezer is well insulated and free. Crissi Johnson

Your horse will not drink his water? Fill half your water bucket with hot water and the rest with cold water, or add salt to his water bucket. They work! Pastel

I feed my horse dried seaweed mixed into his grain every day. It has made a big difference in his hooves and coat. I buy the seaweed in the oriental section of any grocery store, and it is very cheap! Just tear off a chunk about two inches in diameter. Then shred it into tiny pieces and put into the grain mixture. One bag lasts about two weeks and costs only about $1.25. No more expensive supplements for me! Debbie Saunders

If you need a quick pair of cheaters for a child to ride in an adult saddle, try using your back cinch. Just remove it from the saddle, place it over the seat of the saddle, and buckle a stirrup on each end of the cinch. Attach the strap that normally keeps your front and back cinch together around the saddle horn. This is very secure and much less expensive than the ones purchased at your tack store. Drina J. Hanley

If you have a horse that is afraid of the fly spray being applied, you can use an old bingo blotter thoroughly cleaned or use a new one. Simply fill with the fly spray and dab on. This also works well for liniment, first aid ointments, cut heal, etc. Tonia Seitz

Refresh your horse by carrying a spray bottle with plain water. Just spray the horse with the water. We tried it on my mare, and it really did seem to help. She enjoyed being sprayed, and it brought back a little life in her. Deana Hardin

Transporting hay is easy and mess free if you put your bales in plastic garbage bags. You can buy 3 mil thick bags made for 55 gallon drums at Quality Farm And Fleet. They are large enough for the biggest bale of hay with enough room left over to tie the bag closed. When you reach your destination, just put the bales outside. They will stay dry even if it rains. We prop the bales vertically against any tree that is conveniently located near our picket lines. Put the open end up, and it’s easy to lift out enough to feed your horse. Penny

The usual applesauce and molasses wasn't working when my horse had to have Pancur powder for 5 days. A vet tech guaranteed that cherry Jello sprinkled over the feed would work. I mixed a little Jello powder with the feed then sprinkled more over the top. He cleaned up everything. Use about half of a 3 ounce box for each feeding. Jello also works in water that might taste different at a show. Sally Colby

I use Blue Dawn original formula, not ultra, to bathe my horse for shows. It works great, makes him shine, and is really cheap! Ann

Did you ever have a wounded area on a horse grow back in with white hair when the coat is a dark color? When one of my horses gets a scrape or cut, I rub bacon grease on it after the wound starts to heal. The hair grows back in the original color. It has worked every time. Terry

This information comes from a book titled "Australian Tea Tree Oil" First Aid for Animals by Cheyanne West. Tea Tree oil is very good for cuts and abrasions-I use it on myself all the time and it heals a great deal faster than normal as well as taking the pain out. The book has recipes for salves, mixtures, oil, insect repellants and shampoos. An excellent salve is made with 1 teaspoon Tea tree oil concentrate and 4 tablespoons of Vaseline or Petroleum jelly. I use a small Tupperware container. Put the Vaseline in the container and melt it over boiling water, mix in the tea tree oil and let it harden. Tea Tree Oil can be purchased in health food stores as well as other places. I carry a container in my saddlebag at all times. Gene Pesheck.

Do you have a tough time giving your horse Bute? This is what I use for my fussy horses. Mix two heaping tablespoons of applesauce with ½ teaspoon of molasses. Just before you are ready to medicate your horse, add the Bute which has been well crushed. Most pharmacies sell a cheap, plastic pill crusher. Put the mixture in a dose syringe and squirt it in the back of the horse’s mouth. Ashley J adds that she cleans her worming tubes to administer her bute applesauce mixture.

When putting REDUCINE on my fractious horse, he managed to get it on 2 other legs and on me. It doesn't wipe off, my husband offered me his waterless cleaner, GOOP, and it took that junk off the unwanted areas. I have also used it to remove pine tar from hair and other sticky stuff. The GOOP then will wash off with water taking the junk with it. Casey

Fire Starter
Take some old egg cartons. Fill them half way with wood chips and half with lint from your drier. Pour melted wax over the top and let it dry. These work well and burn for a long time. You can use one at a time or several for a really stubborn and wet fire.

Wear jackets, pants, hats, and boots made of Gortex. It will breath but block the wind; and when the sun comes out, they are easy to stuff in your saddlebags (except the boots). Gortex is completely waterproof! During cold weather, add a layer of polar fleece under your Gortex jacket, and it will keep you as warm as a winter coat without being bulky.

Dry Tent
Have you ever gotten wet inside your tent even with a tarp underneath? Try putting your tarp inside the tent and banking it up the sides. Since I’ve done this, I have never gotten wet again. Your tent floor will get dirty, and you do have to be careful not to tear it on rough surfaces, but this is a small price to pay to stay dry!

Makeshift Pillow
I always carry various sized Zip-lock freezer bags. If you zip one partially closed and blow into it before you finish locking it, you will have a comfortable pillow!

Camp Towel
Sometimes it’s nice to have a small towel in the back country. Buy a golfer’s hand towel which comes with a grommet in one corner for tying to your saddle.

Fire Rack
Take a piece of chicken wire about 2’ by 2’ on your next overnight trip. It can be rolled fairly small. Wrap a towel around it and then wrap your sleeping bag over the top. It’s very compact and only needs 4 sticks woven into the edges to make a fine fire rack. Just make sure the sticks aren’t going to burn!

Winter Horse Hint
Petroleum jelly or non stick cooking spray on the soles of your horse’s hooves can prevent the packing of snow, mud, and ice.

Rid Your Horse Of External Fungus

1) Try using a human tinea or athletes foot cream. It is stronger and much better than iodine solutions like Betadine. It is also fairly cheap, and a few drops a day are all you will need.

2) Mix one part bleach with four parts water and apply directly to the fungus area only. Repeat every few days until gone.

3) A lady told me this. I would have to see it to believe it, but you may like to try it. "My horse gets a type of fungus on her hind quarters every year. My trainer recommended the following: Buy a can of sauerkraut at your supermarket, drain the juice into a container, and use a cotton ball to apply it to the affected area. Use it daily. It works for my particular fungus. It may work on yours." (Notice: You should not apply the juice from sauerkraut to an open wound because it consists of salt and juice from slightly crushing the cabbage! The salt would sting in an open wound, and you could receive a horsey kick for your efforts!)

Rain Rot
1) Iodine based shampoos with white vinegar added will wipe rainrot right out! (from a friend)

2) Rainrot is a bacterial infection. Clean and DRY is very important to get rid of it. Use Betadine scrub, later, pick off the crusts, let it sit for five minutes, rise and DRY. Use a blow drier if need be. Severe cases benefit from a short course of antibiotics. The crusts one peels off contain vast numbers of organisms, and are best disposed of in the trash rather than the horse’s immediate environment. (from a vet)

3) Gently remove the scales with a bot knife or scraper. Then shampoo with a povidone-iodine and shampoo mix. Thoroughly dry the horse and apply Desitin. This works for scratches too.

If you get a sticky substance like tree sap in your horse’s coat, you can rub peanut butter in the hair. Wait five minutes then wash it out. It also works to get gum out of children’s hair!

Frozen Water
If your area suffers from regular freezing, a basketball or soccer ball floating in the water trough will keep it from completely freezing over. Be sure not to fill the tank all the way to the top, or your ball can blow away in the winter wind. If you get a very hard freeze, you may need to invest in a water heater.

Removing Chestnuts
If you have trouble removing your horse’s chestnuts, smear them with petroleum jelly daily for 4 to 5 days. They will peel right off.

Preventing Scarring
A good ointment to use is Desitin. It has zinc oxide that helps the wound heal and the hair grows back faster too.

Salt Block Holder
A pickup tire rim will keep your salt block off the ground. There are no sharp edges, they can’t be chewed, and they’re often free at your local tire shop. Just ask for one that has been slightly bent.

Crumbly Feet
Gelatin will work as a hoof supplement, and you can buy it at the grocery store. Just mix it in grain or a homemade horse treat.

Itchy Horses
For itchy horses that rub on trees and get covered with pine tar, rub their mane out, etc. I read this somewhere long ago, and I've tried it; and my horses love it. Buy a push broom head with stiff bristles, and drill a hole through the wood about two inches from each end. Find a handy area somewhere where your horses congregate near a tree, in a stall, corner of the barn, etc; and mount it to that surface with counter-sunk!! screws in a vertical position. (about the height of their shoulders) And your horses have a wonderful scratching post. They will love you for it!!

PS: About the pine tar. Rub Vaseline into their mane or hair where it is sticking; and within a few hours or the next day, it comes out easily with a clean, dry cloth. Submitted by: Ann Feifel.

Help for foals
Foals often get loose bowels when the mare comes into foal heat. To prevent cleaning the foal or having it burn the baby, apply generous amounts of mineral oil all around and under the tail area. I pour the mineral oil into the palm of my hand and rub it all over the foal’s behind. The manure will not stick to the foal! Melissa Hamm (from the horse barns at Michigan State University)

Girth Sores
If your horse gets sores from the girth chafing in the wrinkly armpit area, use a spray deodorant with a high talc content. You can also carry it in your saddle bags to reapply when it’s been "worked off." You shouldn’t get any more girth sores!

Home Remedy For Scratches
1. Mix together: One tube of Triple Antibiotic Ointment, half a tube of Desitin ointment, one tube of 1 percent hydrocortizone cream, and one tube of anti-fungal cream. Scrub the area with Betadine and apply the cream mixture.

2. Keep the fetlocks and surrounding area as dry as you can. Use Preparation H on the legs when you first see signs of scratches.

3. Try using any of the ointments containing Thuja Oil and Zinc Oxide. Apply it heavily to clean and dried pasterns every day at first and then about every three days until the skin becomes healed and pliable again.

I've used WD40 to take out SERIOUS tangles (long time knots, burrs, etc.) but recently I discovered that Downy fabric softener works wonders, too, and it smells good! Just work slowly with your fingers and pull the hair apart and away from the burrs and knots. It's nice on your hands too! Karen Conner

Have you ever gotten lost in the woods without a compass? Assuming it is daylight and not too cloudy, a watch (the traditional kind with hands) can be used to determine direction. With the hour hand pointed toward the sun, halfway between twelve and the hour hand is south. During daylight savings time, you must subtract one hour before aiming.

mix equal parts:
alcohol (I use wintergreen)
witch hazel
Aloe Juice (optional) 


Added Prior to 2-18-04

If your horse has had an injury, and the hair is taking a while to regrow, rub a little Vaseline into the skin.

You can make your own hoof oil by mixing some Stockholm tar with some cheap vegetable cooking oil.

Make sure you clean your grooming kit at the same time you wash your horse that way you won't transfer dirt straight back onto your nice clean horse.

Doubled up pieces of baler twine are better than sweat-scrapers because you can use them in lots of awkward places, like down the legs.

If your horse has a tail which is very thin and wispy, plait the end of it, after it has been washed, and leave the plait in for a few hours. When you take it out, the tail should be slightly wavy, and appear a lot thicker.

Brushing a tail can easily break the hairs, so try to tease the tangles out with your fingers if you can.

 If your horse's mane sticks up, or is on the wrong side, try dampening it down with some hair gel.

Store a small sponge saturated in saddle soap in a plastic container and after riding, simply wipe down your saddle, bridle and girth so thet are clean for the next time you ride.

Place your horse's water or feed bucket in the center of a tire to keep him from kicking it over.

Clean out clipper blades with your old toothbrush.

When your horse won't gain weight or you have a hard keeper adding a 1/4 to 1 cup of vegetable oil to their grain, building it up a tablespoon a day. In 3 to 6 weeks you will see a huge improvement in their coat and weight.

Try this homemade fly spray, 3 oz. Avon's Skin-So-Soft, 3 oz. citronella oil, 12 oz. white vinegar, and 12 oz. water. Mix well, put in a spray bottle  and you are all ready to spray.

Nail empty saddle soap tins up on the wall to hang halters and bridles on.

Use a chamois to rub down your horse after a bath.

If feeding a pill mash it into applesauce or molasses for easy feeding.

Spray your horses mane and tail on upper and bottom part with hair spray. Then take your fingers and fluff it up to make it look fluffy, windblown {which is very cute} or make it look like it has body.

To keep horses socks clean, use cornstarch or bluing agent

When giving your horse a soap bath, rinsing with white vinegar will help to remove the soap. This also acts as a hair conditioner and fly repellant.

To remove horses' chestnuts: To soften the growths, smear petroleum jelly over them daily for 4 to 5 days after which they peel right off

If your horse gets sores from the girth chafing in the wrinkly armpit area, use a spray deodorant with a high talc content. You can also carry it in your saddle bags to reapply when it’s been "worked off." You shouldn’t get any more girth sores!

When at shows and you need to spiff up the silver..... use the eraser off of a pencil and buff out with a clean cloth! It will give the silver the last minute sparkle that you need!

Keep a gallon of liquid Clorox at your barn for cleaning things like water buckets, dog water bowls and girths. The Clorox will help keep fungus from growing on your girths and easily remove algae from water buckets as well as harmful bacteria

For a homemade fly spray, use 1 cup white distilled vinegar, 1 cup water, 1/3 cup Dawn dishwashing liquid

Put feeder goldfish in pasture water tanks - they will feed off the mosquito larvae that mosquitoes deposit in the water

Flies feed 1-4 feet off the ground so when setting out bait or traps make sure that you set them no higher than 4 feet

Green plastic pot scrubber pads from the supermarket are great for removing dried mud from your horse. Their flexibility and size make them easier to use on the horse's legs than a curry comb

If your saddle is squeaking, try sprinkling baby powder between all the flaps

For poison oak/ivy/sumac - mix equal parts of buttermilk, salt, and vinegar into a paste, then liberally coat on the affected skin. The salt actually provides a delightful abrasive that scratches the itch while the buttermilk seems to neutralize the poison oils that cause the itch

To reduce breakage of your horse's braided tail, start braiding it at the top, using a French braid; then use a long cover such as support stockings (hose)

During the week keep a hair conditioner on your horse's tail to keep it from becoming dry and brittle

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Pre bath coat enhancer: use 1/2 Vinegar and !/2 olive oil, sponge it on from head to toe and leave it for 3 days.  Then bathe and admire the results!
Water can damage the   hooves  so apply petroleum jelly prior to bathing.  Don't apply if you plan on doing some sanding.
Dilute shampoo in water--even if it says use full strength.
The new color enhancing shampoos work really well to bring out coat color.
If you plan on braiding the mane put it in big loose stable braids to keep it away from shampoo and conditioners.  Do get the mane soaking wet and apply a hair gel after you are finished bathing-- this will make your braiding job a whole lot easier and fly aways will not be such a problem.
Don't forget to clean well under the tail and between the legs.
Use "Wisk"  Laundry detergent with bleach to clean stained white legs.
Give your horses tail a hot oil treatment.
When you rinse your horse ad some Apple Cider Vinegar to the water. It will get rid of shampoo traces and it will also aid in    repelling flies.
While your horse is still wet apply a "sheen" product -quite a bit--to his tail and body--avoiding the saddle area, girth area and the mane.  Do his face with a washcloth.  Another way is to put baby oil in the final rinse water.
While your horses hooves are still damp take steel wool and a light grit sandpaper and get the built up dirt off of them.
Don't bang a tail when it is wet. It will end up several inches shorter than you wanted.

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Clip your horse while he is still wet.
Make sure your blades are sharp, well oiled and disinfected.
Body clip at least 2 weeks in advance to get the best finished  results.
Clip white legs 1 week prior.
Blades to use are a #10 or #15 on the body and a #30 or #40 on the      muzzle, ears and bridle path.
Make sure your bridle path is the appropriate length for your breed and your discipline.
Always clip against the lay of the hair.
Do small areas at a time.
Let the clippers cool down when the metal blade plate gets too hot--this can burn a horses sensitive areas. Keep a spray blade coolant on hand.
To do the bridle path always clip toward the ears to avoid cutting off more mane than you wanted to.
When doing your horses ears place a piece of cotton inside to prevent little hairs from falling into their ear canal.
Remember horses have more sensitive hearing than we do so the cotton also helps deaden the sound of the clippers.
If your horse and you are getting agitated take a grazing walk together and chill out for 15 minutes.

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Show Grooming

Bathe the day before the show and the morning of the show take a hot towel and rub against the lay of the hair to remove dust and any deeper dander.  Apply more sheen product ---not the saddle area.
Touch up the muzzle, jawbones, throatlatch and the outside of the ears with clippers or a disposable razor.
Rub baby oil along the bridle path to get rid of that just clipped look.
Use baby oil to highlight the skin around the muzzle and ears to highlight.
Pull the horses mane after you ride. The pores will be open and hair removal is easier.  An old clipper blade is handy to even out the mane.
Apply hoof polish the day before. The day of the show apply oil to them for a natural shine.
To polish feet use wax based shoe polish. This adds a nice deep luster. It also aids in protecting the hoof from the drying effects of hoof lacquer.
Fill nail holes with a spackling compound.
Use baby wipes to clean the nose, around the eyes, in the ears and to wipe of dusty hooves.
Cling free dryer sheets will reduce static in manes and tails.
Hair Spray is a must on windy days.
Use baby powder or corn starch on white legs. Braid with yarn that matches your horse's hair color
A large athletic tube sock makes a great tail bag. Cut the top into 4 strips and tie it on.  You can sew ribbons to the end during fly season.

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Added 10/15/04

use old panty hose to wash polo wraps in to keep the Velcro from sticking.

Use a mailbox or large bucket from the bakery section of your store as saddle racks. they are great and have room for brushes too

Old socks make good tail bags

store leg wraps in newspaper delivery bags

use shipping boots in an emergency for 1/2 chaps

pre-measure horse feed into milk jugs to help your horse sitter when gone on vacation.

use spiral type key rings to replace missing D rings on some tack also good for rabies tag on bigger dogs that destroy normal rings

nail polish remover also removes pine sap from tails and manes
use a small nylon dog collar that buckles through the fabric to attach trail gear to D rings.

store oil socked rags in a butter dish or other air tight container to wipe down your tack after each ride

a teaspoon of mineral oil or corn oil to water troughs will prevent larvae from developing

for cracked or split pitch fork handles use rubber grip tape for tennis rackets

to stop tail rubbing spray with Listerine

to orally medicate use jarred baby food in carrot or apple flavored

for a cheap ice pack freeze 3 cups water with 1 cup rubbing alcohol

coating the heels and pasterns with petroleum jelly helps prevent chapping and scratches. It also will prevent bot eggs from being deposited and stick to legs (but it can be messy)

use a serrated grapefruit knife for bot egg removal




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