‘Fess Up

I have an equestrian question for anyone willing to ‘fess up. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve repurposed as a direct result of riding or working with horses?

I am not talking about the Target cashier’s glare inspired by your basket of Desitin, Preparation H, Duct tape, zip ties, and a case of Apricot Lacroix … you’d think the cashier thinks you’re buying ingredients to cook meth in your garage, but whatever. We have all found horse-related uses for things not specifically intended for some horse-related use.

I am talking about the really random stuff. Like washing your lower legs with dog shampoo that has lidocaine in it for itch relief … or stirrup leather rub relief. Either way.

Care to memorialize your oddities online, anyone?

27 thoughts on “‘Fess Up

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      1. It was a little harsher than I like on my hair regularly (I’m hair-skin-makeup product obsessive), but it did work well for brightening up my blonde!

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  1. Baling twine makes an adequate hair tie when your elastics break. And I’ve done the whole stirrup-leather-belt thing too. I’ve been known to use the shampoo/conditioner/soap in the wash rack to give myself a bath when I’m in a rush.


  2. I’m a big user of blue Dawn dish soap for horse things: preventing that weird sweaty leg gunk, whitening blazes/stripes/socks/stockings, and cleaning my open-front boots. Plus, its mad cheap and a little goes a long way. It’s not extremely bizarre, but hey, it works!

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  3. Oh, let me tell y’all–Vick’s VapoRub is the greatest!! It repels gnats and flies, it will HEAL rain rot and scratches plus lots of the scrapes and dings, it takes the itch out of those black gnat rubs in manes and tails not to mention the chigger and mosquito bites, it will evict ticks, and if you rub a bit in a stud or mare’s nostril-they instantly do not know the other is around. I keep jars of the stuff around. Works great and cheap.

    Dawn is terrific for washing out grass and manure stains and for getting that red/yellow out of manes and tails. Lather up-let sit for a bit-then rinse. Do not use the lotion variety.

    Straight Arrow ‘Mane-N-Tail’ Shampoo and Conditioner are great for humans too, just be sure to dilute the conditioner first. The hoof stuff is great for your nails, too.
    Got a mouthy horse that has to chew on every single thing? Don’t buy stuff-just go get some jalepenos-fresh ones. Slice them open-rub over the surfaces that Mr/Ms Mouthy loves to nibble. Then just stand back. I’ve never had it take more than three times for one to learn to keep their mouths to themselves. Doesn’t hurt them-but it is unpleasant enough to teach.

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  4. Used Vick’s on my late gelded gelding to keep him from raping every other horse. I’ve used Vaseline to pack hooves with epsom salts. I BoT the shit out of myself with my horses stuff before I ever got myself anything by them. I also definitely run leftover EquiFuse Glean into my own hair.

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  5. Mine is “How many ways can I use baling twine?” – the hair tie has definitely been the most useful, all of mine seem to disappear at the barn.

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  6. I use petroleum jelly (vaseline) to lubricate just about anything that isn’t going to be hit with engine heat (it won’t stand up to that). Coconut oil conditions leather and is cheaper than just about anything else, plus it never goes rancid. Added benefit-if the barn cats lick some off-prevents hairballs. Alse helps with dogs with itchy skin. I use the stuff as a moisturizer. It can also be used for a hoof moisturizer and feed for coat bloom. Love the stuff. Sanitary products can be used for bandaging-tampons will plug puncture wounds. Pads fit nicely into hooves and along cannon bones to pad before wrappying. Baby diapers wrap hocks and a whole hoof with a poultice. Split a t-shirt down the back and use that to bandage a chest by pulling the sleeves over the front legs. Cut the toes out of socks and pull on to hold leg bandages. Lots of things you can do.


  7. Um. Ketchup. For nasty grey or white tails that are stained that weird brownish-orangey shade, and for (formerly) white feathers. Smells terrible, looks disgusting throughout the process, magically whitens and brightens when fully rinsed out.


      1. haha I have no idea, although that would make sense! One of the barns that I work at has gypsy vanners, and we always break out the ketchup when it’s time to make their feathers look pretty. (you do have to wash/apply ketchup/rewash, though, and possibly condition or else it looks nice but feels sticky and gross)


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