Handy Barn Items for Grooming and Health

Born-again grooming and health care items for the budget-conscious horseowner.

  • Scrub brush for removing mud from your horse (and thereby saving your better, more expensive brushes for finish grooming).
  • Plastic kitchen scouring pads (“scruffy pads”) for removing dried sweat and mud from thin-skinned equines.
  • Cheap, yard-sale towels for a zillion uses, including final grooming/polishing, applying fly spray to faces, rubbing alcohol on legs, wiping slimy bits, and keeping dust and mold off tack.
  • Turkey basters for rinsing mouths and cleaning sheaths.
  • Turkey-basting brush for applying hoof conditioner.
  • Empty dishwashing-liquid bottles for applying liniment.
  • Disposable razors for removing bot eggs.
  • Vaseline for polishing faces.
  • Baby oil for cleaning sheaths and udders, and detangling manes and tails.
  • Hair brushes, especially heavy rubber ones, for grooming manes and tails.
  • Hairspray and gel for taming flyaway mane hairs.
  • Unscented, alcohol-free baby wipes for cleaning the inner ear, around the eyes, in the nostrils, and under the tail.
  • Large, heavy-duty plastic detergent bottle for a horse toy. (Fill with pebbles, cap tightly, and hang in your horse’s stall.)
  • Lightly sweetened breakfast cereal for horse treats.
  • Utility knife, hung near your hay storage area (always with the blade retracted), for quick-and-easy hay-bale opening.

This article first appeared in the May 2001 issue of Horse & Rider magazine.

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