Old Halter - New Use Every barn has a hook, bin, or box of old halters that aren't quite "used up" enough to throw away. The excuses that exist to keep such items are immeasurable and sometimes rather silly. Alas, we've found a great way to put those dusty things back to work!
Try This: Grab a pair of scissors, or a sharp knife (be careful!) and cut off the throat latch portion of the halter. By removing that portion your final product should look like the photo to the right. There's absolutely no additional cost to you and you've got yourself a great new grooming halter.
What You'll Save: - If you turn out your horses and remove their halters daily this is a great tool to lead them in and out without the hassle of additional straps.
- Just like other grooming halter options this allows for easy clipping of the jawline and below.... without the additional cost!
Compare this alternative to purchasing a grooming halter or other piece of tack for such things as mentioned above and you've saved yourself $45+!! Who knew that box of old, dusty halters still be our favorite useful piece of horsewear?
Get the New Leather Smell With all the different qualities of leather out there it's easy to get overwhelmed and overpay. There is a way to condition your everyday leather to make them last longer, and maintain original quality.
Try This: Get to a local shoe store or Wal-Mart. Look for Neatsfoot Oil in 100% pure form. Clean your leather using a damp sponge and glycerin bar soap. Once the leather is clean take a dry cloth and gently blot the oil onto the cloth. Apply the oil to the clean leather liberally. Keep in mind that the oil will darken leather, so this is NOT recommended for light oil application. Let the oil soak into the leather. If the leather is dry apply several times to refresh the leather thoroughly. For increased absorption place the leather in the sun for 10 minutes after applying the oil for a "hot oil" type nourishment.
What You'll Save: #1 - Your favorite piece of tack #2 - Your hard earned $$$$ With a little time and elbow grease this method of leather restoration will increase the longevity of your leather investments. We recommend the 100% Neatsfoot Oil over the Compound due to the pure qualities that are minimized in the compound. Although we haven't experienced it first hand a Compound Oil has also been known to cause deterioration on stitching. So what's the investment for this oil? $3 to $5!!!! Compare that to purchasing new leather goods and you know it pays to care for your leather!
Common Barn Items - Half the Expense There are several Items that are a must in a barn. Spray bottles, Epsom Salt, Hydrogen Peroxide, Bleach.... The list goes on and on. Walking into any old store to pick these items up can cost you up to DOUBLE what it should. But fear not, there is a money saving solution!
Try This: Find a Dollar Tree or true dollar store in your area. Save some serious cash by grabbing a basket and loading up on common use items. Remember that you spent the gas money to get there - so fill that basket! By purchasing a few of each item at ONLY $1.00 each, you can make this worth the drive. Great buys that don't sacrifice quality include: - Bleach for cleaning water buckets - liquid soap for the bathrooms or tack room - Toilet Brush (why spend $8?) - Scouring pads - great for cleaning bits! - Hydrogen Peroxide, Rubbing Alcohol, Epsom Salts, etc. for a first aid kit - Spray Bottles for fly spray, etc. - Hair brush for mane and tail grooming.
What You'll Save: If you were to purchase all of the items above at the brand name cost from any retailer you would be looking at spending around $35.00 for ONE of everything listed above. Instead, pick up these 9 items for $9.00. the math shows you that getting more for your money here is simple, so what's stopping you? Go load up a basket and get twice as much in barn supplies for the same amount!!
The REAL Indoor-Outdoor Carpet You see it all the time on the side of the road as "garbage." What if we told you that the roll of used carpet sitting out by the curb could INCREASE footing drainage? What if we said it could help keep your first 3 steps out the barn door from being a muddy mess after it rains? What if we told you the cost of better drainage and keeping the dirt outside the barn could cost you less than $50.00 an area? Try This: Grab that old carpet and head to the barn. Pick an area where there is high traffic (outside a barn door, near water tanks) and level out the ground. Unroll the carpet over the leveled area. To secure the carpet and keep it from shifting here are two options: #1 - Use 12" spikes and pound them into the ground on the corners only. For added security you may also add traffic bond in a 2 inch layer across the top of the carpet. This will create layers of drainage. In addition, it will also cover the spikes anchoring the corners of the carpet. #2 - Level the area where you would like to place the carpet. Place 1-2 inches of traffic bond on the leveled area. Roll the carpet over the top of the traffic bond. Cover the carpet with an additional 1-2 inches of traffic bond to weigh it down. Compact the area to insure that your hard work stays in place until it becomes packed by hooves.
Here's How to Use It: Allow the carpet to act as your buffer between the mud and the water. It will get squishy and wet, and may even need a little cleaning off from time to time, but water is better than mud! Place the carpet under your water trough to keep erosion down.
We've provided some photos for example below. Our test barn has had these in place for well over a year, with great results and little maintenance. Take a look and save yourself a little $$$.
Carpet placed over leveled ground and staked on cornets. Rubber mats can also be placed on the edges to aid in securing if you choose not to use stakes to anchor corners.
Use of the a Carpet near a water trough can keep erosion to a minimum.
Hay...HAy.... HAY!! What does old tractor tires and hay have in common? LOTS! Bring on the savings on the hay bill with this simple way to save.
Try This: Grab that old, oversized, tractor tire from the field and bring it into your pasture where you hay every morning. If you've replaced stall mats lately take one of those out to the pasture too. Place the tire on the rubber mat/ground. Use a utility knife or sharp shears to cut away the wall of the tire, like seen in the photo. You've just given yourself a hay feeder that will block the wind from blowing the hay all over the pasture. Have a horse that likes to be mischievous? No worries - the tire has no sharp edges to cause injury. We understand this may not be the most aesthetic option to hold hay, however when keeping to being economic this is a great solution.
Here's How to Use It: Throw daily hay into the tire. If you have rubber mats under the tire this should help to keep any sand or dirt from being ingested. We would recommend cleaning out any extra hay from the tire once weekly if it is not being eaten completely. Be aware of the optimum amount to feed to reduce the waste you are removing weekly - some left-overs are ok, but if there is an accumulating amount consider cutting back. If you have a large herd and are concerned about sharing we suggest you use several tires to spread out the herd.
Consider making a tire in the pasture look a little more pleasing to the eye - place the tires in the same area in each pasture creating a mirrored image along your turnout area. Not only does this help the look of the space, but also keeps things standard for your stable hands. Here's the best part.... Old tires might cost you $25 dollars and some time. New feeders will cost you $300.00+!
The "Accident Prone Horse" We've all had one - and if you haven't, well, your time will come. In fact, we suggest you take a few notes while you can..... Remember the horse you had "way back when" that required cold hosing and daily wound wrapping where you just couldn't quite get the cotton to stay in place under the wrap? Well, we've got something to make life a little less expensive AND easier too.
Try This: Instead of buying the roll of cotton batting that costs around $7.00 for a 1 lb roll consider the maxi-pad as a more stable alternative. The generic, medium weight maxi-pad will cost you $4.00 for the 36-40ct. box. YOU SAVE $3.00. Keep in mind any extras could be used for their intended human use as well. If you're a couponer too you might even be able to save more!
Here's How to Use It: Unwrap the maxi, place any dressings or ointment on the pad, and place on the needed area. Place the pad with the ointment side to the needed area. The underside is now facing out on the maxi, so pull the protective paper off and see if the ends are able to be overlapped, holding the maxi-bandage in place. If the ends do not reach, simply remove the protective paper from the pad and then wrap with your normal vet wrap or pillows as you have previously determined. The maxi will stick to the outer wrap, protecting the wound without sticking, and securing the protection on the affected areas.
Note to the Reader: Be aware that no matter what the dressing or covering may be, or how secure it may be, if your wrapping skills are not strong your bandage will always move. As always, if you have any questions, including those about wrapping seek the advice of a Veterinary Professional.
Maintaining Your Mane Ever been away at a horse show and all you want is a shower.... but you didn't pack the shampoo? Or have you ever spent oodles of dollars on product that is a specialized Equine for a "thicker, stronger, bolder" mane and tail? As consumers who are looking to make our horses glisten in the sunshine (or the show ring) we'll buy ANYTHING that makes these claims - even if it costs us an arm and a leg.
Try This: Cut your costs by bundles by removing the "equine" label. If you're near a local Dollar Tree, Wal-Mart, or even a local Salon with a great clearance section check it out. Here's the cost breakdown: Mane'n Tail will run your wallet at about $14.00 for the shampoo and conditioner. A generic option such as White Rain or Suave will run your wallet $3.00 for both shampoo and conditioner.YOU SAVE $11.00. Add some coupons from the local paper and watch your savings increase. If you like the higher end products like Cowboy Magic for your shampoo/conditioner be ready to pay out around $20.00. The human alternative such as Aussie shampoos/conditioners will only cost between $4.00 to $10.00. YOU SAVE $10.00 +!The best part - you'll have something to use for you too!
Here's How to Use It: You know your horse and their skin's sensitivity. Choose a product that is fitting for your needs, but also gentle enough to still get the job done. Use the new human product on a small area like a small part of the tail,mane, or other part of the horse's body prior to your full bath or show time to make sure there is no reaction from the product. We strongly urge you to refrain from using high chemical salon formula products for this very reason. If you wouldn't use the product on your own hair, don't use it on your horse. It's that simple. Want a thicker, more full tail? Try a leave in conditioner, or Aussie's "3 minute miracle" for great results without the cost.
Want More Info: Follow the links to check out additional products, receive special promotions, and find coupons: Aussie Products White Rain Products
Note to the Reader:if you have any questions about products or the ingredients in products please seek the advice of a Veterinary or Salon Professional to learn more.
Save Your Hands. Save Your Wallet. Simple. All riders who use gloves know that finding a favorite is incredibly tough to find the "perfect" glove. Here's a little life hack on how to keep those hands protected while doing the same for your checkbook. We think you'll give us a thumbs up for this one.....
Try This: If you like the tackified palm leather gloves check out what other sports are using. Golf, Baseball, Football, Skydiving, Rugby or Fieldhockey are just a few that use gloves of some type. Some of these are very similar to our marketed Equestrian Gloves, so why not check them out? The Neumann brand Equine gloves will run you between $50 to $70 a pair, but the same brand, same styled Football Receiver (or Baseball Gloves like the one pictured above) will be around $30. You save $20.00! We tested the theory and used a pair of these Receiver gloves for the past year almost daily. They held up the same as anything with the "Equine" label. Don't like the tacky on your gloves? No worries - check out leather golf or batting gloves. These are perfect for Show or occasional riding, although we wouldn't use them day in and day out.
Want More Info: Google the brand of glove you like and look for a close alternative in another sport. Check out great deals on the web - you could save even more!
Take it to the Hoof If you live in an area where changes in season happen you know what can happen to your horse's hooves. Seasons cause us to seal and heal hooves within the same week. Riding the moisture can be one of the hardest things to do, but it may also the hardest thing to add. We've got a simple solution to help to add the moisture back to those dried hooves while saving you a few dollars. Try This: Skip the eight coats of gooey paint on conditioner and grab the human hand moisturizer. Now we know you're thinking no way does this work - but it does. We purchased the generic hand lotion for extra dry skin, non scented. When applied before or after a workout the results were rather impressive. The hand moisturizer was applied to the outside of the hooves and left to dry. The horse was then turned out/stalled as would regularly be done. We noticed that the hooves continued to maintain their moisture without getting soft, even on white hooves. Here's the best part: Various hoof conditioners will cost between $16 to $25+. Hand Moisturizer for Extra Dry skin will cost you around $8 for a 24oz. bottle. YOU SAVE $12+!