Equestrian Hacks to Save Time and Money at the Barn
When you have your horse at home, it’s important to make the most of your time together. First, wake up at the crack of dawn to feed your horse and muck out the stalls. Then, spend the next 12 hours riding, grooming, and bonding with your equine companion. If your horse needs a break, you can always spend some quality time together in the pasture, grazing on grass and telling each other your deepest secrets. And when the day is done, tuck your horse into bed with a bedtime story (preferably one about a daring stallion who saves the day).
Ok, so we all know, in reality, this isn’t going to happen. Ever.
I have had the luxury of keeping my horses with me where I live. And over the years, there are a lot of things I have learned to help me make the most of the time I have with my horses. So I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite equestrian hacks with you.
Here is a collection of the best of the best equestrian hacks!
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If you show English, especially in jumping classes, you will need to practice before the show. And if you keep your horses at home, you will need your own jumps. But have you seen the price of a jump? They are SUPER expensive! But you can build them yourself. Seriously, it isn’t too difficult to make your own horse jumps. You can probably get 7-8 simple jumps built in a weekend with just a few tools and some wood that you can find at Home Depot or Lowes. I have lots of articles that walk you through the process!
Use Pool Noodles as Jump Fill
This is so much fun. You can use Dollar Tree pool noodles to make fillers for your jumps. You can cut pool noodles to size and use them at the base of your jump, or even bend them to make an interesting pattern, then attach them to a fence picket and then put this filler in front of your jump. It will add some interest and make the jump look more solid to your horse. Attaching the “filler” to a fence picket will make it easy to move around and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Refresh Your Jump Rails
After being outside for multiple summers, you will probably need to repaint your jump rails. And you can keep it simple by keeping them a solid color, or you can give your jumps a fresh new look by adding some colors!
I love to use Rustoleum oil-based paint for my paint jobs. This is the most affordable option I have found for durable paint for horse jumps. It does take longer to dry, but it is so worth it.
You can customize your jumps and give your rails a fresh new look over the weekend! There is just something so beautiful about a freshly groomed arena with a set of freshly painted jumps!
Fake Flowers for Jump Fillers
Head to the Dollar Tree or Walmart for a fantastic selection of fake flowers to make your jumps look even more like the real thing!
I think you can get a better deal at Walmart since Dollar Tree is now $1.25 for everything they have. Depending on the time of year, Walmart usually has a fantastic selection of flowers that you can use to doctor up your jumps for less than $20.00!
This is probably my favorite topic to talk about. I love grooming my horse. Seriously, I could spend hours every day just pushing him and making him look his best. I don’t think he enjoys it as much as I do, however. But all that aside, here are a bunch of grooming hacks to help you make your horse look his (or her) best!
Shower Caddy Quick Grooming Kit
Make a grooming kit with only the necessities for quick grooming of your horse to be used daily. Only keep the essentials in here, like a hoof pick, rubber curry, a stiff brush, and a mane and tail brush. The shower caddy is small, so you won’t be able to keep a lot of stuff in it. This is a good thing! With only a few items in your grooming kit (or in THIS grooming kit), you can easily find the tool you need and use it. This also makes it easy to put things back where they belong.
Once you finish a quick groom, you can put the shower caddy back in the tack room. Using a kit like this would also be helpful when you are getting ready to ride. It makes fast work of grooming and then being able to get your horse tacked up and you in the saddle faster!
Organized Grooming Kit
And while I am on the topic of grooming kits, be sure to keep yours organized. How many times have you wasted precious minutes looking through your grooming kit for that one special brush? And when you’re done riding or even grooming, everything gets packed back into the grooming kit. This adds a lot of extras that don’t need to be in the kit!
Best Ever Barn Hacks for Equestrians
So take a little extra time when you are done working with your horse, and remove anything extra from your grooming kit. Also, if you use hoof ointments or anything that has to be replenished, make sure you have a backup for when you run out of your favorite items.
These towels are a game changer for horse owners! Microfiber towels or rags are an equestrian’s best friend, seriously. There are so many uses for these absorbent towels. They work wonderfully for grooming. And they are very helpful for tack cleaning as well. Microfiber towels are affordable too! My favorite ones are the larger size. And you can buy them in bulk on Amazon.
And if you need a certain color to keep everything matchy-matchy in your barn, you can probably find them.
Microfiber towels are nice because they are super soft and absorbent, making them so helpful and useful around the barn. and there seems to be a new type of microfiber I have found that I am absolutely loving. They are called Coral Fleece and are very similar to microfiber. But they seem to be a little softer and even more absorbent. They are fantastic for face rags and body polishers for your horse!
Dish brush for Legs and Hooves
If you want a quick way to clean up your horse’s hooves or even lower legs, grab a dish scrub brush with a soap dispenser. You know, the one you use for washing your dishes. Fill it with your favorite horsey shampoo, and you have an easy way to keep those hooves clean!
Make Your Own Detangler
Keep empty spray bottles from fly sprays, shine sprays, etc, and repurpose them by making your own detangler. It’s affordable, and with the ingredients, you can make lots of detangler. Which will help you to save money in the long run. As well as making it easy to never run out of it! You only need a few ingredients:
- Water (22 ounces)
- Healthy HairCare Horse Moisturizer Concentrate (2 ounces)
- Avon Skin So Soft (2 ounces)
- Fractionated Coconut Oil (4 ounces)
- 32 ounce Spray Bottle (Reuse a fly spray bottle)
Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle and give it a good shake and then spray on the mane and tail. Allow the mixture to dry, and then easily brush through your horse’s mane and tail – without pulling any of those precious hairs that takes SO long to grow! And speaking of brushing manes and tails, keep reading for the best mane and tail brush!
Epona Wood Curry for Manes and Tails
If you can still find this – get one! Not necessarily for a curry comb, but the Epona Wood Curry Brush is fantastic for brushing through your horse’s mane and tail. The bristles are very far apart, which seems to make it easier to get through the hair without ripping it out. I love this curry for brushing through Plezant’s mane. And you can give a nice little massage at the roots to help stimulate them to grow!
But look for them now because they are on clearance at a lot of places online. Which means soon they will be gone! So get one while you can. I think I got mine in one of the equestrian subscription boxes I subscribed to years ago. This is an excellent find for your grooming kit.
Wintertime No-Zap Spray
Just like my homemade detangler – this no-zap spray is so helpful in the winter months. When your horse has long, coarse hair, it’s easier for static electricity to build up. It is a total bummer when you go to pet them or touch their face, and they get a very unexpected static shock. My horse HATES this! And one way I have found to combat the zap is to spray him with this no-zap spray. The recipe is simple:
- Oil Sprayer for Cooking Oil (trust me – you need this)
- Shapley’s No.1 Light Oil (2 ounces)
- Avon Skin So Soft (2 ounces)
You add Shapley’s light oil, then skin so soft to the container for the oil sprayer. give it a little swirly shake, and then fill the container with water. Put the top on and give it a gentle shake. And the next time you are grooming your horse, give him a spray with the sprayer. You can then either massage in the spray or use your favorite massage curry (I really like the Posture Prep curry for this.) This liquid is a little bit thicker. So using the oil sprayer that’s meant for holding olive oil will be very helpful to have.
Best Ever Barn Hacks for Equestrians
Not only will this give a fantastic shine to your horse, but it will also help to cut down the static electricity that tends to gather. It works great before putting a blanket on your horse too. And it won’t hurt your blanket!
Barn and Tack Room Hacks
There are hundreds of these floating around the internet. And yes, I think I have tried each and every one of them. Some are great, others leave me scratching my head because they didn’t work for me. But here are a few of my favorites!
Plain White Vinegar
Vinegar is a great addition to your barn and tack room. There are soooo many things that you can use vinegar for around the barn:
- Vinegar is great for cleaning around the barn. Just add some to a bucket of water and scrub away!
- Vinegar for removing Algae in water tanks – when scrubbing the tank, add some vinegar along with a little dish soap (Dawn Platinum Ultra is my favorite) and use a scrub brush to get the algae out. Let it set for a few minutes, then rinse away.
- Use vinegar on rusty metals, like stirrup leathers, buckles, or bits to scrub the rust away.
- Use vinegar as a part of your rinse when you wash your horse to remove excess soap and provide a little extra shine to his coat.
Husky Tool Boxes For First Aid Kits
If you have a horse, then you need a first aid kit. And the best way to keep all of these supplies together is by having a place where you can keep all first aid items together.
My Husky Rolling Tool Box is amazing for this. I even gave it an “official” paint job, so everyone knows where the first aid kit is. I dedicated a complete blog post to this topic because it’s just so important.
Give Your Horse a Friend
If your horse lives alone, consider adding a shatter-proof mirror in his stall, so he has a ‘friend’. You can buy these 10″ x 10″ mirror tiles and hang them in your horse’s stall. He probably won’t mind that it kind of looks like a funhouse mirror. He’ll have a friend, right?
DIY Arena Mirror
If you ride alone, it can be nearly impossible to visualize what you are doing with your horse. And even if you have a lesson, actually seeing what you are doing right or wrong can be very helpful for you when you are trying to ride better. And one solution to this is a mirror in your riding arena.
Best Ever Barn Hacks for Equestrians
I really want a mirror in my arena, so I can see what I look like when I ride. But have you ever priced arena mirrors? Yikes! They are super expensive! So a solution I am actively working on right now is creating an affordable arena mirror.
I have tried this before, and it was actually pretty good. But the tiles were so small that it was really difficult to see. BUT – I have found a new option. FunStick 12″x276″ Self Adhesive Mirror Stickers! This is a HUGE roll of ‘mirror’. And I think this is going to be an excellent alternative to spending over $4000 for an arena mirror. One roll of this mirror magic is 23 feet long. So by buying 2 rolls of this, I can create a mirror that is 4 feet tall, and almost 12 feet long.
The trick is the surface it is going to go onto. In order for it to be the clearest, the surface needs to be super smooth. I am thinking of something acrylic, like an acrylic sheet that I can frame. Maybe? or even 4 x 8 sheets of plywood wood be good, as long as it’s smooth. I’m not sure yet, but I see this project in my future. And when it is complete – I will definitely be sharing it here!
If you can get your hands on these – they are wonderful to have in the barn. They work great for slicing through twine, or even cutting through just about anything. I don’t even remember how I got them, but these little knives are so handy in the barn. If you can’t get ahold of a bunch of them, Amazon has some that are similar too if you can’t get the ‘original’ Subway knives.
Vet Wrap for Implement Handles
If you have wooden handles on your shovels or rakes that you use in the barn, add a few wraps of vet wrap around the handles to help keep splinters away Or to make the handles easier to grip.
And you can use vet wrap in place of half chaps too. If you forget your chaps, or don’t have any. Just do a few turns of the vet wrap around your jeans to help keep your leg protected and in place while riding.
Tack Room Hacks
Alright, now that I have given you a few gems around the barn, let’s focus on the tack room now. The best hacks for the tack room are ones that are going to keep you organized and make things easy to find. So setting up your tack room for efficiency will help you spend more time with your horse and less time looking for things!
Blanket Racks for Storing Spray Bottles
If you have a lot of spray bottles to organize, consider adding in some blanket racks or bars to keep all of the bottles together.
This makes it a lot easier to find what you need, as well as use your walls for extra storage space. But lately, I have found these blanket bars are getting pretty expensive. So another option would be to buy these Industrial Pipe Clothes Racks. They are a little over 38″ long, and you can get 2 for the price of one ‘real’ blanket bar.
DIY Saddle and Blanket Racks
If you want the ultimate way to keep your tack room organized, you should build some saddle and saddle pad racks for your barn. When I did my Extreme Tack Room Makeover, I had to utilize the small space that I had. And by creating a saddle rack and saddle pad rack, I was able to do this. It was a lot more affordable than buying them ready-made. And they were easy to make! And if you want to see all of the awesome DIY Tack Room projects (15 in total), you should check out my book DIY Projects for Your Tack Room!
Best Ever Barn Hacks for Equestrians
I know there are a lot of places that promise the best 50 or more equestrian hacks. But a lot of those have been shared and re-shared so many times. I thought it would be fun to give you some NEW equestrian hacks to really hope you make the most of the time you have with your horse.
How about you? Do you have a favorite hack that I haven’t mentioned? Share it with the rest of us! Leave a comment below so we can make this post the most complete list of equestrian hacks ever made!
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