We have all seen them. Those clever tricks and little tips that save time, money, space, etc. and generally make our lives a little easier. Well, we have put together some Equestrian life hacks that you might find useful around the barn, at your next show, or just because!
Do you have multiple horses in multiple sizes? Color code their items with specific colors. Or, add personalized tags or printed duct tape on halters, blankets, bridles, saddles, and other gear (this is especially helpful for lesson barns with beginning riders).
Save your trailer and barn from damage or your tack from breaking by using a piece of baling twine to your trailer tie, cross ties, hitching post, etc. then tie your rope to the loop. If your horse pulls back, the loop breaks but not your expensive new leather halter.
Wear a head lamp to stay hands free when cleaning pens, feeding at night or braiding for a show.
Tired of the Mud? Lay rubber mats around high traffic areas like hay barn, barn doors, etc. prior to the rainy weather.
Duct Tape! It fixes just about everything in a pinch! Just think… fix a cracked bucket, stop leaks, fold it over and it could double as a belt. Get a patterned tape to identify your grooming tools or barn gear and you can decorate any boring trunk, jump poles or standards easily. It makes a quick patch for blankets too. Make snazzy rein stops or fix your half chaps (temporarily). Quick easy stall signs. Duct Tape is a miracle that no barn or tack box should be without!
Buy some baby wipes. Perfect for everything from a last minute dust-off before you go in the ring to cleaning off grime on your face and arms before you’re seen in public to cleaning the icky bits out from around your horse’s eyes.
Add little swivel snaps to your breast plate or breast collar to make tacking up faster and easier! You can do the same with reins (if your trainer says ok) to save time too.
Try the soap dispensing dish scrubbers to whiten your horse’s socks before you head to a show. Simply pour your whitening shampoo in and scrub away!
Zip ties. Good for fixing literally everything! Just put some in your tack box, and you’ll see. From fixing broken tack to mending fences… you can always find a use for these handy little ties and they come in ALL different sizes and colors! Perfect for tagging and identifying individual horse’s gear too.
Attached some baling twine streamers to the end of an old crop and use it to chase the bugs away from the horse’s head during trail rides
Save a little of that linoleum flooring from your kitchen remodel! It’s the best thing for your horse to stand on before an event so you can dress their hooves without getting them covered in dirt, grass, or shavings!
Use a pool skimmer in the summer to remove debris from your horse’s waterer. It will mean less scrubbing too. In the winter, break the ice with a hammer and then use a kitty litter scoop (new of course) to remove the ice chunks!
Do you have to move heavy, awkwardly, stubborn black rubber stall mats? Save your fingers and your back by use one of vice-grip plier or C-Clamps to give yourself a helpful handle!
Use a large ice cooler to haul water in your trail to a show or trail ride! The lid prevents spilling and it’s easy to drain with the spigot. It also means you don’t have to carry extra buckets if you don’t want to!
Attach luggage tags (or personalized tags) onto your saddle or bridle in case the worst happens and your horse are separated out on the trail. All info goes with the horse. But don’t forget to keep your cell phone and car keys on your person!
Did you know that a 2×4 piece of lumber and old tuna cans makes a simple, inexpensive bridle rack? Simple screw or nail the cans into the pre-painted 2×4 wood. For a fun detail, cover the tuna cans with colored duct tape to add a splash of color!
Pool noodles cut to appropriate length make inexpensive boot trees for tall boot.
Use old socks with no mates as tail bags. Tall socks work best and you just cut three strips about 1/3 of the length from the top of the sock for ties.
Add a small amount of apple juice in water to encourage your horse to drink. Not a bad idea for your water bottle either!
Vet wrap makes the best breathable, non-bulky ankle brace in a pinch.
If you break your tall boot zipper at a show, use black electrical tape for a quick fix. Note: be sure to add it to your packing list for your next show so you don’t forget!
Make feed scoop from an old milk jug. Learn how from The Practical Frog.
Those bags that most horse blankets or duvet covers seem to come in are really good for transporting and keeping your nice white saddle pads white to and from a show. They also make great long term storage for all kinds of horse stuff. Plus, everything stays organized and bug free.
Gardening aprons make ideal grooming aprons with pockets for holding your stuff when you are braiding your horse.
Velcro strips on the tack room door or inside of the trailer is a simple way to store all your horse’s sports boots. Plus, it’s easier and faster than a bucket!
Put a large dust pan in sink with the hollow handle facing out and the pan under the water. You can fill a large bucket on the ground that won’t fit into the sink. Genious!
Vet wrap also works as to prevent slipping. Try it on your manure fork handle or blanket rack rungs and you will be amazed!
Emery board gets light stains and marks out of suede.
An old bell boot works to prevent and electric fence from grounding out where an insulator is missing.
These are just a small selection of life hacks for equestrians. The possibilities are endless! What are some of your genius little tips for making a task a little simpler around the barn or at the show?