This is a really useful list of 11 of the best horse tips and tricks for all the things you use daily with your horse, such as rugs, headcollars and bandages, etc, that will give you some ideas how to look after your kit. (You accumulate a lot of rugs and equine equipment when you have a horse, believe me, check out What do I Need for a Horse? – The Ultimate Checklist of Equine Equipment!).
Top horse tips and tricks for rugs and equine equipment…
1) Keep the bags your heavy rugs come in when you buy them – they’re great for storing them out of season. If you still need more storage, invest in some big plastic tubs with lids and label them clearly
2) If a leg strap breaks on a rug and you don’t have a replacement, don’t panic – just remove them both and convert the remaining good leg strap into a fillet string!
3) To keep heavy rugs clean, place a thin rug over a thick one which will be much easier to wash. Alternatively, you could put a thin rug underneath instead and just wash that regularly to keep your horse cleaner
4) When washing thin rugs, numnahs and head collars, etc, brush off as much excess hair as you can first, then put them into a special washing bag such as this one (or even an old pillow case or duvet cover) before putting them in the washing machine – this will help to protect your washing machine
5) Everything seems to stick to bandages – brush bedding, ménage surface materials and debris off of them with a grooming brush before removing them to keep them cleaner for longer. And while rolling them up, rest one end over a stable door to keep them off the floor
6) Duct Tape is invaluable for temporary repairs on rugs! (Wait until the rug dries then patch any damage with duct tape for a temporary fix until you can repair the rug properly)
7) To add holes to a nylon head collar you can use a hole punch, then holding a nail with some pliers and heating it over a flame, you can rub the hot nail around the inside of the hole to seal the edges and stop it fraying
8) Invest in an elastic surcingle; they’re so handy for securing blankets and rugs that don’t have cross surcingles, and great if the surcingles on a stable rug break
9) Horses with thick forelocks can find fly masks hot and itchy, so cut a small hole in the mask to allow you to pull the forelock through, they’ll be much more comfortable (don’t make the hole too big so flies can wriggle in!)
10) If you have a horses that rubs it’s tail, (while treating it with appropriate creams, such as sweet itch lotion) get a cotton sheet with a tail flap, and ideally line the flap with silk to help protect the tail from damage and being rubbed raw. An old wives tale to help sweet itch (that I’ve been told by colleagues actually works!), is to add a little Marmite/Yeast Extract to your horses feed daily, simply dissolve a spoonful in hot water and mix in!
11) If you don’t have a fancy cooler rug (or it’s in the wash) and your horses is sweaty, give the old fashioned trick of ‘thatching’ a try – pad out the space between the horse’s coat and a thin rug with a generous layer of clean straw, it’ll stop them getting a chill and help wick away moisture
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