angle-left 16 Household Items You Never Thought to Use In the Barn

16 Household Items You Never Thought to Use In the Barn

You’ll be saying “Why didn’t I think of that?” once you read this list of household items you can use in the barn.

household items – zip ties, electrical tape, tooth brush, baby oil, baking soda, hairspray – found in tackbox (Credit: Tara Matsler)

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Have you ever worried about polo or standing wraps coming undone? Or how about your horse getting his tail caught on the hooks of a water bucket? Electrical tape can fix both problems, and much more.

The list below will give you some clever ideas for repurposing household items out in your horse barn.

  1. Baking Soda It seems like there is nothing horses love more than mud. Return your horse’s glorious white socks, stockings and other markings back to a glistening white with a little water, baking soda and scrubbing. Voila!

  2. Baby Powder Once those socks are white again, it’s inevitable they’ll end up back in the dirt. Protect your hard work by applying a layer of baby powder to your horse’s legs before turning them out or entering the show ring. The baby powder will deter dirt from ruining your horse’s brilliance.

  3. Dawn Dish Soap Dawn is another product that can assist in returning your horse’s markings to pearly white, but it also works wonders for your tack. If your saddle is really dirty, use a soft damp cloth and a dab of Dawn soap to work out the yuck. Once clean, condition or oil your tack to add back the fat. Your tack will be better than new!

  4. Baby Wipes No time to bathe your horse? Use some moist towelettes to give your horse a quick touch-up. The gentleness of the baby wipes makes them perfectly safe to use on your horse’s ears, muzzle and just about anywhere else. Take a wipe to your boots before the show to give them an extra shine.

  5. Electrical Tape Secure your horse’s leg wraps with a quick wrap of electrical tape, and you can rest easy knowing your wraps will stay secure. Electrical tape can also be used for wrapping bucket handles and other objects to prevent your horse getting his mane, tail or any other body part tangled.

  6. Baby Oil Frizz be gone! Use some baby oil to tame your horse’s luscious locks. If a spin around the show pen is in your future, apply baby oil around your horse’s face to highlight features, like those big, gorgeous brown eyes or velvety nose.

  7. Hair Spray Women already know that good hair spray can solve all the world’s problems, but, guys, it’s time for you to jump on board, as well. Hair spray can be used to secure your cowboy hat to your head, perfect the horse braids you spent all day on and ensure they last throughout the show, remove static from show shirts, plus countless other uses. The relatively cheap price makes it well worth adding a can to every tack box you own. 

  8. Toothbrush Don’t overspend on specialized tack-cleaning brushes. An old toothbrush is quite handy when it comes to cleaning silver buckles and conchos and isn’t half bad at scouring grime from your tooled leather. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles to prevent scratching your leather.

  9. Nail Polish Nobody knows true frustration until they lose a tiny Chicago screw out of their headstall or other tack. Coat your screws in some clear nail polish before screwing them into your tack to ensure they stay where you put them.

  10. Disposable Diapers Much like hair spray, diapers have a number of uses in the barn.

    1. Due to their absorbent properties, diapers make excellent hoof packs for abscess treatment.
    2. For large wounds that require somewhat tacky ointment, use a diaper as a base layer when bandaging. They work especially well on leg injuries.
    3. Throw some diapers in the freezer and, tada, ice packs!
  11. Tube Socks Tube socks and diapers are a great pairing for a leg injury. Use a diaper for the base layer and slide a tube sock (toe cut off) up the leg to hold the bandaging in place.

  12. Red Pepper If your horse enjoys chewing on objects not meant for chewing, coating those objects in red pepper will deter your pesky partner from putting his teeth where they don’t belong.

  13. Rubber Gloves From medical procedures to tack cleaning, rubber gloves are a fundamental item for any medicine or tack box.

  14. Skin So Soft Pesky flies bothering your horse and you haven’t had time to order your favorite equine fly repellent? Never fear – you can mixi Avon’s Skin So Soft with an equal part of water, then use it as a rinse to repel bugs. Just as the name implies, it’ll leave your horse’s coat soft, shiny and smelling wonderful.

  15. Head Lamp A good head lamp illuminates even the darkest of nights while keeping your hands free for other tasks. Never be caught in the darkness again.

  16. Zip Ties When in a pinch, zip ties can repair tack, bucket handles, corrals and other equipment. In addition to the repairing capabilities, use  zip ties as an intermediary between halters and lead ropes in foals and horses that sit back when tied. When your horse pulls back, the zip tie will break, leaving your halter and lead rope intact and saving you from having to buy new equipment.