Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ok, I'll admit it - I LOVE THE DOLLAR STORE!! The treasures you can find to use in the barn seem endless. Here is a shopping list so you can stock up at the dollar store:

Baby oil - to get that pretty glossy face and to soften the chestnuts for removal
Baby powder -to get the white on the legs whiter
Baby shampoo - for quick spot removal
Baby lotion - put into a a squirt bottle and add a bit of water so it can be used on mane or body and it works great on heel cracks too
Clear small rubber bands - for banding the mane and tail and works for any color hair
Brushes - extras for the whole body, look for pet brushes, cleaning brushes and people brushes
Towels - for bathing, eye and nose wiping, hoof buffing - I have even found the microfiber ones that are great for buffing a shine on your horse's body
Sponges - for bathing, medications and tack cleaning
Buckets - all kinds for all kinds of uses
Squirt bottles - for fly sprays, spot remover, lotion (see above), medications, detangler
Hooks - lots of them to put on a wall and hang everything from buckets and scissors to tack
Scissors - for cutting hay bales and manual clipping
Mouth wash - for washing out feed tubs and water buckets
Scrub brush - those toilet brushes are awesome bucket scrubbers!
Shower caps - yep, you heard me, use these to premix feed in grain pans and cover for later to keep the critters out

My list cost only $15 if you buy one of each. That is a huge savings over buying your supplies at the standard stores. Have fun and let me know if you find any new items to add to the shopping list!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Yay for sunshine! I get really excited towards the end of February every year because it means that the worst part of the winter is over for the Pacific NW. I saw a robin the other day and there are little tiny buds on my trees.

I'm sharing an article I found online today. It gives great tips about saving money if you board a horse. I found it helpful and hope you do to:

How to Save Money on Horse Boarding
By Laura College

Horses are expensive. There's no way around it, and as the costs of gas and hay continue to soar, horse boarding is becoming proportionately more expensive. If you board your horse at a local stable or barn, however, there are ways to rescue your bank account from a painful collapse.

Step 1 Talk to the owner of your stable or barn about your situation. If you've just been laid off from work, or if you've run into significant emergency expenses, you might be able to request a temporary reprieve. This is especially true if you are close with the owner of the stable, but realize that this isn't a long-term solution.

Step 2 Consider boarding your horse in a pasture instead of in a stall. While this might not be as luxurious for the horse, it can save up to $300 per month in board, which will certainly open up more room to pay your "people bills." However, this option is more feasible if you live in a mild climate.

Step 3 Shop around. There might be another stable or barn in your area where you can save money on horse boarding. In some places, the differences in board can amount to hundreds of dollars, so decide which amenities you're willing to give up and move your horse.

Step 4 Muck the stalls. Some barn owners will give discounts on horse boarding if you are willing to do some of the work yourself, such as mucking out stalls twice a day. This is a great option for someone who lives near the barn and has the time to run out quite often.

Step 5 Buy your own feed. You might also be able to save money on horse boarding by providing your own feed. As with human food, there are brand names and off-brands that have significant price differences, but similar (or the same) nutritional content.

Step 6 Learn to share. You are probably not the only person who needs to save money on horse boarding, so talk to other boarders about how you can cut down costs for each other. For example, you might carpool to the barn every day or or share expensive supplements.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Today's tip is all about recycling and making trash into treasure. One of my new years resolutions is to organize my tack. Here are a few ideas I came up with to help my tack room out. Let me know if you have any ideas as well.

Peg board - Awesome stuff especially if you can find it used. Put this up on one wall in your tack room. use peg board hooks, which can be purchased at any office supply store, to hang those "other" items like girths, training equipment, rope, breast collars and any extra parts and pieces. The hooks work great for tack with buckles or snaps and holds wide and unusually shaped items well.

Tuna or cat food cans - These are great for hanging bridles, leather halters, and other leather tack. Nail the can with the bottom on the wall so you can see the inside. Leather doesn't like to be folded and can crack and weaken from the stress over time. The can provides a nice wide hanging area for the leather to sit naturally and will help to extend the life of your tack. Besides it keeps your leather tack in view and easily accessable.

Old buckets - The larger taller buckets that held feed products or such are great as saddle racks. Just nail the bottom of the bucket to the wall. Use at least 3 large woodscrews set as a triangle with two a few inches apart at the highest point and one lower between them. The inside of the bucket is a clever cubby for brushes, medicines, towels, saddle covers and more. If your saddle wants to slip off just apply a strip of old carpet to the top of the bucket.

Unwanted bits - Add a little designer touch by using old bits as towel racks. All you have to do attach each end of the bit on the ring or top of the shank to the wall with a large utility staple. These are good for hanging tail bags, gloves, towels, face wipes and anything else you can think of. When they are not being used the bits add a visual appeal to your tack room.

Let me know if you have any other ideas. I love to hear them.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope your holidays are going well.

A happy blogger told me about a cool site that sells horse tack and gear at unbelievably low prices. What's the catch? They only sell one item a day! You gotta go check it out.... but be careful this site can become slightly addicting.

Here's the skinny: At noon (Eastern Time) Monday-Friday they post an unbelievably useful and precious item for horse or rider at an equally unbelievable price (paraphrased from their site). They have a limited number of items every day. When they are gone - they are gone. The shipping is reasonable and the products are quality.

To feed the addictions of frugal tackaholics, they have now introduced a "Whinny Alert System". It is a small program you install on your computer that does one thing - it tells you what today's product is automatically every day at noon. It literally whinnys when the noon message is available. What will they think of next?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It seems the snow is coming down all over the country right now, including down south. Up here in the Pacific NW we are seeing 3 storms in a row and our temperatures are dipping into the teens. Its c-c-c-cold! It struck me that there will be a lot of horses wondering how to get through the ice to their water!

If you haven't already bought a stock tank heater or similar product, here is a way to break up the ice on those frozen water tanks. Put a wooden fence post a couple inches in diameter in the water, with one end sticking out of the water. Other objects can work as well, such as a tree limb or in smaller buckets a large dowel. As the temperature drops and the water freezes, the water climbs the post, leaving a sizable air gap between the frozen surface and the water below.

A couple of tugs on the post and the ice breaks without splashing cold water everywhere. This beats getting your shoe wet while stomping or dipping your arm in the frozen water. Keep dry by using a stall fork to take out the layer of ice on the top. Make sure to take out the broken ice because a wider drinking area will encourage horses to drink more often which is essential to helping them stay warm!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Well, yesterday was Cyber Monday. I did a lot of screen shopping and placed my orders wisely. But what about those of us who like to save on the products in the walk-in stores?

Farnam to the rescue!! Click
here to go to 43 printable Farnam coupons. Save on products such as IverCare, Leather New, MaxFlex, Quietex, Rain Maker, Thrush XX, StrongyleCare and many many more. The expiration date on most is 9/30/09 but a few expire at the end of December this year.

Christmas idea: You may be a savvy blogger but what about your other horse loving friends? For those friends that do not have access to the coupons just print them out and stick them in a cute envelope, scrapbook a coupon book, or even stick them to a gift calendar. Everyone likes to save money!

I will let you know of other coupons and holiday deals as I come across them. Have fun!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wow, Thanksgiving is upon us already. You're probably going to be enjoying a meal and visiting with relatives indoors today. Your horse will have a day off but why not let him enjoy a special meal also? Here is a great recipe of bran mash to try out. It will warm his tummy and make his day special:

Thanksgiving Mash

Hot Water
A dollop of molasses
A handful of brown sugar
Two carrots shredded
One chopped apple
6 Cups of bran mash
Your horse’s daily grain ration (either morning or evening portion)
2 cups of apple juice

Optional ingredients:
chopped up corn (still on the cob), apple sauce, carrot tops, dollop of corn oil, store-bought horse cookies or sugar lumps.

Instructions:Mix all ingredients together in a large bucket. Pour enough hot water on top to resemble soupy oatmeal. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes, or until the bran has absorbed the water and is cool enough to eat. Pour the apple juice on top and serve. Discard any leftovers.

For more on this recipe and other news about equestrian life, visit .

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!