Not everything in your barn needs to be an expensive speciality item from the tack shop — it just seems that way sometimes!
In reality, there are plenty of everyday items available at the people store (that’s where you buy that regular stuff like cereal and toothbrushes, different than the tack shop) that are great around the barn. Here are five barn essentials (and a few bonus items) to put in your cart the next time you’re at the discount store.
Duct Tape: I know, this is a gimme. But seriously, have you replenished your duct tape supply lately? Absolutely necessary for everything from protecting a hoof after a pulled shoe to covering up the little upturned hooks on water buckets to prevent halters from catching on them, you can never have too much duct tape around the barn. Get some more.
Psyllium Fiber: AKA Metamucil. Many veterinarians in sandy regions advise a monthly 7-day regimen of psyllium fiber to help the horse clear sand from their digestive system. It’s also fairly common to pick up the store brand of Metamucil instead of using an equine-packaged tub of the powder. Check with your veterinarian first, but if you’re using an equine supplement for sand elimination, you might be able to switch to the discount store option.
Diapers: Disposable diapers for the barn? Of course! When you have an abscessed hoof, a diaper makes a lovely padded slipper for your horse’s sore foot, and with all that duct tape you now have, you’ll have no trouble keeping the diaper around the hoof. Stuff it with sugar and povidone iodine and you’ll have made a sugardine poultice, an antiseptic folk remedy that vets still prescribe today. (Link: McKee-Pownall Equine Services shows you how to make a sugardine hoof wrap: http://www.mpequine.com/education/how-to/apply-sugardine-foot-bandage.aspx)
Listerine: Another antiseptic, and available in a cheaper store-brand form, the strong-smelling mouthwash is great for cleaning buckets and drains, and leaves your barn with a fresh minty scent. If your region has hard water, baking soda removes those stains in your buckets and troughs.
Dryer Sheets: For you and your horse, dryer sheets come in handy year-round. Yes, in the winter you can use them to tame some of that crackling, snapping static electricity in manes and tails. And in the summer, stick a few in your pockets or the top of your boot. Dryer sheets smell fresh and clean — bugs hate that!
Got a discount store item you always keep in the barn? Let us know in the comments!