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View Full Version : Looking for "Old Horsemen's" remedies/ treatments



Running Fox Farm
Oct. 28, 2010, 05:24 PM
Anybody know any what I call "old horseman's" remedies/ treatments that they'd be willing to share? I came up on the track working for people like Charlie Lewis and Tuffy Hacker, both " old horsemen" who trained with the US Cavalry back when they still actually rode horses! ( not armored cav). That knowledge is going fast - we're losing all these old horsemen . Some of the stuff sounds crazy ( like a half/half mix of whiskey and turpentine for a colic drench!) but some of it is great, like Bowie mud.

mammadoc
Oct. 28, 2010, 05:51 PM
bacon grease for hair loss- rubbed into affected area. i have never tried this!

EqTrainer
Oct. 28, 2010, 05:52 PM
Turnout and benign neglect for injuries. As in, forget about it for a year.

ex-racer owner
Oct. 28, 2010, 09:59 PM
bacon grease for hair loss- rubbed into affected area. i have never tried this!

I can verify that this does work in a lot of cases and have used it many times. I was directed by the owners of the first barn I rode at to cook up bacon (yay!) and then drain the rendered fat into a container and then pop the container into the freezer. Bring it out when needed. Not recommended for use in summer, at least I never did, thinking it would attract more flies!:lol:

I'll add a couple of my own...for a cut that won't heal or is very slow to heal, pick off scab. Pour some sea salt into a bucket and add some hot water to dissove salt. Cleanse wound with the salt water and let air dry. Repeat at least daily, more if you can. This works well on leg wounds that can't be stitched, or any other area. A fellow boarder had to have half her horse's tail surgically removed and the wound would not heal. She was a nurse and tried everything that she knew of to try to get it to heal and it was summer, so flies were landing in the wound and it was just a bad situation. I mentioned the salt water rinse and she finally tried it and it worked. I was very relieved for them both, as she was just beside herself over the whole situation.

For scratches, I was told to use castile soap to wash the legs daily and then towel dry. Supposedly, this is used a lot at the race tracks.

Acertainsmile
Oct. 28, 2010, 10:53 PM
Hey, I might know you, I sure do remember Tuffy, what a tough old guy (to say the least)... anyway, I was taught to ride when I was 4 yrs old by a neighbor who was also in the Cavalry. The one thing I remember him telling me was to never sweep away the cobwebs, as they could be used to stop the bleeding if the ponies ever were injured!

Bowie Mud is still alive and well... it's great when mixed with Epsom Salts, DMSO, and an assortment of other concoctions.

Smoking horses heads out to open up the nasel passages... remember that? I'll have to ask the hubby what was used, but I remember the recieving barn smelling like pot...

I remember always painting stifles and hocks with Ball Solution, and I still paint feet with Reducine... best thing for thrush by far!

Other than that, yep, heard of the Bacon Grease, but it was used on the track for rundowns, etc.

Needless to say, by barn is always swept clean, and I have a good supply of gauze, cotton, etc! :lol:

I'll have to reach back in my memory and think of some more...

UrbanHennery
Oct. 28, 2010, 11:58 PM
Growing up we always used vaseline for cuts and scrapes to keep flies off and help the area heal. We used tar on the tips of the dogs ears when the flies got after them and made them raw. Fresh aloe also works well on cuts and scraps to help prevent a scar.

JRG
Oct. 29, 2010, 06:43 AM
Another vaseline user here (still do).
Bleach and water for thrush.
Future floor wax for hooves.
Baby oil in rinse water to cut the soap out of coat at bath time.
Preperation H for scaring.
Tube socks for tale protection

There are so many more.....but remember I am part of the generation when we actually put oil in areanas to keep the dust down.

Thomas_1
Oct. 29, 2010, 07:35 AM
I use:

turpentine for hardening/drying soles of feet.

old carrot nets for bath scrubs.

Hay whisks and hay thatch for massage and drying them off after excercise.

Vaseline to protect heel bulbs in winter mud. Helps to avoid mud fever.

Anything for baby's nappy rash you can use on a horse that's itching a healing wound to stop it scratching and rubbing.

Hydrogen peroxide for wound cleaning and feet cleaning.

Sea salt dilution for wound treatment to reduce scarring.

Bleach and Virkon and steam/hot water pressure wash for cleaning down and bio-security.

Turnout and meagre low grade forage grazing for colic prevention, ulcer prevention, laminitis prevention, injury recuperation.

Vegetable oil for leather conditioning.

Baby oil in winter tails to reduce cloying mud and tangles.

Icing sugar and iodine for drawing abscesses and filling open wounds.

red mares
Oct. 29, 2010, 08:06 AM
Bacon grease is wonderful.

My Dad was a saddlehorse trainer back in the day, and his little black book (seriously) is still floating around with some gems in it. Some of the illustrations are great.

Some other cures:

Strong Idodine once a week for horses on pads - squirt under pad once a week

Scratches - 2:1 mix of baby oil and bleach

my trainer's liniment is some mix venice turpentine, eggs & something else, can't remember what

Dad's Red Liniment - camphor, menthol, ether, ethanol, iodide & witch hazel - great for bowed tendons, a bit hard on the hands though

reducine rubbed in the coronary band to grow feet

1:1 pine tar & lard, boiled, with iodine added, painted hot(if possible) on the soles for foot soreness.

Running Fox Farm
Oct. 29, 2010, 12:46 PM
Oh man - keep 'em coming!!! I am sooooo grateful. I want to chronicle( pardon the pun!) these for future reference, since I know these wonderful old horsemen are NOT coming back to us anytime soon, and so much of this stuff really works. I as trying to explain to my14 yo son that, once upon a time, every time your horse had a problem, real horsemen did not run to the vet. Also back then, there may well have been no vet availabke to run to, so you'd better know your stuff! Here's one, maybe someone can fill in the blanks for me. What was it you were supposed to paint splints with and then rub it with a corncob(??) and it would make the splint blemish go away?

cllane1
Oct. 29, 2010, 12:48 PM
1:1 pine tar & lard, boiled, with iodine added, painted hot(if possible) on the soles for foot soreness.

Sorry, nothing pertinent to add, except I'd hate to see what the pot looked like after boiling pine tar and lard! :eek:

red mares
Oct. 29, 2010, 01:37 PM
no pot, just a metal quart paint can

The hot plate to "cook" with was about the only thing I didn't find in his tack trunk - I had to buy my own.

Janet
Oct. 29, 2010, 01:41 PM
Tincture of time.

millerra
Oct. 29, 2010, 01:58 PM
barn lime for proud flesh. (works too, tried it on a wound that just wouldn't heal)

winfieldfarm
Oct. 29, 2010, 03:14 PM
My father swears by white bread and tea bag poultices for drawing infection out of a wound.

NMK
Oct. 29, 2010, 03:38 PM
From my old days as an exercise rider--(Ok 30 some years):

Foot packing/poultice...Bowie Clay, epsom salts, apple cider vinegar and water

Red pepper and water to put on bandages so they don't get torn off.

Manure buckets filled with ice and water, take out the vaccume groomer, reverse suction (blow out) and place in tub...makes a sweet whirlpool ice bath.

Apple cider vinegar in water for bath rinse.

Comb tails by hand.

Vicks vaporub in the noses of the "too interested" colts.

From a polo player: carburetor cleaner for abscesses (not brave enough to try that one but been nearly desperate on occassion)

merrygoround
Oct. 29, 2010, 04:15 PM
Tobacco for deworming

Browned flour ((under broiler in oven) mixed into a paste for "scours"

bigbaytb
Oct. 29, 2010, 05:35 PM
gotta love the vet who taught me a couple old timer things that I swear by:

"simple iodine" spray bottle with one part 10% idodine and 8 parts water. great for stud crud, scratches, rain rot, and any other skin nasties. just spray on and leave it. cheap and awesome!

to treat horses that hive up easily, either by bug bites or bedding: paste worm every other month or once a month if it gets bad. I had a qh that would hive up with bug bites in the summer. paste worm him and it would vanish and he wouldn't get it back. So in the bug biting season, he was paste wormed every other month if he didn't have problems. worked like a charm. (and after a couple years, horse wasn't so touchy with bug bites.)

goeslikestink
Oct. 29, 2010, 05:49 PM
bran and flour mix together in a form of breadcrumbs has the opposite effect as llaxative to will bind a horse up if its scours
kay olin poutice old remedy used for an abcess that cant be bandaged ie facial excellent for strangles abcess

an old onion bag or potato bag plus bit of vick or methol chystals
and tad of hay , drop the hay in the bag put a blob of vick in there or a couple of menthol ccystals and poor on hot water , attach to bottom of a head collar not so horse cna eat it but so the horse can get the steam up his nose this clears any mucas thats in there and clears his airways up to 2omins ideal to aid a horse with strangles as you do it often as you like

goneriding24
Oct. 29, 2010, 10:16 PM
Boy, reading this post brings back some memories!

I remember when tabacky was used as a wormer, really, I do!

Plain old water out of hose on a bad cut at least once if not twice a day to keep proud flesh away, with little scarring as a result. 20 mins at a time.

Lemon jello with powder wormers to keep it in the stomach as long as possible.

Spearmint or peppermint poultice on legs.

Baby diapers as bandages, with either duct tape or that brown tape (which I can't think of the name, but like painters tape).

Adolf meat tenderizer on cuts on legs to keep proud flesh away.

Witch hazel, water and Absorbine...the ultimate body brace.

For a colicking horse, take a syringe of blood out of the line down the buttocks (below the point of buttock) and re-inject in the horse's neck. I knew people who swore by this but I never could see how it would work.

Take a Mason jar quart lid, fill with turpentine and hold up to the belly button on a colicking horse.

Push your pointing and middle finger into a horse's shoulder, in the muscle above the elbow, and push. If the horse moves away, moves his hoofies, you don't want him. You want one to let you do this, lean away and then come back to upright.

Keep 'em coming. These things should be remembered!

Give and Take
Oct. 29, 2010, 10:44 PM
Never heard of salt water in wounds that wouldn't heal until I had a tiny wound that just kept draining - vets couldn't figure it out.

A vet tech friend recommended 'Curasalt' a new saline bandage from Kendall. Wound closed in 3 days - awesome!

FalseImpression
Oct. 29, 2010, 11:12 PM
The one thing I remember him telling me was to never sweep away the cobwebs, as they could be used to stop the bleeding if the ponies ever were injured!
.

It is actually spiderwebs (which has vitamin K) and it works. It stopped the bleeding on a horse who had been hit by a car and had a big gash on his shoulder. When the vet arrived, following the blood trail, she was sure the horse was dead. But he stood in the barn and the bleeding had stopped. He made a full recovery.

The lady also had tons of others remedies passed down from her grandfather who was a horse dealer/trainer and she still uses many to this day. She applied honey to the wound (it was winter) http://tinyurl.com/ncs3k
She would also through the placenta of a new born foal in a stall of a barren mare... and it would bring her in heat and she would get in foal.

goneriding24
Oct. 30, 2010, 08:08 PM
Formaldehyde to harden/toughen hoof soles. Forgot to mention that one.

Acertainsmile
Oct. 30, 2010, 08:46 PM
White Gas also can be used as a foot freeze, you know, alot of these remedies are still being used.... some are not the greatest.

HorsesinHaiti
Oct. 30, 2010, 09:24 PM
Honey is used surprisingly often by humans who swear it helps heal surface wounds. It is certainly part of the rural first aid kit around here.

For a horse with a stuffed up nose: close half door to stall (no stall guards). Cut the end off of a bread bag so you have a tube and attach one end to the halter over the nose, forming a sort of disposable funnel. Set a bucket of steaming hot water just outside the door and hold the horse's head over it until they get the idea. Let them steam themselves, change water as needed and as horse desires.

Running Fox Farm
Nov. 1, 2010, 07:29 PM
You guys are the best!!! Glycerine and oil of peppermint to " open up the windpipe" of anything you wanted to race; the old Argentinian grooms when I rode for Roger Gill ( God bless'im) would actually swear by painting cracked heels with urine -I know urea, a component of urine, is great for healing tissue, and it worked but I've never tried it myself ;) . Has anyone remembered what it was you're supposed to rub into a spint with a corncob to make the bony splint go away?? Yeah, goneriding24, that's how I feel about this stuff. I miss these guys and really true horsemen are not that easy to find anymore.

Acertainsmile
Nov. 1, 2010, 07:34 PM
Hey Running... I used to gallop for Roger Gill too... back in the early 80's when he had alot of the Hobo Farm horses. Remember Ichabod Crane? Anyway, many still use peppermint and Glycirine before works and races, and it was Asthmador that was used to smoke horses heads out...

10000 Bits
Nov. 2, 2010, 08:22 PM
I still swear by sauerkraut juice on scratches and a bit more modern but highly effective, Listerine on itchy tails.

Running Fox Farm
Nov. 11, 2010, 09:23 PM
Acertain smile, it seems I sure should know you... That asthmadore - a lotta folks thought there was some weed smokin' going on in the barn when we used that stuff ( ha ha). When I worked for Roger, I was his main rider for Surely Royal and his main owner was old man Dixon from DE. I think you're after my time - I am, after all, old.;)

Equsrider
Nov. 12, 2010, 12:31 AM
Had a mare develop a sarcoid inside her ear. Had it removed, but it grew back as vet siad it would likely do. Researched other therapies, and an old timers treatment was simple crest toothpaste rubbed onto sacroid as often as possible.It worked!! 6 months later when vet came for vaccinations he asked about the ear, told him what I had done, and he was speechless!Cost me all of $3.00:)

ngilland
Nov. 12, 2010, 11:03 AM
Pickling lime to dry up large wounds and help prevent proud flesh

Jello powder to help with hoof growth

Colorado Eventer
Nov. 12, 2010, 02:56 PM
Great thread...I came from the track life too, here are mine:

Meat Tenderizer and just enough water to make a paste, slather on proud flesh.

WD40 for tail knots

Spay Pam (as in the cooking grease) on hooves to keep ice off

A few drops of Blueing mixed with warm water to whiten tails and coats.

Sugar and idodine, just enough iodine to make it a paste, great for drawing out infections, absesses, etc. Really does work.

Listerine, the regular kind, not flavored, great for itch tails and manes.

Auventera Two
Nov. 12, 2010, 03:10 PM
Great thread...I came from the track life too, here are mine:

Meat Tenderizer and just enough water to make a paste, slather on proud flesh.

This is EXCELLENT for bee stings on humans too! Even wasp and hornet stings. The quicker you get the paste on the better. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and all the redness, swelling and itch is gone. I've used it on myself many many times and it works.

Back to horses - I've always used Preparation H on wounds. It works better than anything else I've ever tried.

ManyDogs
Nov. 12, 2010, 03:11 PM
Pine tar, cheap shortening, mineral or baby oil-
mix together (no measurements) until like thick pudding
paint all over hooves if they are excessively dry

sugar on wounds to help them dry up an heal

whole corn (shell corn) to keep teeth from developing hooks/points

johnnysauntie
Nov. 12, 2010, 03:25 PM
For a fascinating and eye-opening historical perspective, I heartily recommend picking up a copy of "Every Horse Owners Cyclopedia" circa 1880, by Mssrs Fleming, Harvey, Walsh & Stonehenge. It's a comprehensive book of horse keeping, breeding and training. It has a whole chapter on remedies, including all manner of paints, drenches and horse balls (stuff mixed with treacle and then fed orally.) Interspersed are plates of the super horses of the day - Goldsmith Maid, Hopeful, Gold-Dust, Flora Temple, Hambletonian.

ETA! This old book has been republished! http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=1408663724 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=1408663724)

Reagan
Nov. 12, 2010, 03:45 PM
My old trainer used a mix of bran, cheap whisky, dmso and epsom salts as a pack for a horse with an abscess. This actually works, I can't remember exactly the amounts of the different ingredients any more though.

Pine-sol used for bathing.

And I always remember beagle oil being used for absolutely everything.

MIKES MCS
Nov. 12, 2010, 03:54 PM
Smoking horses heads out to open up the nasel passages... remember that? I'll have to ask the hubby what was used, but I remember the recieving barn smelling like pot..
...

ASTHAMADOR powder, it was a powdered form of belledonna, we used it to flush gutteral pouches, We would put a tablespoon in a little alluminum dish light it up blow it out and it would smoke for 15 minutes , You could buy it in a drug store up til about 15 years ago and Big D's used to sell it, WISH we could still get it it worked great .

MIKES MCS
Nov. 12, 2010, 04:02 PM
You guys are the best!!! Glycerine and oil of peppermint to " open up the windpipe" of anything you wanted to race.

We used to use this remedy for chronic colic'ers Still do

sk_pacer
Nov. 12, 2010, 05:10 PM
ASTHAMADOR powder, it was a powdered form of belledonna, we used it to flush gutteral pouches, We would put a tablespoon in a little alluminum dish light it up blow it out and it would smoke for 15 minutes , You could buy it in a drug store up til about 15 years ago and Big D's used to sell it, WISH we could still get it it worked great .


Oh wow!! someone else remembers Asthamdor!!! I used to use it on one heavey horse I trained. Wasn't available in Canada but we had a pipeline up to here with the stuff (gads, sounds like illegal drug trade!!) Used to burn it in a metal pail with a bit of kleenex as a starther, then bring the pail to the horse's nose. Danged stuff smelled rather like marijuana when it burned.

Reagan - you can still get Beigel Oil or at least could a couple of years ago.

Now for the old standby for scratches: a pound of lard, 4 ounces of food grade sulphur, and blu-kote mixed in enough to make it deep violet in colour.

Eventer55
Nov. 12, 2010, 05:12 PM
We used to use this remedy for chronic colic'ers Still do

Hey Mike, where are you from on Long Island? I grew up in Islip and rode through Hecksher Park, Connetquot and all around. I also rode at Timber Point Stables. . . send me a Pm if your in the mood for reminiscing.

merrygoround
Nov. 12, 2010, 05:26 PM
A spray bottle with undiluted betadine solution, or less messy, chlorhexadine, to lightly spray the dry coat of a horse prone to rain rot. When it rains, it dilutes it, soaks it into the skin. Voila'-prevention, automatically.

Colorado Eventer
Nov. 13, 2010, 01:40 AM
And I always remember beagle oil being used for absolutely everything.[/QUOTE]

Maybe it's just me but I love the smell of bigeloil, lol.

Running Fox Farm
Nov. 13, 2010, 10:10 AM
Equsrider- I WILL be using toothpaste on my conf. hunter mare's ear!!!! I've already paid once for that sarcoid to be gone, and it did come back. I had also been taught by an old horse show trainer to paint hoof soles with venice turpentine to toughen them up. Another idea - if you need to ice a horse, take an old pair of jean, cut them inhalf ( separate one leg from the other). Sew up the bottom of the cuff. Take a soft length of cloth to use over the horse's neck/withers. Put the horse's leg into the jeans as if he would be wearing it, add ice, and tie just like regular ice boots, over his neck/withers with the soft cloth to prevent rubs. Great substitute for ice boots if you don't have any and need 'em NOW.Again, thanks to everyone for their great reminisces. If you can think of anymore, keep 'em coming.
PS- anybody remember that splint remedy?? It's driving me nuts!

5
Nov. 13, 2010, 11:54 AM
There are so many more.....but remember I am part of the generation when we actually put oil in areanas to keep the dust down.
I would not do that although I remember it (and the smell) from way back when.

http://www.greens.org/s-r/078/07-03.html

coloredcowhorse
Nov. 13, 2010, 01:14 PM
From Dr. Warren Perez, racetrack vet, recently deceased.... "hydrated" or "slaked" lime powder for wounds...changes pH so bacteria don't grow, drains serum, deters flies and heals without scars. I thought he'd lost his marbles but tried it on a filly cut to ribbons by a fool of a seller and too late to do sutures.....got a 50# bag of it at a farm/ranch supply for $3.50 and used a turkey baster to suck some up and "puff" onto wounds....it dries, crusts, flakes off and I just put more on....10 days, completely healed, a few scabs left....20 days...no scars, new hair growing. Used it several times since...don't wet down, don't wrap...just puff on and leave it alone. You can get small amounts at the canning supply area of larger grocery stores (used for pickling) or in garden/ranch/farm supply stores....make sure it says "slaked" or "hydrated"....the other stuff burns like a son of a gun!! Store in sealed plastic bag inside trash can or something water proof...KEEP DRY in storage. Main ingredient in things like Cut and Heal, other wound powders and way less expensive.

Foxdale Farm
Nov. 28, 2010, 05:29 PM
I've heard of Pine-Sol for thrush. Great Thread!

www.foxdalefarm.us

Equsrider
Nov. 29, 2010, 12:14 AM
Running Fox Farm, I would use a Q-tip to administer toothpaste to ear, don't want to spread those nasty sarcoids anywhere...It will get crusty after a day or two, remove and clean this with a wet wipe then re-apply Crest. Keep at it! it is not a fast fix but does work!!Be liberal with the Crest!! Good Luck and let me know how it works for you!!

PennyChrome
Dec. 2, 2010, 02:59 AM
WISPING! Especially with a home-made, braided hay wisp. I actually made one of these once, I must have been really bored.

Sansena
Dec. 2, 2010, 07:55 AM
1 Gallon apple cider vinegar
1 small bottle of oil of wintergreen
1 small jar alum (the whole spice jar size)

Shake well, then paint on fat legs, splints, etc.
Wrap one hour.
POOF.
Swelling gone.

Hardest part of this recipe is finding an apothecary that stocks oil of wintergreen.