Okay, here goes:
- After body clipping, rinse with a WARM olive oil and apple vingar rinse (don't be shy about going heavy on both). Prevents fungus and that dry "just clipped" look. Makes your horse small like fish and chips though
- Generic Listerine woks fantastic for skin ick (which we get interesting form of in FL!) Also great for bits and the inside of you galloping boots as a quick rinse.
- I have a coat spray of vinegar, a touch of baby oil, a touch of vetrolin and water (more parts vinegar and water, just a little baby oil and vetrolin). Helps keep coat shiny, brings dirt to surface, and helps prevent ick. It's also cheap, Love It!
- Baby oil (just a small amount on your hands) on the muzzle and around the eye makes Bays and Chestnuts faces look really slick for shows.
- RAGS......just as a general statment, I LOVE having lots of clean rags around, they are priceless for getting that dirt that brushes miss when you are trying to look perfect for the ring.
- gold bond medicated powder for super bright white markings (like socks etc..)
- Human hair quality brush with plastic coated ends for brushing the tail and mane. Minimizes lost hair. Also, rub in Cowboy magic or spray with detangler first and start brushing very gently at the bottom gripping the tail in your hand.This method keeps my gelding's tail thick and nice.
- Duraguard flyspray works wonders for me. And I have seen first hand that it does indeed kill ticks.
- I wash my horses mane and tail with nice quality human hair shampoo and conditioners (like Loreal shine shampoo). Adds more shine to horsey's hair than it does mine
- I've found leather CPR works just as well as glycerin soap and conditioner. So much faster. Isn't sticky or grimy either.
- Mint toothpaste polishes bits and leaves a nice taste for horsey
- Keep white saddle pads like new by washing with bleach & detergent after every ride.
- Curry thoroughly everyday for the most consistent shine and healthy coat. Follow up with a hog hair medium type brush (curry the dirt out after every brush stroke) and then complete with a soft finishing brush. I've found the Oster big blue curry works great year round.
When soft brushing, wipe your soft brush on a damp sponge before every stroke. Do this with every grooming. You'll be amazed at the results. Not only does it bring up lower dirt, it's like a mini bath every grooming(without drying out the coat). No matter how dirty your horse, they will gleam after you do this.
I have found a horse/all purpose shampoo that is GREAT. It makes my dapple grey sooooo soft and pretty shiny (though shininess is comparable to other shampoos). It is called Orvus it’s a WA Paste (whatever that is), it is super concentrate (gets very sudsy! a penny sized drop will make a bucket very soapy)And is in a huge tub that will last what seems like for ever at a very good price, under 25$. My barn uses it quite often, even our "A" competitors use it so it’s not just for people like me who like it because it also comes in bulk.
Still bears mentioning... thanks, Luckyjumper, for the heads-up on Orvus. We used it on our show cows but I haven't bought any more of it for the horses. It did work great for the cows though. Very sudsy and whitened the Charlolais fairly well. Did't get out all the green though. Maybe Carrera's receipe bears trying. sylvia
Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.
- Johnson's baby shampoo. It rinses out easily & doesn't flake or make them itch....plus it's cheaper than horse shampoo!
- Baby wipes for last minute touch up on any white markings
- WD40 - keeps caulks (studs) clean & caulk holes nice & lubricated (I just spray in a bit before I stuff with cotton)
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
-Aquafresh retainer cleaner will get your bits super shiny- one tablet in a bowl of warm water, let it soak for a while and polish- has a nice minty taste too
-NevrDull silver polish will make brass nameplates shine
-Weaver leather shine wipes will put that last gleam on boots and bridle
-MTG for hair growth
All of these that have been posted are great!
"The more I see, the less I know, the more I like to let it go." -Red Hot Chili Peppers
A thinning scissors either through one of the horse catalogs or at a beauty supply store. For those horses that are not too keen on mane pulling, or already have too thin of a mane, you can use it to "cut" the ends of the mane and it makes it look like it was pulled.
Can't find Never Dull - try taking that old not quite completely used up tube of toothpaste to clean your bits - not only does it make them shiny but taste good too!
I too am a fan of the vinegar rinse for those yellow grey tails - mine I dunk in White Vinegar first - long enough so horse smells like a salad, then wash w/ whatever "grey" horse shampoo might be lying around. I start w/ tail and end w/ tail. I also am a fan of Cowboy Magic Detangler and Shine - a little bit goes a long way but tails will be gorgeous - I wouldn't suggest using it though if you are planning to braid a tail - too slick.
For boots - don't through out those hose w/ runs - use them after you polish boots to get a really good shine.
the best whitening shampoo i have ever seen/tried is Whisk (yes, the laundry detergent.) pour a capful in a bucket of warm water and apply to wet horse, and voila! WHITE!!! don't use more often than once a week (it will tend to dry the hair), and rinse well. it has optical brighteners built in, and it's amazing! and i haven't seen long term damage, or allergic reaction, and i've been doing this, and recommending this to my customers (i'm a braider) since 1993.
-2 parts listerine mixed in squirty bottle with one part glycerin- spray in the tail and massage and also in the mane to stimulate growth
-fungus problems wash whole horse with Dreft has enzymes that kill fungus
-bug repellant wipes for use in ears
-that itchy spot that little bugs bite under the horse, just behind the girth rub a little bit of ivermectin paste on the spot and it kills the mites living there
-white wart type growths in ears will fall off after about a week if you rub the inside of a banana peel on them
-skin so soft in the bath rinse water- keeps bugs away
-white tails that are yellowed and white socks wash with Mrs. Stewarts Bluing
My horse is sadly turning from a deep steel grey to ever growing spaces of white, so I have been using more and more rubbing alcohol on a rag to wipe away the now-oh-so-visible green bits off before a lesson. It works super fast once the crusties have been curried away.
I use an old clipper blade to "pull" thin manes. It's basically the same deal but you are cutting the hair instead of ripping it out.
If a horse is super prone to fungus I put baby powder on the legs before polos or boots. However, I don't have/ride anyone now who goes in polos or boots so it's not currently an issue.
Flipping the bell boots up during/after a bath saves the hassle of pulling them on and off. They get clean, the legs get clean, there is no sand or grit anywhere, and it all happens in one fell swoop. In the stall, the bells are flipped up. In work or pasture, they're flipped down. No fungus among us, and a lot of time and wrestling saved too! The barn where my horse lives has GREAT grooms, but in more forgetful places, this really makes sure the horse gets turned out in his bells too.
Also, pick the feet IN THE STALL so you don't make a needless mess in the aisle for the groom (or ideally yourself) to sweep up.
Use a bath poof for scrubbing those deep, set in stains!
For horses that don't like rags flopping around their faces, use an old sweat sock. Put your hand in it and use it like a rag.
For some reason I can't figure out, natural bristle brushes seem to suck up the dirt better than the synthetic bristle brushes.
After polishing your boots and letting them dry for a while, pull old (worn out) nylon boot socks over them. Take them off after you pull the boots on. That will keep them clean until you put them on (no dust getting stuck in the new polish). It will also help if you seem to alway get polish on your breeches from pulling on freshly polished boots.
Helmet bags are nice to keep your helmet clean and unscratched, but helmets should be allowed to breathe when sweaty. Don't put your helmet in the bag until it's dry!