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Looking for "Old Horsemen's" remedies/ treatments

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  • Looking for "Old Horsemen's" remedies/ treatments

    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.
    " It's about the horse, and that's it."
    George Morris

  • #2
    bacon grease for hair loss- rubbed into affected area. i have never tried this!


    • #3
      Turnout and benign neglect for injuries. As in, forget about it for a year.
      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


      • #4
        Originally posted by mammadoc View Post
        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!

        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.


        • #5
          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!

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


          • #6
            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.


            • #7
              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.


              • #8
                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.
                Last edited by Thomas_1; Nov. 2, 2010, 08:24 PM.


                • #9
                  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.
                  Visit my Spoonflower shop


                  • Original Poster

                    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?
                    " It's about the horse, and that's it."
                    George Morris


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by red mares View Post
                      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!
                      Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck; some nights I call it a draw. -- fun.

                      My favorite podcasts: Overdue, The Black Tapes, Tanis, Rabbits, How Did This Get Made?, Up and Vanished.


                      • #12
                        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.
                        Visit my Spoonflower shop


                        • #13
                          Tincture of time.

                          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                          • #14
                            barn lime for proud flesh. (works too, tried it on a wound that just wouldn't heal)


                            • #15
                              My father swears by white bread and tea bag poultices for drawing infection out of a wound.
                              ...don't sh** where you eat...


                              • #16
                                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)


                                • #17
                                  Tobacco for deworming

                                  Browned flour ((under broiler in oven) mixed into a paste for "scours"
                                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                                  • #18
                                    oldtimer stuff learned from old vet

                                    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.)
                                    I love my OTTB! I get my dressage test done faster!


                                    • #19
                                      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


                                      • #20
                                        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!
                                        Last edited by goneriding24; Oct. 29, 2010, 10:21 PM. Reason: thought of more things
                                        GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!