Hopefully you caught Gorgeous Grooming on a Shoestring Budget (Pt. 1) and enjoyed it – so here is Part 2! The following tips are provided from one of Twitter’s favorite and funniest equestrian anon’s, Groom Secrets who has years of experience grooming for some of the top riders and trainers. Check out her second set of tips below so you can make sure you that you are your mount are looking like a million bucks without spending it:
- Hemorrhoid cream helps grow back hair. I have used it in areas that have been accidently clipped too short or areas where the skin is healing from a wound. It also helps reduce skin swelling. Vitamin E oil works well to grow back hair if the area is very dry, like behind their elbows.
- If your horse has fungus, rub baby oil into the skin to help loosen the scabs and dead skin from the hair. This way, when you scrub and wash the area, less hair will be pulled out and you don’t have a big ugly bald spot.
- Athletes foot cream helps kill fungus or soothe scratches.
- Rubbing alcohol can be used as a cheap version of liniment, just spray on the legs and put on the standing wrap.
- The best way to keep a white horse white the day before a show is to wash with baby shampoo, let them dry completely, and then spray them with a shine spray (I like Santa Fe because it doesn’t make the hair slippery). The next morning if there are any stains they can be rubbed out with rubbing alcohol.
- Rubbing alcohol can also be used on sweaty horses that aren’t sweaty enough for a bath or if it’s too cold. Just spray on the sweaty area and rub out with a towel.
- If your horse needs medications, crush the pills or open the tablets and mix the powder in with applesauce. Dump it right on top of their food and most horses will eagerly eat it.
- Rub vasoline on the corners of the mouth if the bit rubs and causes sores.
- Powdered Gatorade can be mixed in a bucket of water and offered to a horse after a particularly difficult workout to help replace electrolytes.
Cute to Boot was lucky enough to team up with everybody’s favorite groom on the circuit, @GroomSecrets! Enjoy Part 1 of this series on budget-friendly grooming tips to keep your horse looking his absolute best without spending all your hard earned cash. Take a look:
We all know it all too well: horses are expensive. Luckily, you don’t need to go (even more) broke to take excellent care of your horse. Here are a few grooming hacks that only require a trip to the drug store and maybe a little elbow grease to help your horse look and feel his best. I always keep these well stocked in the barn and at shows.
- Mix 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar to clean moldy, musty tack. The vinegar helps kill fungus and prevent the spores from growing back.
- Buy your shampoos and conditioners at a drug store! They work just as well as the stuff they sell at the horse stores but for a few dollars. Scrub legs with baby shampoo daily to help prevent fungus and scratches. Especially good for horses with sensitive skin. Head and Shoulders or a similar antidandruff shampoo can be used in manes/tails the night before braiding to help reduce flakes and also help soothe the skin so they aren’t as itchy and dry (try this if your horse likes to rub). I like the Suave conditioner for tails because it’s really cheap and comes in pretty scents.
- Duct tape can be used for pretty much everything, we always keep a few rolls around the barn. I also like to keep a roll of black duct tape in my ringside bag in case a boot zipper breaks.
- Frozen peas and a polo wrap and be used to make a cheap alternative to pricey ice boots.
- Desitin or any other diaper rash ointment is a thick, bright white paste that can help soothe irritated skin. We also use it as shows to cover up scars or marks on white areas because it is so white and very sticky. It’s much cheaper and gentler than show touch up spray.
- Baby powder can be put under standing wraps to help keep the legs cool and dry. It can also be used in areas of friction if your horse has sensitive skin (under saddle pad or jumping boots, etc). Can also be put on white socks to make them extra white.
- Stockings can be used to polish tall boots. After applying a layer of polish (I like Kiwi), use a stocking stretched over your hand to buff like crazy. The friction will heat up and melt the polish, making your boots super shiny! We also stretch them over legs while walking from the barns to the show ring to keep dirt and dust off the legs and hooves.
- Diapers are an easy and cheap way to pack hooves.
- Pure vanilla extract is a nontoxic way to heal cuts and scrapes that are by the horse’s mouth. (sounds weird but our vet swears by it)
- Triple antibiotic works for any other areas
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post with further cost-saving grooming tips!
It’s early morning and you are prepping for the show – what do you throw in a bag at the last minute before you rush off to go school your now semi-feral horse? Here I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite horse show essentials that will keep you and your horse looking polished and put together without piling on to the already expensive horse show bill:
- Shout Wipe & Go – These are an actual lifesaver. I picked some up on a whim one day at the grocery store and threw them in my car since I frequently end up with food stains all over my clothes because after over 20 years, I still cannot manage to eat properly. Fast forward a few months to a local show where I had grabbed a chocolate chip breakfast bar on the way to the show and had eaten it while driving. Due to my great luck and pure talent, one of the chocolate chips had fallen into the seat and I sat on it, resulting in a brown smear on the butt of my breeches. Great look for the show ring, right? Thankfully, I remembered this wipes and grabbed one and went to work. In seconds, the stain was totally gone! Since then, I keep a pack in my car, my tack trunk, and in my show bag. At $2.97 for a set of 12 wipes, these little guys will provide plenty of bang for your buck and keep you looking spotless at the show.
- Effax Speedy Leather Shine – I first saw this guy in action at an IHSA show my college was hosting and I was instantly hooked. It is essentially a sponge with leather conditioner/shine already infused, so all you need to do is take off the lip and wipe whatever leather you have that needs a bit of shine – bridles, boots, even your saddle! And since it has a plastic handle, your hands don’t end up all gross and sticky, which is a major plus when you are showing and trying to keep clean. With one of these babies for $7.95, you can fulfill your Rihanna dreams and shine bright like a diamond in the show ring.
- Mario Badescu Facial Spray – No matter what the weather is like, I always end up hot and sweaty at the horse show. Between bathing and prepping, dodging pony kids and their wily mounts, and oh yeah, actually riding, it’s hard not to end up sweating! This facial spray is a godsend for those moments when you need a quick refresh to feel like you’re not completely falling apart. The spray contains aloe herbs and rosewater and is safe on even the most sensitive of skin and adds a boost of hydration and healthy moisture! My pro tip for this spray: on hot horse show days, leave this in your cooler/fridge if you have one. Once chilled, this spray is exceptionally refreshing on a hot summer day! It may sound expensive, but for $7, this spray is well worth it and a great way to treat yo’self without spending a lot.
- Ibuprofen – Perhaps this is my old lady-ness shining through, but I’m noticing more and more just how much I hurt during and after horse show days! We all know how long and demanding they can be and you will not regret having some handy, travel sized ibuprofen to help ease the pain. Ibuprofen acts as an anti-inflammatory as well so it can be perfect if you have any soreness or stiffness from an injury or just a long day. Of course, make sure to adhere to the directions for taking it! At $3 for a bottle of 50 200mg pills, this is definitely something you don’t want to be caught without.
- Washcloths/Towels – I am sure this is a no-brainer for a lot of you, but I had to include it! There is nothing more essential or versatile at a horse show than a good rag. You can use it for just about anything – wiping the green grass schmutz off your horse’s mouth and bit, dusting off your boots, throwing over your eyes as an eye mask while you catch a few z’s in the grooming stall in between classes… Whatever you use them for, always have plenty on hand! You can get a pack of 8 in assorted colors for $4.99, or often I just cut up old bath towels or use old kitchen towels! Repurposing at its finest, folks.
- A Cooler – I bought this cute little soft cooler at a local drug store in a pinch the night before a horse show and I have never been happier with a last minute purchase! I love having a soft cooler – one that is not rigid and hard the way traditional coolers are, for horse shows because I find they are easier to pack and carry and still do the job! Perfect for water, sports drinks, a little bit of wine, whatever it is you need to keep cool during the long horse show day, these babies can handle it! You can find a top rated one that will keep contents cool for up to 24 hours for $19.97 on Amazon. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
- Snacks – Alright, this is a no-brainer, I know, but so crucial it was worth mentioning. I usually try to pack the night before the show and always make sure to include snacks. You know how it is, you’re constantly running around doing a million things at once and food is usually the last thing on your mind. It is essential though to feeling and performing your best during the day. Granola and power bars are my go-to favorites because they’re tasty, portable, and can serve as the perfect pick-me-up during a hectic day. My go-to’s are Kind and Luna bars – both are gluten free, which is one of my dietary restrictions, come in a variety of flavors, and are can often be found for $1 at most grocery stores.