15 horsey ‘life hacks’ for 2015

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1/ Stop Rugs Slipping

If you store your rugs on rug poles and often find that they slip off simply wrap vetwrap around the rug pole and hey presto, its grippy-ness keeps rugs in place! Also works great if you have saddle poles in your lorry/trailer and find your tack slipping as you travel.

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2/ Nappies for poulticing feet

Nappies make great padding for poulticing feet abscesses. Put your poultice in place next to the hoof then put the nappy on over the top, the sticky tabs and elasticated sides help it fit perfectly to the foot, then simply vet wrap and tape the foot.

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3/ Brown paper for bandaging legs

Cut open old paper feed bags and the brown paper lining makes great paper wraps when you are claying legs. Cut 4x squares of paper to size and dip them in a bucket of water before wrapping over clayed legs, this helps keep the clay wet and cool for longer. In a pinch if you are at an event with no paper to hand raid your number bib for old number sheets and use those instead!

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4/ Spruce up show jumps

Jazz up old poles and fillers in a flash with coloured duct tape. It’s quicker, cleaner and easier than having to paint and repaint show jumps. You can get a wide range of coloured and patterned duct tape so go crazy with your designs! eBay is a great place to look for inspiration.

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5/ Tack room shelving solutions

If you need extra storage in your feed/tack room then old pallets can make a cheap upcycled shelving solution.

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6/ Tail ribbons

If you need a green tail ribbon for a young horse or red one for a kicky creature then cut the tails off of old rosettes to make a quick and easy tail ribbon

7/ Pre-measured jump stands

Save time when jumping by pre-measuring and taping your jump stands at the heights you want to jump. Use colour coded tape for each height so that you can say to any non-horsey helpers ‘please put the pole to the level of the purple tape’

8/ Potties for pole work

Use potties to create raised trotting pole cups. You can pick these up for a snip in places like pound shops and Ikea. Commercially produced pole cups cost around £30 for a pack of 4. Look for rubbery not brittle plastic potties as these won’t shatter if accidentally trodden on.

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9/ Banish stirrup leather pinches

If you get to the yard and have forgotten your chaps don’t worry. Grab a couple of bandages, and bandage your own lower leg. No fear of pinched legs when riding.

10/ Cheap and easy feed scoops

Save money on buying feed scoops by simply making one from an old plastic milk bottle.

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11/ Sticky boot storage

Save space storing boots by sticking velcro strips to your tack room or lorry walls. Simply stick your boots to the velcro and rip them off when you need to use them.

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12/ Baby wipes aren’t just for babies

Baby wipes are your new best friend. Great for cleaning horses’ eyes and nostrils, giving a last minute wipe over to boots, and making yourself look presentable before leaving the yard!

13/ Mould management

Save those little silica sachets that you get when you buy new shoes and stick them in with any stored tack you have. These will help to prevent it from going mouldy whilst in storage boxes.

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14/ Time reminders

Whilst at an event if you find it hard to remember your times buy a white board marker and write them on your trailer/lorry plastic partition or door. Then once the event is done simply wipe them off!

15/ Faster clipping and grooming

Make clipping smoother and mud easier to remove with canter shine. A quick application of canter shine prior to clipping will help the blades glide through the coat and canter shine applied to a clean coat will help make grooming mud off much easier, as it doesn’t stick as much to the coat.

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