1. Use emery board to remove minor stains from suede.
Dirtying anything suede can be a disaster. It’s almost impossible to get a stain out. Picking up an emery board and giving you suede a light rub can help roughen up the fibres and remove the stain.
2. Use vet wrap to stop blankets slipping.
Prevent blankets from rolling right off their racks. Wrap vet wrap over the rack to give them a bit of extra grip.
3. Use a dustpan to fill water buckets.
Can’t fit your bucket into the sink? Use a hollow-handled dustpan to funnel water out of the sink and into the bucket.
4. Use tall socks as a tail bag.
Cut off the ends of an old pair of knee-high socks and use them as a makeshift tail bag.
5. Use pool noodles to keep your boots in shape.
Want to keep your riding boots in line? Cut some pool noodles to size and slip them in.
6. Make a DIY bridle rack.
Nail some empty tuna cans to a plank of wood for an extremely simple DIY bridle rack.
To take it up a step and go for a classier look, use old horse shoes screwed into the board.
7. Use coloured zip ties to identify your equipment.
If you’re at a show and you don’t want any of your stuff to go missing, attached coloured zip ties to your things so you can quickly identify them.
8. Use a pool skimmer to remove mess from your horses’ drinking water.
It’s the simplest way to clean up the drinking water. If a pool skimmer is too big, consider using a pet fish net.
9. Line your buckets with garbage bags to prevent spillage.
Instead of pouring water directly into a bucket, line the bucket with a garbage bag. You can then tie the bag close and use a wheelbarrow to transport it without any spills.
10. Bandage your own leg.
Forgot your chaps? No problem, just bandage up your own leg to avoid pinches.
BONUS – Use an old halter to suspend a pot plant.
A great little idea that will make you backyard a little more interesting & unique.
READ MORE: 16 OTHER equestrian tips & tricks
The 10 Signs Your Horse Might Be Getting Laminitis
Laminitis is the break-down of the living cells that connect the inside of the hoof to the coffin bone (the bone closest to the ground). This breakdown can cause a split, leaving a gap and making your horse’s feet open to infection and highly painful.
CAUSES: Laminitis can occur through repeated foot trauma, especially sudden traumas on hard surfaces. It can also be caused by excessive hoof trimming.
Catching it early is important and will prevent lameness in your horse.
Here’s what to look out for:
- ONE – Hot hooves.
Hooves get warm with exercise and with normal body heat regulation. But if your horse’s hooves stay unusually warm for hours at a time, this may be an early indication of laminitis.
- TWO – Increased heart rate.
As with any problem of the body, your horse’s internal systems will try to fight against laminitis, resulting in a much higher heart rate.
- THREE – Strange stance.
A leaning-back stance is a very strong indication of laminitis. Horses do this to avoid putting pressure onto their sore feet.
- FOUR – Sensitivity at the top of the pedal bone.
The pedal bone ends in the very centre of the hoof. If you press gently in that position, you will be able to gauge if your horse has an unusual sensitivity or pain.
- FIVE – Heavy pulse.
Press your fingers against the vein that runs along the side of your horse’s leg just above the hoof. The pulse should be relatively feint in a healthy horse. A heavy pulse is an indication of problems.
- SIX – Distorted hoof growth.
Laminitis prevents the hoof grow properly, causing it to become misshapen. This usually only becomes evident rather late; the hoofs will begin to spread out and sometimes even turn upwards.
- SEVEN – Foot lifting (too much or too little)
Horses shuffle their feet to keep blood circulating. An early response to laminitis can be to shift often to help extra blood flow, or to avoid shifting due to pain.
- EIGHT – Visible gap.
Look for a gap between the hoof wall and the sole on the underside of the hoof. This is a very strong indication and needs to be taken care of immediately.
- NINE – Shortened stride.
A shortened stride indicates pain much as a limp does in a human. This can be particularly evident when walking on hard surfaces.
- TEN – Obesity.
Obesity is not a sign, but can be a precursor to laminitis. Extra weight can put stress on the hoof that encourages the breakdown of the laminae.
Keep an eye out for any of these signs to make sure that your horse is comfortable and healthy. With any indication of discomfort, consult a vet. The easiest way for your horse to recover is to be proactive and take protective measures as soon as you see the signs.
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