9 Spring Organizing and Grooming Products that Will Up Your Game
By Bethann Coldiron
April 29, 2020
The spring months leading up to a start of the new show season is the perfect time to go through your tack and feed room and take stock of products you may need. While we, the equine community, might be waiting a few extra months for the show season to start due to COVID-19, right now is a great time to invest in those products you may have had an eye on or have wanted to try.
During this break, I had a goal to give my old tack and feed room a makeover. My husband is an officer in the Air Force and we are lucky that our current duty station has a barn for military members to use. While I love the fact that my board is extremely cheap, the facilities are a bit old, and the members of the stables have to do almost all of the upkeep ourselves. There is nothing fancy about my barn at all, rather, it is very functional but we have the option to “trick out” our individual stalls and tack rooms in any way that we want.
One of the main things I wanted to accomplish with my tack room makeover was to better utilize my somewhat large room for more storage, organize all of my bridles so they were easier to view, hang a new saddle rack, organize all of my grooming accessories, and hang a saddle pad rack. I also put down some of that foam puzzle-piece flooring in a wood finish just to give my tack room a little more appealing look.
Some of the biggest areas I wanted to tackle was keeping my gear from getting dusty and making everything look and feel organized. For the dust, I keep all of my saddles and pads covered (because who really wants to constantly clean tack?) with 1200 denier slipcovers, and my wool show pads in handy bags that will fit two pads each and keep them nice and clean. For the organization, I found portable hooks for my bridles, halters and fly sheets made keeping everything neat and tidy a breeze. Better yet, the portable hooks are a great tool to take to shows.
Once I got the clutter under control, I feel like I now have a much easier time finding things when I need them. No more rummaging through various totes looking for a lunge rope or my go-to grooming products. In fact, all of the items below are things I used for my spring cleaning, as well as my favorite products to stock up on because I use them on a daily basis. So, use this time to clean, organize, reflect on your riding, and of course, practice!
Here are my favorite products for spring cleaning, getting organized, and stocking up on for my horse:
The Equiracks 5-Arm Wall Mount is an awesome way to store your saddle pads and keep them clean. The arm also allows saddle pads to dry off after a particularly sweaty ride, thereby reducing the amount of bacteria to grow and potentially cause skin irritation for your horse. It also allows you to save space in your tack room and keeps you more organized, so now you don’t have to go digging for the correct pad for a particular horse!
The Tough-1 Western Wall Saddle Rack is an extremely affordable and durable solution to saddle storage. This rust-resistant rack is lightweight but extremely sturdy, which means you can easily install it yourself. Better yet, at just $17.99, you can afford to outfit your entire tack room and not break the bank. It even has a built-in bridle hook.
Not too big and not too little is important when it comes to hay nets. You want something to keep your horse entertained for several hours but not too entertained. That’s where the Tough-1 Hay Hoops Slow Feed Web Hay Feeder comes in. With just the right size holes, this three-flake hay feeder will keep your horse busy and happy during stall time or trailer time. And, if you are like me and have a horse who is somewhat picky about slow feeders, this feeder features holes that are just the right size.
Raise your hand if you hate conditioning your horses mane and tail each time you bathe them! The Farnam Vetrolin Bath Ultra-Hydrating Conditioning Shampoo allows you to skip the conditioner every few washes. This shampoo, which is enriched with vitamin E, makes the coat incredibly shiny and also protects the hair against harsh elements and includes a PABA sunscreen. Perfect for the upcoming summer months!
If you live in the South, you know just how miserable the hot, sticky heat can be for both humans and horses. That’s where Absorbine CoolDown Herbal Rinse comes in handy. Perfect for a post-workout ride, this wash uses a blend of 12 essential oils to cool down and calm your horse's coat. Plus, it is soap free so it doesn’t need to be rinsed off which is perfect for those early mornings before you head to the office.
One of my personal favorite new products is the Farnam Vetrolin Shine spray. It mists conditioner onto the hair rather than spraying it, which more evenly distributes the product and leaves your horse with a coat so shiny they’ll turn some heads. It is not greasy and also has a germicide ingredient to prevent bacterial growth. As with the Farnam Ultra-Hydrating Conditioning Shampoo, the spray features a PABA sunscreen to keep your horse looking his best throughout the warm months.
Perfect for shedding those winter coats, the SleekEZ Original Grooming Tool quickly and efficiently takes your horse from looking like a woolly mammoth to looking like a slicked out horse on the cover of a magazine. Unlike other grooming tools that can pull at the hair, the SleekEZ causes hair to fall neatly off which is perfect for horses that have sensitive skin. It can also be used to strip hair off of saddle pads and blankets, plus, it comes in three different sizes. Keep a small size in your tack trunk for touch-ups at shows and a larger size in your barn.
Great for horses who are more prone to biting flies, the WeatherBeeta Breeze fly sheet will keep your horse cool and happy during fly season. This flysheet features 270g polycotton to provide maximum airflow and protection for your horse. It also blocks 95 percent of harmful UV rays for those horses who have pink skin or a coat that easily fades in the spring and summer heat. Even better is that it is machine washable so you don’t have to lug a sweaty flysheet to a laundromat. And at just $93.99, you can feel good about protecting your horse without breaking the bank.
As with humans, dehydration can be a major concern for horses. Fluid loss through sweating during a hard ride or even standing out in the pasture can put your horse at risk. Finish Line Apple-A-Day is a cost effective way to ensure your horse’s electrolytes stay balanced. It also promotes more drinking and proper nerve and muscle function. Apple-A-Day contains no fillers and the palatable apple flavor means your horse won’t eat around it. You can also dump it in water for faster absorption.
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