Tack Trunk on a Budget

The amount of supplies, tools, and remedies that are on the market for horse care is astounding. For those of you watching your budget consider basic needs and avoid unecessary gadgets and luxury items. This list can be tailored down or up depending on what you can rely on from your barn.
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Brushes – you only need a basic few: curry, dandy, finishing, if you do not clip your horse consider investing in a shedding blade.

Other grooming tools – hoof picks, comb, and detangling spray (PS: to avoid damaging the tail, never comb the tail from top to bottom, and never comb without detangling spray. Hand pick shavings and other debris out of the tail and, using copious amounts of detangling spray, gently comb sections starting from the bottom until the whole tail is detangled and smooth).

Hoof boot – in case you lose a shoe use this temporarily (only to hack) if the farrier cannot make it out to your barn immediately.

First Aid – to lower cost some of these supplies can be bought from your local grocery or pharmacy: surgical/antiseptic scrub, epsom salts, square bandages, vet wrap, duct tape, scissors, thermometer (don’t forget to attach a string to the end), antiseptic ointment, thrush treatment. A cream containing zince oxide (such as diaper rash ointment) may be used as a sunscreen or rash treatment in a pinch. Your vet is probably needed for anything these supplies can’t handle.

Blankets – depending on where you live, two is probably all you need to handle change of temperature. In very cold temperatures, you may layer the two for extra warmth. Consider a cooler if you work your horse to a sweat during cool weather months. If you clip your horse during the winter where the temps dip below 20 degrees, consider thermal “underwear”. Look for sales during the summer months and consignment options.

Barn Tack – make sure you have “extras” just in case something breaks, gets lost, or needs washing: halter, lead rope, saddle pad, girth, polo wraps.

Extra Clothes For You – gloves, hat/ball cap, jacket (for rain or if you come to the barn underdressed). Whenever I buy new paddock boots I always keep the old ones in my car trunk just in case I forget to bring my boots to the barn after work.

If you don’t use something on a regular basis determine whether you can rely on your barn for things like clippers, leg bandaging, shipping boots, braiding tools/supplies, and lunging equipment. This will lower costs for you considerably. My friend Robin keeps nothing but fly spray, a helmet, and gloves in her trunk. I could not function this way but you get the idea of how “stealth” you can be depending on your circumstances!

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Author: Chester L

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