(First up: I am making an order for LG bridles from Germany. Anyone else want to get in on this order? It takes about a month to get these. Email me asap if you’d like one (firstname.lastname@example.org) Here is the reference link: http://www.horseandman.com/tack-thoughts/go-bitless-and-feel-secure-i-love-my-lg-bridle-and-so-do-5-of-my-horses/)
Now, back to the original programming for today… ;)
Summertime Products: Tail Rub Tonic, Poor Man’s Mister, User Friendly Fly Spray and Auto Part Feed Bowls.
Whew. That title was a mouthful!
I have an assortment of things to talk about today that don’t really fit into any category except they all are used in the Summertime. So, I picked that to twistie-tie them together.
TAIL RUB TONIC
Tail Rub. Ugh. You know what I mean… All winter long the horse has a faboo tail. You fix it and brush it and the thing is a work of art! You cannot wait until Spring to unveil the luxurious locks as you ride with pride. All your friends ooooh and ahhhhhhh. Then, summer comes and things heat up a bit. The biting, flying insects are everywhere but you have that under control with all of your fly spray products. Or so you think…
Then one morning, you go out to feed and you are met by a dreamy-eyed equine who has spent the entire night rubbing the bejeezus out of his tail dock. What you end up with is a dense layer of ratted, bad back-combed, stumpy frizzy tangle of what used to be the top half of his beautious tail. You practically cry. “Precious, what did you do?!” Yup. Been there.
I always thought that a horse rubbed the top of its tail because it either was wormy or the udder had to be cleaned. Since most of my tail rubbing horses have always been mares, I just assumed they needed a good cleaning “down under”. And, usually I was right.
But, now that I have lighter colored horses (and I’m not sure if that makes a difference…), I seem to be noticing more rubbing. And, my gelding rubs, too. So, since I know they aren’t wormy and I’ve cleaned every udder/sheath on the place, I can only assume that the tail dock itches. Maybe it is exposed to the sun so it dries or the nighttime bugs are biting, dunno.
Well, lo and behold, a while ago, I was sent some natural tail rub and fly spray products for equines. The product line is called Equi-Spa and it was started by an aromatherapist. I remembered that I had these products stashed away, so I decided to go to the website, read all about the items and then run a trial.
The three horses I chose for the test were Tess (tail rubbing is her habit), BG (bugs really irritate her) and Finn (in one night he can rub his entire tail to a stump). These three had just started the hints of tail rubbing so I waited a day to make sure they were truly irritated. Yup, all three had the gnarls in the morning.
I started using the Sweet-Itch spray 10 days ago. And, I can honestly say, I used it every day and none of them have rubbed. Not a single hair out of place. Amazing. So today, I went back to the website and am cutting and pasting this paragraph for you so you can read about it, too: ” Not-so-sweet-itch “is a special blend of soothing witch hazel and moisturizing coconut oil blended with pure essential fragrance oils. These oils also have some properties that help with hair regrowth while moisturizing dry skin and hair. Gentle enough for sensitive areas.”
I also have the gel. So, I’m going to switch to that this week and see if there is any change or if I like the gel application better.
In any event. It works. And, while you are on the website, look at all of her other essential oil and really wonderful natural products for equines! (I’m not affiliated.)
EQUINES IN THE MIST!
I am writing about horsey sprinklers because this is so easy yet it took me years to figure it out…
I’m sure many of you live in areas where you don’t have extra water to create the ‘running through the sprinkler’ environment for your horses. But, if you do, they looooove to be misted. Now, there are really wonderful barn misting systems out there. And, you can also purchase those party misters that people attach to their awnings and attach that to your barn or fence. But, for me, I went the totally cheapo route and bought a mister for the garden hose. And they love it!
So, if you want a quick, easy fix, like I did, just go to Home Depot or any Lawn and Garden Center. Find the hose nozzle heads and buy the sturdiest “mister” they have. I got a metal, three spout dandy! Then, find a communal place on your fence where you can have the largest crowd with the least amount of fighting that is also near your hose. Make sure to secure the hose and mister against a post or somewhere so that the horses can’t mess with it (you’d be surprised). Then turn on the hose and walk away but make sure you are close enough to watch, point and laugh! I swear, horses and hoses are really funny! My Icy uses it as a dental water pik…
Anyway, I also saw this photo on FB where this equine Mom pointed her industrial sprinkler at her crowd. Obviously, if you have one of those great big powerful sprinklers, you can set it outside the paddock and aim for the equine hineys. Clearly, most all of them love the spray! In fact, it ends up being a total Spa Day where they get watered down and then they take a mud bath and then the cooling spray again… A wonderful, natural way to keep the bugs away — even if Mom wipes it off the next day.
NATURAL BUG SPRAY
OK, I’m back to the Equi-Spa website.
At the same time I was sent the lovely tail itch formula mentioned above, I was also sent the Peppermint Summer Protection Spray. Yay!
I decided to try it because I had run out of my usual spray and because I have a mare who HATES most fly sprays except for one. I thought as long as I was testing things, I may as well test the fly spray with her because she knows her stuff. Ain’t nothin’ gonna get past her in the fly spray department! So, I set out to test the fly spray on all 12 of my horses including Remi, the fly spray hating mare.
Initially, all the horses looked surprised when I used this unusually nice and fragrant spray. “Huh?” They all let me spray them without any dancing or “Ewwww”ing. And, the fussy mare, Remi, let me brush her with it. She likes it! Remi-Tested. Stamp of approval! No skin irritation. No attempts to bite the bottle.
I’ve also been using it to prepare for my HOT trail rides the last two weeks. I’ve been very happy. The horses let me put it on their faces as well as all over — and I use it on my arms. We are all happy and I don’t feel like I’ve got some Industrial Strength chemical on me or my horse. (Deet is really bad for us and the horse. When you spray it, you inhale it. Ugh.)
There is a bittersweet part to this product. You have to apply it every day. But, that is also the good part. It isn’t full of nasty petroleum stuff that gives it a sticky, unhealthy shelf life.
Here is what the website says: “Peppermint Summer Protection contains many essential oils that insects find unattractive, yet are very attractive to the horse and rider. It contains catnip oil which Iowa state University has studied and determined to be 10 time more effective against mosquitoes than DEET. It does not contain potentially harmful oils, such as penny royal, as some other natural products. It is a safe effective barrier against flying insects that bite and sting. Spray on all over brushing into the coat for maximum protection. After all the flies dont bite the hair,,,they bite at the skin level. No need to wash it off your own hands, in fact I use it on my self as well. I even use it on lactating mares!”
So, order the Peppermint Summer Protection Spray, too, if it sounds good to you. I can vouch that it works! (I’m not affiliated.)
OK, Hubby teases me that I’m channeling my eccentric, miserly, deceased father when I talk about inexpensive things that can be used as other things… But, here I go again.
You see, two years ago, I needed a few more feed bowls for my new horses. I didn’t have time to run to the feed store in town and the local feed store was out of the rubber bowls. Hmmmmmm. Then, luckily, Hubby took me to an auto parts store. Well, the auto parts store thing wasn’t the lucky part… the good part was my FIND! I found these black, plastic oil drain pans for changing oil. They were $2 each. I bought 6.
OKOK, I can hear it now… they won’t hold up in the sun, they will crack and cut the horses’ lips, they will get broken and swallowed, they will tear and the sharp edges will cut the hooves… Uh huh. Well, I’ve had them two years and I’m still using the original 3 with the other 3 pristine bowls in my tack room.
The only issue I have is that my big Draft horse will step on his bowl every day. I just step in it the other way and push it back to its regular form. Oh, and the noise. I guess that is a bad part. My Draft will slide the bowl around with his foot if I don’t remove it from breakfast and it is near dinner time. He likes the noise it makes. I hate the noise it makes. Rubber bowls don’t do that.
But, none of the other horses mess with the bowls and they have lasted for two years without incident. So, if you need cheap feed bowls that don’t hang on fences, go to the nearby auto parts store! Like father, like daughter… ;)
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July’s Bucket Fund will benefit the charity THE GOLDEN CARROT SANCTUARY. To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate $5, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)