Everyday Grocery Items For the Horse Barn

Everyday items you can find in the grocery store come in very handy around your horse barn. From the editors of EQUUS magazine.

Salt. In addition to being an essential dietary component, salt has medical applications. You can make your own saline solution for flushing wounds by adding one tablespoon of regular salt per gallon of water. A low-sodium salt substitute (e.g., Lite Salt) is a key ingredient in homemade electrolyte mixes to help replace essential minerals lost through excess sweating.

Sugar. Sugar cubes are a standard tasty reward for horses, but loose sugar is also an excellent antibacterial and antifungal substance. Saturate sugar with enough povidone iodine to create a syrupy paste and use it to pack wounds for speedier healing with reduced risk of proud flesh.

Red pepper. This spicy condiment can discourage cribbers, blanket biters and leg-wrap gnawers. Spread some Vaseline on the surface you want to protect, then sprinkle it with a liberal coating of red pepper. The fiery taste is so unpleasant that many horses give up the chewing habit after just one bite.

Baking soda. Not only is baking soda a great scrubbing substance for cleaning water buckets, but, when made into a paste with a bit of water, it becomes a soothing poultice to take the sting out of bug bites and other skin irritations that plague horses in warmer weather.