Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a few extra items that can be handy at the barn:
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.
Sugar. Sugar cubes are a standard tasty reward for horses, but loose sugar is also an excellent antibacterial and antifungal substance.
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.
Corn oil. A safe and easy way to add extra calories to a horse’s diet is to top-dress it with corn oil. Consult with your veterinarian to determine how much can achieve the desired effect in your horse.
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.
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