Hey! Kelly from Hunky Hanoverian here!
Let's face it, almost everything that is branded for equestrians has a crazy mark-up. We talk a lot on the podcast about how hard it can be to afford this sport. But, if you are like us and you love your horse like a member of your family, it can be difficult to save money without feeling guilty. Being an adult ammy is hard enough, and spending a boatload on fancy shampoos is really not necessary. There are many "hacks", aka non-equestrian branded products, that save you money and are comparable. I have reached out to the equestrian community and have received some amazing feedback. I am so excited to share this list of equestrian product hacks with all my fellow hardworking adult ammies!
Ear Plugs- the nice rubbery ball type ones (submitted by @Havana_has_my_heart)
Bickmore Mac Wipes- an equestrian specific disposable grooming wipe (submitted by @theecequestrian, socalequestrian, & @juliacskowronek))
$22 for 63 wipes from SmartPak
$18 for 1152 baby wipes from Sam's Club. Fragrence and alcohol free, baby wipes are great for wiping gunk out of eyes and noses, cleaning your tack off in a pinch, wiping sweat off of your own face, cleaning oil off your own hands, etc. Not quite as large or as sturdy as the Bickmore wipes, you still get wayyyyyyyy more for your money's worth! I always have a stash in my trunk.
Mare Magic- A blend of dried raspberry leaves to support a quiet disposition in mares and geldings (submitted by our own Olivia aka @remarkablemare)
$50 for 3z oz (2 lb) from SmartPak
Hack: Raspberry leaves in bulk from amazon, $12 for 1 lb (so $24 for the same amount from SP)
Equiderma Zinc Oxide Paste- as a treatment for scratches & rain rot (submitted by by our own Olivia aka @remarkablemare & @caroline.lurie.eq)
Shampoo- stop splurging on equestrian specific shampoo & conditioner when the human stuff smells amazing and is much much cheaper!
$10-25 equestrian branded shampoos
$2 & up for the human versions
Leg brace & anti-fungal solution- 2 different hacks for this one!
There are many products that claim to be great as a leg brace under standing wraps and have anti-fungal properties, so I couldn't choose just one for a direct comparison. Must of them range anywhere from $10-25.
$7 for 1 liter at Walmart: Listerine Mouthwash diluted with water is a great leg brace and to help stop any itching/fungus/hair loss. I used to use Listerine myself when I was a junior on my Arabian's face & cannon bone crud in the summers and it worked great, so I can vouch for this one! (Submitted by @corleyan)
$2 for 16 oz at Walmart (or buy in bulk at Sam's club like I do, it's even cheaper) Wintergreen alcohol is also a wonderful leg brace. Make sure the legs are completely dry before wrapping though!! This website actually has tons of great uses for common rubbing alcohol when I comes to our equine friends, I highly recommend checking it out. (submitted by @flying.french.flower, @kbiggsy )
Show Sheen- coat shiner spray
$11.80 for 15 oz continuous spray Show Sheen at Smartpak
$5 for 15.9 ox ORS Olive Oil Sheen Spray at Target- submitted by by our own Olivia aka @remarkablemare, she credits this amazing hack product for her mare Juliet's beautifully shiny coat, and says dust doesn't stick to it, and it doesn't like a residue like Show Sheen does. Talk about a win-win!
Sunshirts- As we all know, there are many brands of equestrian specific sunshirts at different price points. These price points tend me to PRICEY though. You are lucky if you find one in your size under $50. Most retail for $75 and up. You do NOT need to buy equestrian specific shirts to protect yourself from the sun though! Many people have suggested checking out sale racks at places like TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Dick's Sporting Goods, Athleta etc. Any place that sells gold/tennis gear should have sunshirts, and some even have under arm mesh. Get creative and shop around for the best prices and styles! (submitted by: our own Taylor aka @theecequestrian, @pamgoeseventing, @equi.ranch, @theplatinumequine)
People have reported finding these non-equestrian specific sunshirts in the $15-20 range
Quick Knot braiding pins- equestrian specific metal pins used for button braids
Show Sheen for body clipping- if you body clip then you probably know that a coat shiner will help the blades slide through the coat easier by reducing friction, which also helps keep you clippers from getting hot. I just clipped Rio a few weeks ago and DOUSED him in Show Sheen for this purpose.
$18 for 32 oz at SmartPak
$2.47 for 20 oz from Walmart: Mix 1/3 baby oil and 2/3 water in a spray bottle, spray all over pre-clipping like you would do with Show Sheen (submitted by @corleyan)
$22 for 6 oz bit cleaner and a cloth rag from Victory Canter
$2.77 for 84 count denture cleaner at Walmart: Denture cleaner is GREAT for cleaning dirty bits. Throw a bit in a tub with some water and one of these tablets and it will be sparkly clean in no time! Don't believe me? Check out this guest blog post that talks all about it!
Bit Butter- Made with a blend of natural butters and essential oils, this balm moisturizes, revitalizes, and helps heal skin for a smoother, softer feel.
Saddle rack for your car
$10 trash can from Target, lay it on the flat side and you are good to go! (submitted by @kaylahaynes_). Want to learn more about this awesome hack? Check out Kayla's blog! She also lists tons of great uses for everyday products at the barn!
$13 for 16 oz Quicksilver at SmartPak
$7 for 8 oz Mrs. Stewarts at Walmart: At first glance, it may seem like you aren't saving money with the non-equine specific version, but a little of this stuff goes a long way! @hayner.g says she puts 2 capfuls in a bucket of sudsy water to get her 2 large greys bright and shiny. She also recommends following up with a conditioner so as to no dry out their hair.
I received so many wonderful hack suggestions, thank you to everyone who shared your ideas with me! Horses are expensive enough, it's nice to be able to save a few dollars here and there when possible. Did I miss a great hack? Please leave a comment to share!