Tack and Supplies chapterIn today's world we are constantly reminded to be ecofriendly, to live “green” - so why not apply that mindset to horse ownership? You will be doing a favor to both the environment and your wallet. I'm not just talking about recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans, but reusing your old horse stuff, household items you would otherwise throw away, and dollar store goods you may not have thought would have an equestrian use. Below I’ve listed some ways to recycle both horse and household products around the barn, but I would love to hear more from you about the creative ways you have reused things.

- Reuse old kitchen and bathroom towels, washcloths, and worn-out t-shirts, saddle pads, and wraps as rags, towels, etc. 
- Save a zippered comforter bag for blanket storage at the end of the winter.
- Any empty (and clean) condiment and spray bottles serve as handy containers for hoof creams, lotions, soaps, and sprays.
- Paper feed bags, rather than being thrown away, can be used as garbage bags, as poultice wraps, for desensitizing your horse, to soak up spills, or they can be shredded and added to compost.
- Cracked buckets, those with missing handles, and supplement containers transform into great storage, trash bins, or grooming buckets.
- Save an old broom handle or pick up a few at the store to create a sturdy blanket rack.
- For your horse’s coat, try using vegetable oil rather than Showsheen, Palmolive dish detergent as shampoo, dollar store human hairbrushes, and Listerine at the dock of the tail to prevent rubbing.

This week wraps up a slightly shorter Thrifty Horsekeeping chapter on horse equipment and supplies, but we have a very important one to follow: Feed and Nutrition. We will start out next week discussing cost-saving strategies for purchasing, storing, and feeding hay, the staple of every horse’s diet. But until then, check out the complete and updated Tack and Supplies chapter here.