I have seen several great articles about using human products on horses. What I have not seen as much are articles about horse items appropriated for people, pet or household use. As a backyard horse-owner, having my house within walking distance of my barn makes it easy to share products with my horses. Here are a few horse items that I have re-purposed.
Horse ear pom-poms– Designed to reduce the distraction of environmental noise, these pom-poms make excellent cat toys too. They are round, soft and fluffy. Many cats love to bat them around!
CoFlex bandages– I often experience soreness in my wrists. I do have specially bought wrist supports that I wear in the house and elsewhere. I hate to get them dirty, though, so if I find myself doing some heavy lifting in the barn, I whip out a roll of coflex and use it to wrap my wrists for extra protection.
Horse Shampoo- Yes, I confess that on an occasion that I have run out of shampoo in the house, I have run out to the barn and borrowed my horse’s shampoo. Frankly, I think it is better quality and has a more fragrant scent than anything I normally use on myself. I do notice that most animal products are labeled “not for human use” so I do not recommend that anyone copy my actions least you have a reaction to a product. I lived to tell the tale without adverse reactions, but I do not have any known sensitivities or allergies . . .
Fruits and Veggies– I know these aren’t normally defined as “horse-related products”, but I thought I’d mention that there are fruits and veggies safe for both human and horse ingestion. Using fruits and vegetables can be a fun and nutritious way to add a little fresh food variety to your horse’s diet, especially during Winter when there is no fresh grass.
Sidebar here: I would caution you to watch the sugar level in all treats if you have a horse with Insulin Resistance/Cushing’s Disease. For more information, I have listed links below. The first two links are from the Equine Cushing’s and Insulin Resistance Group Inc (ECIR) that is headed by Dr. Eleanor M. Kellon, DVM. The other is written by Dr. Juliet Getty, PhD, an equine nutritionist. Over the years, I have used information from both these professionals in formulating my horse’s diets while also noticing that they have differing opinions about what is appropriate to feed an equine with IR/Cushing’s Disease. IMO, the information from the ECIR group with Dr. Kellon presents a more conservative approach than Dr. Getty’s. That being said, I find helpful the listing in Dr. Getty’s article of the average sugar amounts in specific quantities of fruits and carrots. I use that information in the quest to make more informed choices about equine diets when giving treats that are outside what I understand to be the ECIR recommendations for a horse with Insulin Resistance/Cushing’s Disease. As with all things horse health-related, please consult your veterinarian about their opinion on what is appropriate for your horse. Information that you read in books or on the web may not apply to your situation. Your veterinarian is an important professional with eyes on the ground who can help guide your choices about applying the things that you read, including any information I present on this blog.
So, do YOU have any items that you borrow from or share with your horses? I’m curious!