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11 Equestrian uses for vinegar that will change your life from MD Barnmaster
Vinegar (noun): a sour-tasting liquid containing acetic acid, obtained by fermenting dilute alcoholic liquids, typically wine, cider, or beer, and used as a condiment or for pickling.
Based on the definition above, vinegar doesn’t sound as though it has the power to transform your horsey life but it definitely can. Vinegar is an absolute must-have in every barn because it has a variety of mega helpful uses. Best of all, vinegar is cheap! You can buy a 4-litre bottle of white vinegar at Walmart for only $1.97 CAD.
Start using these 11 vinegar based barn hacks to make your barn life a whole lot easier:
1. Conditioning your horse’s mane and tail: You can use water, baking soda and vinegar to wash and condition your horse’s mane and tail. This is a cheap, effective, simple and chemical-free method. All you need to do is mix 1 part baking soda with 3 parts water and work this mixture into your horse’s hair starting at the roots and working your way to the ends. Let this mix sit on your horse’s hair for around three minutes. Then use a vinegar rinse made up of 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water. This only has to sit on the hair for a few seconds; then you can rinse it out with cold water. Voila, your horse’s mane and tail will be clean and shiny!
2. Refresh your horse’s blankets, saddle pads and your barn clothes: Barn smells can be tough to get off clothing. But by just adding one cup of vinegar (or a half-cup if it’s a front-loading HE machine, which uses less water) to the wash machine cycle, you can send these strong smells packing. After you run the items through with the vinegar load, run one more cycle using a half-cup of baking soda (or a quarter-cup for an HE machine). Then you can just dry your horsey items as per usual.
3. Repel ants: Ants are awful little demonic creatures. Especially ants that have nasty bites. Keep ants out of your tackroom, feed room and off of fence posts by spraying vinegar directly onto any surfaces that these menaces like to crawl around on.
4. Give your tackroom a thorough cleaning: You can clean virtually any surfaces in your tackroom that have built-up grime by using a rag dipped in vinegar. It works great on wood, plastic, ceramic, etc.
5. Unclog the wash stall drain: Skip using toxic, nasty chemicals to keep the drains in your barn running smoothly. Instead, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, chase it with a cup of white vinegar and let the two work their wonder for five minutes. Then flush the drain clear with eight cups of near-boiling water. Ta-da, a perfectly working drain!
6. Kill weeds: You don’t want weeds in your horses’ pastures and around the barn. But you obviously don’t want to spray toxic herbicides around either because your horse will likely eat them. So try spraying full-strength (non-diluted) vinegar on the weeds. Its acidity should kill young, pesky plants. But unfortunately for large weeds, you may have to yank them out by their roots…
7. Clean your scissors: Scissors are a must-have item aruond the barn. But horses are dirty business and your scissors will likely get filithy fast. When your scissor blades get sticky or grimy, don’t use water to wash them off because this can rust them instead of cleaning them. What you should do is wipe down the blades with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar, and then dry them off with a rag.
8. Revitalize tack: Restore your tack it to its former glory by mixing equal parts white vinegar and boiled linseed oil in a recycled spray bottle, shake it up well, and spray it on. Spread it evenly over your tack using a soft cloth, give it a couple of minutes to settle in, then rub it off with a clean cloth. This is a cheaper alternative to buying leather conditioner.
9. Clean the metals bits on your tack: To clean chrome and stainless steel parts on your tack wipe it with a bit of vinegar then buff it with a soft cloth to bring out the brightness.
You can also put the shine back in your brass, bronze, and copper pieces on your tack by making a paste of equal parts white vinegar and salt, or vinegar and baking soda (wait for the fizzing to stop before using). Then use a clean, soft cloth (or just a paper towel) to rub the paste onto the metal until the tarnish is gone. Then all you have to do is rinse it off with cool water and polish with a soft towel until dry.
10. Trap flies: Are flies taking over your barn? Make traps for them by filling an old jar about halfway with apple cider vinegar. Punch a few holes in the lid, screw it back on, and your trap is set!
11. Protect from ticks: Give your horse some effective tick protection by filling a spray bottle with equal parts water and vinegar and applying it directly to your horse’s coat and rubbing it in well. You can also use this mixture on your dogs to prevent both fleas and ticks.