Let’s face it. Horses are expensive and everything is extra-expensive right now. We’ve compiled this list of 25 essential must-have items for the barn that you can source at your local dollar store.
1. Pool Noodles
Pool noodles are great around the barn. Slice a pool noodle open and slide it onto the metal tubing on a saddle rack to protect your saddle. You can also take a sliced-open pool noodle to hide electrical wires from mice and nibbly horses. Cut pool noodles in half, and you have great boot stands. Pool noodles are also fantastic for creating training obstacles and other fun distractions. Hang them from the eves or a doorway for horses to walk through. Placed across jump standards they can even serve as poles.
2. Spray Bottles
Dollar store spray bottles are great to have on hand for fly spray, water, detanglers, shine products or any other liquid you may need to have handy.
3. Toilet Brushes
Cheap toilet brushes make great water bucket scrubbers.
4. Microfiber Towels
You can never have enough towels around the barn. They quickly dry wet horse coats, and are handy for wiping dust off your horse, your boots and tack after a ride.
5. Baby Wipes
Baby wipes are a cost-effective way to have a handy, quick clean-up for you and your horse when things get messy.
Diapers make ideal wraps for poultice hoof packs when your horse is blowing an abscess. They can serve as emergency bandages in a pinch as well.
What horse doesn’t love peppermints? Stock up on these stable favorites in bulk to share with the whole barn!
8. Rubber Bands
Small rubber bands for braiding can be found at the dollar store for a lot less than what you’d pay at a tack store.
Large car washing sponges are also excellent horse washing sponges. Those small packs of cellulose kitchen sponges are ideal for cleaning tack (just don’t use the scrubby side on leather).
10. Storage Containers
There are storage containers of all shapes and sizes at the dollar store! Keep your braiding supplies organized, meds safe, polos tidy, and those peppermints secure …
11. Plastic Flowers
Great for dressage letterboxes, jumps, and decorating the barn for the holidays!
12. Plastic Dinnerware
Washable and barn safe, it’s not going to break if it drops and is cheap enough that if it disappears, you won’t care. Plastic tumblers are also fantastic for measuring out feed.
13. Aloe Vera Gel
Great for human and equine sunburns, cuts, scrapes, and abrasions. Always keep some in your first aid kit.
14. Petroleum Jelly
Always a good idea to keep this around the barn. It’s great for horses who get rubs from bell boots to soothe the irritation.
15. Lint Roller
Use this on your saddle pads as well as your own clothes (remember shedding season?).
Handy item to have around the barn – great for cutting bailing twine.
17. Shallow Baskets
Storing brush boots, polo wraps, bell boots and bandages in these helps keep your tack trunk/locker organized.
18. Measuring Tape
You would be surprised how many times a cloth measuring tape will come in handy around the barn, whether it’s measuring out the spacing between holes for fast tack fixes or measuring a horse is for a blanket fitting.
19. Baby Powder
Got a horse with chrome? Baby powder is perfect for sprinkling on your horse’s white stockings and markings, making them extra white for the show ring.
Sometimes, in a pinch, dollar store kids’ hair detangler is perfect for those unruly manes and tails. When you need a LOT, this is a cost-effective way to go.
21. Hanging Towel Hooks
One can never have enough places to hang stuff around the barn.
22. Hats, Scarves and Gloves
If you live in a cold climate, it’s always a good idea to have a spare scarf, hat, and gloves handy in case the others get lost, filthy or soggy. Spare warm socks are also a good call!
23. Hydrating Shampoo
Save money and use dollar store shampoo to wash your horse next bath time.
24. Dawn Dish Detergent
Another essential to have around the barn. Dawn can help remove the stuck-on gunk that can sometimes accumulate on a horse’s legs in winter. Dawn is also a life-saver for scrubbing nasty buckets. It’s pretty good at removing biofilm without much effort.
25. Baby Oil and Mouthwash
There are so many uses for baby oil around the barn! It can help with dandruff if you mix it 50/50 with mouthwash in a spray bottle and apply to scurfy skin. Baby oil alone is an effective sheath cleaner and can also make it easier to remove knots from tangled manes and tails and tame frizziness. You can also use baby oil around your horse’s face to highlight features like the eyes or nose.