In general, horse people are pretty frugal, or are at least looking for ways to save money. One of the ways we seem to do so is by pressing regular household items into use at the barn. Some of my favorites:
Listerine or other mouthwash to remove dandruff from your horse’s mane and tail: I like to pour it into a spray bottle, then drench the base of my horse’s mane and tail. Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse. Your horse’s nasty dandruff collection from a winter of turnout will be gone!
Lingerie bags for washing your polo wraps: this is a must for preventing hopelessly tangled wraps! (It also helps to stick the velcro to itself when you’re washing polos.)
Ivory soap for cleaning sheaths and udders: Ivory is super gentle, easy to find, and very cheap. In my experience (and I’ve cleaned a lot of sheaths and udders), it works just as well or better than products like Excalibur.
Pads or panty liners are a great addition to your first-aid kit: they’re simple enough to grab and hold over a wound to staunch bleeding that you can trust your non-horsey friend or significant other to do so while you’re calling the vet/barn owner/horse owner. (And, you know, it never hurts to have some extras around just in case a human needs them.)
Tuna/cat food cans make great bridle/halter hangers: just nail them into the wall and you’ve got a place to hang your equipment. Just make sure the edges aren’t too sharp.
Key tags to label your stuff: if you want a cheap way to mark your stuff, you can’t beat $7.50 for 50 key tags. These were very handy at the therapeutic riding center where I worked; we used them to label halters, saddles, girths, bridles, and blankets. You can color-coordinate, too. (If you want something that will hold up well outside, you’re probably better off with plastic-encased tags or luggage tags.)
Tent tape for emergency blanket repair: you can’t beat tent tape for a quick-fix for blanket rips. These super-strong tent patches hold well, stick to all kinds of stuff, and will stop the rip from spreading. Trust me; Moe and Gina’s old blankets are covered with tent tape. I finally gave up when mice started chewing the undersides and got into the fill.
Do you use any unusual stuff around the barn?