Duct tape. It’s the tape above all tapes. It’s so handy, even astronauts use it in space when they need a quick, but reliable, fix.
If you’ve spent any time around horses, you know a having a roll of duct tape in your tack trunk could be a life saver. I keep one in my trunk, in my trailer and in my truck, because you just never know when and where you’ll need it in a pinch.
Here are 15 common but also not-so-common uses for duct tape that can save the day.
To save those wrapped hooves. Whether you’ve soaked and poulticed a hoof to treat an abscess or you just need to keep the frog or hoof dry and protected, adding a layer of duct tape will for sure make your wrap last longer. Some people apply duct tap over a diaper or over vet wrap. Just make sure you cut a slit in it around the bulbs of the heel and the coronet band so it doesn’t apply too much pressure.
When stuff breaks. I own too many snapped pitchforks. But they’re still functional when a couple rounds of thick duct tape is applied.
Duct tape lint roller. Imagine this scenario: you’re at a horse show, but your saddle pad fell into the depths below your seat in the truck. You dig the pad out, only to find it covered in various colors of dog and horse hair. Wrap a couple of rounds of duct tape around your palm and use it as a lint roller before you tack up.
Rein markers. Maybe we’re too old to be using the rainbow rubber reins. Maybe not. But a small wrap of duct tape serves as a good reminder of where your hands should be on the reins, if you’re struggling during a ride at home or a lesson. Plus it’s easy to remove.
To soften spurs. Apply a shmidge of duct tape to the ends of your spurs to deafen the point. This way you can save the “real deal” feel of the spurs for shows.
Makeshift band-aid. So your first aid kit is empty but you’ve got a blister that is making you lame as all get out. Apply a couple of strips over you sock and the blister on the back of your ankle before you slip it into your riding boot. It may not be ideal, but hey, it’s better than nothing.
Temporary hole fixer. So that cranky chestnut mare kicked a hole through the wood of her stall again. It’s going to be a few days before you can buy some new sheets of wood to replace it. You can use some duct tape to cover the hole for now so her foot doesn’t go through it again!
The replacement zip-tie. So you’ve got a window in your trailer that refuses to stay locked open. Every time you pull onto the highway, it jiggles in just the right way that it comes unhinged and is flapping around the trailer like one of those scary inflatable stick figures at the gas station. Duct tape that baby back in place with as much tape as you could ever possibly need. It will at least get you home or to wherever you’re going without giving your horse a heart attack while on the road.
The blanket saver. Turnout blankets are expensive. So when your horse comes in from a night of turnout with a nice big slit in the middle of his new blanket, you groan. Totally reasonable. But you can duct tape it back together before you send it off to be repaired. At least for the next few cold nights, when you know your horse is going to need that blanket.
Apply for extra security. You can use a band of duct tape across your brushing boots when you’re out on a hunter pace or schooling cross-country. Some even apply a band around standing wraps, if you’ve got a horse that’s notorious for ripping off his wraps.
That annoying hole in the hose. No one knows how it got there, but it’s spraying water all over the barn like those old kids toys you could attach to the hose in the yard and they flopped around like crazy, spraying everywhere. Wrap that part of the hose in duct tape to keep your barn aisle from getting soaked in the short term.
The great redneck label-er. So you’re at a horse show with your entire barn. There are grooms, your trainers, your fellow riding peers and their many family members and/or friends. Use duct tape and a sharpie to label which horse’s stall is which, and even for feeding and care instructions.
Avoid a big mess. You’re packing the trailer for a horse show or clinic and notice the plastic shavings bag hit a snag. Duct tape up that hole ASAP to avoid a big mess before you even get there.
For added comfort. So the plastic handle on your bucket broke off ages ago. And when that bucket is full, the thin metal that holds it up really digs into your fingers and the palm of your hand. Wrap the top of the metal hanger in duct tape (where that handle used to be) to cushion the weight.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I once watched a horse show mom wrap her entire kid’s calf in black duct tape right before her Pony Medal class… The zipper on her boot busted open.
Duct tape is great. It has so many uses. But whatever you do, don’t fall for the “duct tape twitch to calm a horse” trick! Share your favorite duct tape uses with us in the comments on Facebook.