Every year, our testers work with literally hundreds of different products, comparing and contrasting so that we can help you save money and frustration. Throughout the trial period, we pay attention to the items that are espcially good in their field. These are the ones that somehow excell at their job or are simply the best we’ve seen. Often, these products continue to be used beyond the initial field trial, adding more evidence to help us determine which products we think you should take a look at again and consider for use in your own barn. We encourage you to let us know what’s working and what’s not working for you and to take the time to share your ideas.
When Farnam said it had a supplement that deterred wood chewing we were skeptical. But our field trial showed a pleasant surprise: It can really work. We’re not about to say it will put every horse on a “wood-free” diet, but it’s worth a try. It’s palatable, and they offer a money-back guarantee. If it works, you’ve found an easy solution to an annoying problem. www.farnamhorse.com 800-234-2269.
Cordless clippers have come a long way, and we were impressed with the Wahl Chromado. It has a NiMH battery (that’s the one you want, if you can’t afford lithium), and it’s versatile. Some other clippers in our trial were faster, and other clippers were cheaper. But, with the Wahl Chromado we could clip pretty much whatever part of the horse we needed to do and wherever we wanted to do it. As a bonus, it’s a cord-cordless combo, which gives you the best of both worlds and plenty of power either way. www.wahl.com 800-767-9245.
Healthy Horse Formula
We’ve been recommending Zim’s Crack Cr??me for years for cracked/injured heels. It’s not a horse item; you find it in your local pharmacy department. Now, the same company has a horse formula, which is even better and more economical than the human version. Healthy Horse Formula is the same product with some Canadian Willowherb added to it to help relieve redness and heat. www.farriersmagic.com 800-544-3635.
Ulcers can be the cause of irritability, poor coats, poor performance and picky appetites. If your veterinarian suspects an ulcer, he or she may recommend confirming the diagnosis with treatment rather than an invasive scoping. If that involves an over-the-counter treatment, try U-Gard first. www.corta-flx.com 800-838-7524.
Classic Cover-Ups Club Dry Ultra-Fly
This fly sheet looks more like an attractive stable sheet than a traditional PVC-type fly sheet. It covers the horse beautifully. We loved its soft material, plus it’s durable. And, yes, it does a bang-up job keeping the bugs at bay. www.classiccover-ups.com 610-932-9400.
Espree Aloe Herbal Fly Spray
We’re never thrilled with fly sprays. They’re expensive necessities that never seem to last as long as they claim, and they often leave the coat dry. But the Espree concentrate’s mix of cedarwood, eucalyptus and citronella lasted for hours and left the horse’s coat feeling soft and conditioned. No residue. A real winner. www.espree.com 800-328-1317.
Scenic Road 800-lb. Gorilla Wheelbarrow
If we recommend you spend almost $200 on a wheelbarrow, you can bet it’s worth it. This double-wheel workhorse is built to last with a poly tub and solid wood handles. It holds 10 cubic feet of cargo but is only 32” wide. Best of all, it’s stable and well-balanced. 717-768-7300.
Herbal is in, but we’re only interested if it works and appears safe. Devil’s claw tends to show an effectiveness level similar to many prescription drugs in our trials and in human trials and laboratory studies. We found it does a good job in terms of reduction of pain in both acute and chronic problems, as well as control of swelling. B-L Solution has consistently given us the most rapid results at a great price. It also contains vitamin B12 and yucca. www.equineamerica.com 800-838-7524.
Under The Tail Wipe
We usually avoid throwaway wipes due to waste. However, the Under The Tail Wipe from Carr & Day & Martin is an exception. These disposable wipes clean away greasy dirt with minimal effort, leaving the skin soft. They’re one of the best products we’ve tried. www.toklat.com 888-486-5528.
MDC Intelligent Stirrups
The MDC Intelligent Stirrup design takes the connection for the leather at the top of the stirrup and allows you to twist it so the stirrup stays in riding position instead of turning parallel to the horse when your foot is out of it. Simple but smart. www.mdccorporation.us 831-393-0588.