Horseshow Hacks: Dollar Store Finds

Last week I shared a must have check list for the upcoming All-American Quarter Horse Congress. This week I wanted to showcase a great way to save a few dollars by spending a few dollars at your local Dollar Store or “Dolla Gentral” as YouTube sensations Hannah & Kaylee put it. (If you haven’t checked out their videos, stop whatever you are doing and go to their YouTube Channel.)

Here’s a list of some items you can find at your local dollar store and save some money on in the process. This entire list would cost less than $50.

In the Kitchen:

  • Travel Mugs/Double Wall Tumblers w/straws. These are great for the show or the road trip to the show and encourage you to stay hydrated. No more wondering where you set your drink.
  • Re-Usable Ice Packs. Great for icing your horse, keeping your cooler cold or to put on your aching knees after a long day on your feet.
  • Plastic Chip Clips. These are awesome for keeping flies/etc out of your horse show snacks or to clip on horse feed/supplements to prevent spills and waste.
  • Misc Scrub Brushes (found in either the kitchen or cleaning section). Different sizes, some with handles, some without, these are a welcome additional to the wash bucket.
  • Bar Towels. These are generally 2 for $1. You ALWAYS need towels at the show. Wiping hands, wiping horses, cleaning boots, etc. Buying in white makes washing and disinfecting a breeze.
  • Plastic wrap. For all my poultice users or to save your snacks.
  • Ziplock bags and Tupperware. Store your chalk, cornstarch, bobby pins, Chicago screws or other small parts that tend to get lost easily.
  • Paper Plates/Utensiles/Napkins/Paper Towels. The Dollar Store has these in all sorts of colors so you can coordinate with your barn colors.

In the Bath:

  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Detangler for manes and tails (or your own human tresses after a long day of showing)
  • Hand Sanitizer because you just cleaned stalls.
  • Disposable Razers for last minute touch-ups at the gate. 
  • Epsom Salt for soaking abscesses.
  • Combs (because you will inevitably break your favorite banding comb)
  • Claw clips to keep manes in check when braiding or banding.
  • Paddle Brushes for brushing long manes and tails. These always disappear so buy 2-3.
  • Gel & Hairspray. Cheap is better for long shows, guaranteed “all day hold” for Horse or Human.
  • Hair ties & bobby pins.
  • Rubber Bands (clear or black) Perfect for secure tail braids.
  • Clear Nail Polish. A dab of this on your Chicago screws assures they will stay in place.
  • Carmex Lip Balm. Dirt and wind are common horse show conditions.
  • Baby Oil. To get those nose and eyes so pretty for Halter day.
  • Baby Powder. Pearly white legs, put in your English boots to help get them on and off or for my roper buddies.
  • Toothbrushes for cleaning tack and silver.
  • Band Aids. Self explainitory.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide. Clean your wounds, freshen your breath (yes its safe as a mouthwash), disinfect or kill mold.

In the Auto/Electrical:

  • Funnel(s)
  • Matches/Lighters. Great for burning frayed lead rope ends or poking extra holes in Nylon equipment.
  • Zip Ties. Keep Electrical wires out of the alley way, hang buckets or other items in a semi-permanent manner.
  • Screw Driver Sets. A necessity for tack repairs.
  • Wire brush. Remove dirt/mud from boots or hooves on a bad weather show day or freshen up rough out leather.

In the Clothing Section:

  • Rain poncho (can save your show clothes in a pinch)
  • Laundry bags. For horse clothes, polo wraps or splint boots.
  • Garment Bags. Keep show clothes dust free.
  • Safety pins. For show numbers and quick clothing fixes.
  • Travel Sewing Kit. Lost a button? No problem.
  • Shoe Shine Kits. Throw these in your gate bag for a quick polish before you step in the ring.
  • Lint Rollers. Remove hair from your showmanship pants or to get shavings off your saddle pad.

In Home Décor:

  • Wire Baskets to mount in your trailer or to organized your tack trunk.
  • Floor Mats/Rugs. The smaller size makes them great for your trailer floor.
  • Mirror. Put some magnets on it or drill holes to hang in your tack stall or trailer.

In Office/School Supplies:

Small Dry erase board & dry erase markers. Write ICE contact information or write down class numbers.

  • 3 Ring Binders to keep your papers together
    • Dividers
    • Sheet Protectors
    • Notebooks/Paper
  • Rubber Bands you can never have enough. Get these in all sizes.
  • Sharpies
  • Duct Tape
  • Super Glue

In Food:

  • Bottled Water
  • Cornstarchan alternative to baby powder to get those legs WHITE!
  • Peppermints for your horse. They have puffs or traditional. Great for bribing him/her to put their ears up in that Halter class.

In Cleaning:

  • Disinfectant Spray down stalls, shared bits, cinchs, etc.
  • Blue Dawn Soap (Mix with hydrogen peroxide it’s the Ultimate cleaning machine) Also gentle enough to wash your horse.
  • Bleach Cheap disinfectant for traveling
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Spray Bottles (For fly spray, for disinfectant, for detangler)

Be sure to share your dollar store finds and hacks on social media!

- Paige Morgan
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