It’s been a few years since I have actually ridden a horse, but I still remember what a chestnut is on a saddle, and hoof pick. But I must admit that buying a horse and taking proper care of one is beyond me at this time, so it is time to study and get some more practical knowledge about it.

One of the things I love about the preppers network is all the stuff you can learn, even in the chat. Catman last night started a conversation around horses that you wish you had been there for, all kinds of practical knowledge was passed around. One of the main things that was talked about was the habits that horses can pick up including cribbing, and Hossboss promised to post about it today on her blog, which she did here.

I also promised to include a recipe for making your own salt blocks, and found not only that one but two others that are useful as well, so I am including them here as well.

Preppers who live the Eastern United States, and a few places in England have an advantage and something else they can stock up on for barter swapping. I am a ceramic nut, and tend to notice things that even loosely related to it. The Ball Clay that can be found in the Eastern part of North America is perfect for making Salt Blocks for horses and cattle. All you need to add to is an equal amount of Coarse Salt (aka: kosher salt). Mix the two with water so that it becomes a cake like consistency and let it dry in wooden mold boxes. It takes about three days to dry. The only caution I would mention is the source of clay should be known to be free of lead, you can get it tested at any college that has a good fine arts program.

Some horses can end up with cracked hoofs, this usually only happens in really dry climates, but there can be other causes. Hoof sealers can cost up to $75 for 2 litres! Definitely something that ever Prepper with a horse should be able to make from scratch! You need a double boiler for this. Take one cup of Mineral Oil, one cup of Petrolatum, and one cup of Paraffin wax. Heat everything together and mix till mixed well, then put into old soup cans for storage. You will need a clean old paint brush to use it, just cut the bristles down to stiffen it up.

Now tell me, besides getting the horses to help out plowing the fields when Peak Oil finally comes, what is the point of having a nice horse unless you plan on doing some riding too? And every cowboy needs a saddle right? I love real leather goods, and taking care of them is important not only for comfort but to save a buck as well. I always have mink oil around the house somewhere for protecting our leather goods from drying out, but that can be something that can be hard to come buy, and the costs for real mink oil is increasing, a good Prepper always follows the rules of three. Back up, Back up, Back up. So how about making saddle soap! You need real soap powder about three quarters of a cup, not a detergent, brand names usually say ‘Hudson dry soap’ somewhere on the label. You also need about a quarter cup of Neatsfoot Oil. Neatsfoot oil is a yellow oil rendered and purified from the shin bones and feet (but not the hooves) of cattle, something else you can also make. Finally you need half a cup of beeswax. Heat the soap powder and three and half cups of water together slowly until it is all dissolved. In a double boiler separately heat the neatsfoot oil and beeswax until it can be mixed evenly. Slowly add the neatsfoot mix to the water solution, stirring while you do it. When it thickens pour everything into molds and let cool to room temperature. Now you have saddle soap.

– Wolfe