Thoroughbred Logic: The Barn Beer Hack

Anyone who has ever had a horse — Thoroughbred or not! — has likely said, “This horse is going to drive me to drink.” For those of you who do imbibe, this week’s Thoroughbred Logic offers a sometimes quite necessary barn hack (and let’s be honest, it’ll work for your soda cans, too).

Welcome to the next installment of Thoroughbred Logic. In this weekly series, Anthropologist and trainer Aubrey Graham, of Kivu Sport Horses, offers insight and training experience when it comes to working with Thoroughbreds (although much will apply to all breeds). This week, come along for the ride as Aubrey shares one of her favorite barn hacks (at least when it comes to beer). 

Anyone who has ever had a Thoroughbred at some point has lamented, “This horse is going to drive me to drink.” Maybe it is the lost shoes, the vet bills, the unexpected riding hiccups, or the simply being too smart or picky for their own good…

Some people just say that. Most folks I know say that while cracking open something cold.

End of day road-hack-and-relax last summer. (Did I mention I hate the winter?) Photo by author.

I don’t care when others drink (or don’t), but I have a personal policy that any booze waits until when I’m done with all critical work, including all lessons and training on client horses. But when I am “done” and grab a beer, there’re two common frustrations: a fly in my mouth (that only has to happen once before you start protecting the top of the can like your life depends on it) and ‘man-down’ spills. I mean, if it is not me being clumsy and knocking things over, it is my horses getting into everything.

Photo of the beer hack in action last summer. Photo by author.

So somewhere over the last year, I perfected the above barn beer hack. Materials needed: Mostly full roll of duct tape, 60-cc dosing syringe cap, koozie (optional).

The obvious breakdown: the roll of duct tape is excellent for holding a can in a koozie and keeping incidental knock-overs to a minimum. Then for the flies and dirt and hose water and whatever else goes airborne, the cap of a 60-cc dosing syringe fits perfectly in the groove inside the can lip. The combination is the result of trial and error, but for the time being, it remains my go-to… at least until I wrap too many hooves and run out of tape.

So cheers, folks. Here’s to warmer days and the welcome shift from complaining about the cold and mud to bemoaning the flies.

**Also, if I’m being totally honest, I completely wrote myself into a hole this morning on an article about Thoroughbreds and anxiety… while I figure out how to write myself back to the light on that article, I’m dreaming of warmer days, a significant increase in daylight hours, and the feeling of something cold actually being welcomed at the end of the day. (Did I mention that I hate winter?)