How can I simplify my horse's bathing routine?
Now that the weather is warmer (THANK GOODNESS), many of us are busting out the shampoo and getting down to bathing business. Some tips on how to make this horse spa day process a little easier.
- Pick a time of day when it’s easy for your horse to dry. This reduces the amount of mud he will make when he rolls afterwards.
- Make a bucket of suds. This makes the shampoo easier to spread around on your horse. Use hot water for this as the bucket water can turn cold quickly.
- Use warmer water for the initial wetting and rinse. I tend to do this even in summer, as the cold water can be shocking. Watch your horse and if he's flinching, perhaps some warmer water is best. If you have a tiny hot water heater, use that for the bulk of your horse, his legs and tail will be just fine with colder water.
- Use a sponge or grooming gloves to do the dirty work. Grooming gloves are great because you also bring up a lot of shedding hair. For sensitive areas like the face belly, sheath and udders, and under the tail, use sponges. I don’t suggest using the horse on your horse’s face - there are easier and safer ways to get this done here.
- Use the remainder of your suds bucket to dunk your horses tail into. You can use a little bit of shampoo from the bottle for the top of the tail.
- Before you rinse, use a sweat scraper to scrape off the suds. You will be rinsing less and saving some water.
- Choose the best nozzle setting for the job. Using the fan or flat setting is like using a water squeegee. Use shower or drizzle setting for any areas that your horse is sensitive about.
- Towel dry faces, ears, legs, tails. Sweat scrape the rest.
- Use a detangler or Magic Sheen on the tail before you comb it out. Your choice if the tail is damp or dry to comb out.
- You can also use your shine product to protect your horse from future stains.
- If your horse is headed to a show or clinic in the next few days, there are some tips for you here. Otherwise, remember the fleeting moments of clean as you walk him to the paddock and let the rolling begin.
How do you make horse bath time easy?