It’s summer, the nice weather is here and it’s the perfect time to take your horse out for a ride. However, regular riding also means that your horse becomes dirty more frequently. For this reason, it’s important you understand how to effectively bathe your horse. Although bathing your horse isn’t technically challenging, it can be something people don’t know how to do correctly. Here at Prime Stables, we know the importance of keeping your horse clean and healthy and that’s why I have written this article! Read on to discover my top bathing tips.
Get the Bathing Gear
Bathing your horse is helped immensely by a couple of tools which make the job immeasurably easier. Here at Prime Stables, I use a sweat scraper for my horses which helps to speed up the drying process – This is especially helpful during cooler weather. You can also purchase a curry comb which helps to loosen dirt and sweat from your horse’s coat before proceeding with shampoo and water. Grooming mitts are also effective and a few soft cloths or sponges help clean the more sensitive areas of your horse, such as his face.
You can check out the grooming tools we offer in our shop. With your tools at the ready, let’s look at how to bathe your horse.
Groom Your Horse
Before beginning the washing process, it is important that you thoroughly comb down your horse’s mane, tail and coat. The grooming process helps you get rid of any dirt or sweat that has built up in your horse’s coat. Brushing the mane and tail before washing also helps you to work out any tangles in the hair. Avoiding breakages as the hair will be weaker when wet.
Wet Your Horse All Over
The first step to bathing your horse is to begin by wetting him thoroughly. Be careful to slowly introduce your horse to water, as if you were stepping into a cold bath. Introduce the water to his feet first and slowly work up his body. This helps your horse adjust to the temperature steadily. Horses are sensitive to temperature and sudden changes can cause them to spook. Avoid this by gradually wetting your horse, starting from the hooves and working upwards.
Shampooing Your Horse
Thoroughly shampooing your horse is the next step. Be sure to lather your horse section by section, working the shampoo in as instructed on the bottle over your horse’s coat. Once you have completed one section, rinse the shampoo off and move onto the next. This helps prevent the shampoo from sitting too long on the horse’s coat and drying out, causing itching and discomfort.
When shampooing your horse, remember to avoid your horse’s face or genitals. Simply wash these areas delicately with a clean cloth or cotton wool. Don’t use the same cloth for all areas, as it can transfer harmful bacteria and cause infection.
Wash the Mane and Tail
Before washing your horse’s mane and tail, be sure to wet them fully. To wet your horse’s tail, I would suggest dipping it into a bucket full of water and squeezing out any excess water. This is an effective technique as it helps to wash out all the dirt and muck that gets caught in this region. Remember, when washing your horse, never stand directly behind him as it can put you in danger of kicking. Instead, always stand to one side so that you won’t be in range if your horse gets upset. When washing your horse’s mane, simply shampoo thoroughly and rinse.
Drying Properly is Crucial
One of the most important things to remember when bathing your horse is to never leave your horse dripping wet, especially if it is cold or cloudy outside. The water on your horse’s coat will prevent him from maintaining a regular body temperature and this can cause your horse to become sick.
Avoid this problem by using a sweat scraper and scraping all the excess water off your horse. Repeat this process until your horse is almost dry. It can be a time-consuming process but it’s important that you make sure to get him as dry as possible. After using the sweat scraper, help your horse dry off completely by walking him about for ten minutes or so. This will help get his circulation going and will warm his muscles up to help him dry completely.
I hope you have found my tips for effectively bathing your horse useful. The most important thing you need to remember is to keep your horse safe. Everything needs to be gradual and gentle. Don’t do anything that may spook your horse or put both of you in danger.
Bathing your horse is an excellent opportunity to bond with your horse on a regular basis and build trust. Take your time, it can be a lengthy process but it is worth it! If you would like any more information, please give us a call today!