Top Tips for Bathing your Horse
Not only is bath time great for giving your horse a good clean, it's also a fantastic opportunity to bond with your horse and give them a thorough check for any health conditions that you may not usually notice.
There are many different reasons to bathe your horse; maybe to prepare for a show or just for a nice cool wash on a hot day. Whatever the reason it is essential to have the right tools. A rubber curry comb, a sweat scraper and an appropriate shampoo will make the job easier. It is important to use a product specifically designed for horses, other products may not be pH balanced and could strip essential natural oils and dull the coat. A herbal shampoo, containing natural herb extracts is a good example for frequent use, or for a more soothing effect you could try tea tree shampoo with natural tea tree oil.
Before you start bathing your horse make sure you remove any excess dirt and hair by giving them a quick brush off. With water running down your horse's legs, their hooves can get particularly wet which could lead to cracking; to prevent this you may want to use a hoof balm before you start to create a natural barrier.
Most horses love a bath, but for some it can be a bit nerve racking at first. If your horse is unsure about having a bath, you can start with their legs and gradually work your way up, washing the head and tail once they feel comfortable and confident. Be sure to ease your horse into this by starting with just a bucket of lukewarm water and a sponge before using a hose. Gradually introducing the hose, starting with it close to the sponge, perhaps on a leg and then you can keep the hose in one position and use the sponge to wipe another area. If your horse shows some discomfort, go back to where they were happy and in time try again.
For horses that are sensitive, it may be a good idea to stick to wiping their face with a damp cloth. When washing the tail and mane, pay particular attention to ensure you rinse off all of the shampoo. When you have finished, don't forget to brush through using a Mane & Tail Spray to keep the hair tangle free with a silky shine - this will also help to repel dirt and dust.
A positive experience will reinforce trust. Do not bath your horse in cold weather; if you would not like it, it is unlikely they will appreciate it. Lavender Body Wash is the perfect solution for colder days as it has a rinse free formula, giving them a quick clean without letting them get cold.
Bath time should be a good experience for both you and your horse, a calm horse will take less time to bath and you shouldn't get too wet yourself!