If you are a horse owner, bathing your horse is something that you will have to do once in a while. A bath is important to your horse particularly during summer when sweat, dust and dirt will heavily cling on its skin and can be a source of skin irritations. Bathing your horse for the first time can be quite an ordeal. You will get soaked from head to toe, but this experience is nothing compared to handling a horse that is reluctant to get wet. A 1000-pound animal who refuses to shower can present a lot of danger. You must know how to properly approach and take charge of situation. Below are some tips you can follow for a safe horse bathing routine.
Start your horse bathing activity by gathering all your needed supplies. The bathing kit should include items like sponges, mitt, sweat scraper, equine shampoo and conditioner. You should also get ready some towels so you can dry off your horse before letting it go.
To bathe your horse safely, bring it to a secure spot with non-skid floors and with barn windows. You can put textured rubber mats on top of cement floors to avoid slipping. Never bathe your horse on a surface which can turn muddy as soon as water trickles down. See to it that the area is free of debris or equipment that it can step upon or run into. If you are using a hose, make sure that it never gets under your horse’s feet so your horse doesn’t get spooked.
Depending on the personality of your horse, you can either have another individual hold him or you can tie its rope to a rail. Make sure to create panic snaps so you can quickly release the horse if it throws a sudden meltdown. If it’s your first time to give your horse a bath, having a skilled helper nearby is very important.
Always start wetting your horse from the hooves and work your way up to the legs prior to doing the shoulder, body and tail. The reason for this is to make your horse become accustomed to the water. Wetting the body directly with cold water can cause colic and it can put your horse at risk. Preferably, use warm water to bathe your horse. And, never spray water on your horse’s face and ears as it can lead to sudden panic.
Apply soapy water to your horse using a sponge and gently scrub the dirt and grime starting from the legs, shoulders and all the way to the neck and back. Pay attention to the mane and tail, too. Do not let the shampoo to dry out as it can cause the hair to fall out. Also, use a different sponge for the body, face and genitals.
Rinse your horse thoroughly preferably with warm water to help make it feel calm. Use a sweat scraper to remove excess water. Carefully dry your horse with a towel to avoid abrading the skin. Walk it under the sun to help dry the coat and prevent the horse from rolling in the hay. If the horse feels cold, be ready with an anti-sweat sheet or cooler or inside horse barns. Reward your horse with treats so it’ll begin to look forward its next bath time.