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Washing your horse

Washing your horse

If your horse is dirty or very hot, it is a good idea to wash your horse. There’s a number of things you need to consider, for both your safety and the health of the horse. It’s also important that your horse gas a positive experience when washing him, to prevent issues from arising in the future. In this blog, we will explain how to wash your horse.

A safe place to wash your horse

The first thing you need when washing your horse is a suitable place to do so. Make sure it’s is the correct surface, one that doesn’t get slippery when wet. You can also consider a rubber mat or sand. However, sand might not be ideal as your horse might get dirty again. It will also turn muddy. Furthermore, if your horse has never been washed before, it is sensible to ask someone to help you, in case your horse gets startled.

How do I wash my horse?

Follow these steps and your horse will be completely clean again!

Step 1: Rinse with water

Be aware that you might startle your horse when turning on the hose. Do not aim it directly at your horse, but aim it towards the ground. Then check the temperature right away. It is best to wash/rinse with lukewarm water. Start by spraying the front legs and then the hind legs to get your horse used to the water. After this, you can spray the rest of the body. Do not forget to clean between your horse's buttocks, because there tends to be a lot of dried sweat here. When cleaning your horse’s head, make sure the yet is switched to the softest setting or use a sponge as many horses find it scary and or uncomfortable. Make sure that no water gets in the eyes or ears. Finally, it is important to clean your horse's privates. Do not use any soap for this!

Does your horse find a hose scary? Then use buckets. You will have to fill this a couple of times, but it will do the job!

Step 2: Shampoo

After rinsing your horse, it is time to soak him/her. Make sure you always have the right shampoo for this. You cannot wash a horse with the same shampoo that humans use. The reason for this is that the horse shampoo ensures that the protective layer of the skin and the smell of the horse are preserved. Horses use this scent to communicate with each other.

On our page Washing – Coat Care Horses page, you can find all kinds of shampoos for all colours of coat and with wonderful scents. There is also shampoo especially for horses with a white coat, horses that suffer from eczema and shampoo that helps you to get the dirty yellow stains out of the coat. Some shampoos are even blue and you have to soak your horse until it turns white.

Would you like to save some shampoo? Then use a bucket, fill it with lukewarm water and soap. From there you can soak your horse with a sponge or wash glove.

Step 3: Rinse off with water

After soaking, the horse should always be rinsed with water. Again, make sure that the water is lukewarm. All soap must be removed from the coat. If not done properly, the leftover soap can irritate or itch. To prevent this, rinse your horse until the water runs clear.

Step 4: Drying

When your horse is completely soap-free again and looks clean, it's time to dry. To remove the excess water from the horse, use a sweat scraper. After this, you can dry the legs and head with a towel. If your stable has a solarium, you can put your horse under it to dry. You can also put on a sweat rug that absorbs the water and walk around.

Make sure that your horse stays out of the wind at all times. Wet skin and wind ensure that your horse gets cold and this can also makes the muscles stiff. However, this is not the case if the horse is outside in the rain. When standing in rain, the skin itself will not get wet, only the coat. If it is expected that it will rain very hard and a lot, it is advisable to use a rug for rain.

Will my horse get sick if I use cold water?

The answer is no. A horse will not get sick if cold water is used unless the horse is suffering from issues with the immune system. You can think of stress or a wrong diet. For that reason, it is best to use lukewarm water.

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