How often do you bathe your horse?

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How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby PaulaO » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:19 pm

I’ve had Miss A. 2 years and have never given her a full bath with soap. I washed her tail a year ago, and have hosed off her legs and undercarriage. If it’s hot she gets an alcohol sponge bath. She is not good in the wash stall and frankly, I don’t feel like doing the training.

There are boarders who hose down their horses multiple times a week. I think they do it in place of cooling down the horse and then grooming.

Am I a negligent horse owner?

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby piedmontfields » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:02 am

No, of course not. You just have a gorgeous chestnut mare! Your method is common with bay and chestnuts horses at my barn.

I confess that in summer Emi gets a quick or long bath most days after a workout (very sweaty here in the south). I do use a very mild shampoo and she does not show ill effects. Of course I have a white grey mare, so life is different.

Once fall arrives (can be late October), her baths are much more infrequent, but I do use a "green shampoo" type wash on the sweaty areas.

Some bathe more or less with grey horses---but they tend to have dark dapple greys. It is a bit of culture of my barn and myself to keep my girl looking good.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Tsavo » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:06 am

I haven't used soap on my horse in many many years. He is shiny because he has his natural oils.

For the last several years before his retirement, in summer I only hosed him once a month so as to not let his feet get too wet. But I sponged him every day I rode in summer. I sometimes used vetrolin. I don't like the fly spray and sweat to build up. I don't understand your comment about hosing replacing cooling down and grooming. That's not why I hose. A horse who is blowing needs to be walked. A horse who is hot can be cooled by hosing or grazing.

After I unretired him this year and it got hot, I did hose him after every ride. While that was not the only reason he couldn't keep shoes on, it probably contributed. I got complacent. Now that he is back in shoes, I sometimes sponge and sometimes hose to get the sweat and old fly spray off. I probably should go back to only hosing once a month to keep the shoes on.

As I rehab him again now, we work in the morning and never for that long so lately I am just sponging.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby heddylamar » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:00 am

I hose after every ride when it's above 60 degrees (we have warm water) and give Anzia a sudsy bath 2-3 times each summer. Maia gets a quick bath, if I have time. Bad horse owner?

Anzia's a walking, itchy, fungus machine. She needs a scrubbing :shock: Maia's generally fungus-free, but has a disturbing habit of using fresh piles of manure as a pillow :mrgreen:

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Nikiwink » Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:11 am

If sweaty after working ill hose off but nowadays they get washed when it rains. Pre baby when i had competition horses they got washed properly before clipping and maybe all of them or just the white bits before a show.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Kyra's Mom » Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:53 am

Rarely. Although I have a white horse...we do not have hot water available for bathing. Even in the dead of summer with the temps in the 90's, by the time I am done bathing her, she is ready to jump out of her skin. Well water is just too cold for her liking. If she is sweaty and needs a rinse I just put some water in a bucket and sponge off the sweaty parts.

I was able to pick up a used horse vacuum fairly cheap and I do try to use that weekly or so...at least I did before my back surgery. Darn thing is heavy so she is just down right dirty at present since I am reluctant to try picking up the front so I can roll it to the tack room door. I do wash her tail a couple times a month in the summer. I keep it in a tail bag for the winter because it is just too cold for this old lady to be washing anything outside in the winter. If I wash it well before bagging it, it usually makes it through the winter in good shape with a redo on the braid every 2-3 weeks.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby khall » Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:45 pm

I hose after every workout during the hot months. I bath tails and Joplin's long mane fairly regularly, at least a couple of times a week. I rarely give a full bath, though with Joplin's lighter color I have done so a couple of times this summer. After hosing they get a good scraping and a toweling of their face and sometimes their legs.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby StraightForward » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:05 pm

If Annabelle gets sweaty I rinse her off. PaulaO, I think this practice has more to do with preventing dried sweat from dulling the coat.

I've bathed her a few times this summer. She got really itchy in July, so I was using a shampoo with dormosedan and then. ACV rinse to keep her from rubbing her mane and tail out.

I wash her tail 1-2x per month spring through fall so I can condition it and then put on Cowboy Magic to prevent breakage ( her tail was scraggly from a foal chewing it when I bought her).

Baby Giraffe has had 2 baths since I got her. She was filthy, but it's also part of training her for adulting.
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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby kande50 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:55 pm

PaulaO wrote:I’ve had Miss A. 2 years and have never given her a full bath with soap. I washed her tail a year ago, and have hosed off her legs and undercarriage. If it’s hot she gets an alcohol sponge bath. She is not good in the wash stall and frankly, I don’t feel like doing the training.
?


My take on it is that if I was going to put a sweaty horse in a stall then I'd want to bathe him first so he'd be less likely to try to get down to roll in the stall, but if I'm going to put them out I don't brush or bathe or anything, because they're just going to go find their favorite spot and get down and roll.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Hayburner » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:30 pm

Paula what part of the bathing doesn't she like?

My mare lived out in a herd for 5 years and probably never had a bath. Omg, if I even brought a damp rag near her sh thought I was trying to kill her :) I couldn't even wipe her face off.

The prior barn I was at she didnt care for the confinement of the wash stall, so I'd wash her inthe aisleway. She did better with the openness and got better. About getting baths but a rag still wasn't her favorite thing. Once I started using a warm rag on her udders (I'd hide it in my pocket) she started to not give a hoot about rags/towels.

At the current barn the wash stall isn't much different maybe even a bit smaller, but she now loves getting a bath. Naturally, when the bath is complete she gets a treat :)

I really tried to find all her favorite spots when I was working on getting her like baths that way it seemed pleasant to her. She loves getting her mane washed, loves the hands in grooming gloves that work really well for bathing.

To answer your question, in the summer a full bath once or twice a month. Tail gets done more as she's messy! If she's sweaty after a ride she gets hosed off or with the temps starting to drop, I'll just sponge the sweet off and dry it the best I can. I don't like putting a horse out that has any sweat on it, I think it's a feast for the flies.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Fatcat » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:07 am

I rinse off when sweaty in the summer after a ride, but only give soap bath once or twice a year. I do wash tails more often as I have mares which means icky pee tails.

I noticed they really like baths since I got an instant hot propane hot water system. Best $140 I've spent.
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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby PaulaO » Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:07 pm

Ariel doesn’t like the confinement of the wash stall. There is a hose and spigot in the main aisle, but no place to hook her up. She also doesn’t like water on her back. I think we will a bit of training with the spigot in the aisle. Yesterday I noticed her coat was gleaming in the sun, so good grooming is my first choice.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Ponichiwa » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:29 pm

Dried sweat chafes like the Dickens. A rinse is a quick way to knock the salt off and avoid the issue.

I imagine this is climate-dependent as well. I live in the hot and humid and sticky part of Texas, where sweat is a way of life. The horses sweat in turnout, under saddle, and sometimes in the stalls. No amount of cool-out unless under fans is going to stop the sweat.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Hayburner » Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:40 pm

Paula. Hope the aisle hose and spigot has hot water. Neither of my horses would accept only cold water.

Maybe have someone hold her for you and to keep her mind off of the water getting in her back, don't forget the treat afterwards, :lol:

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby kande50 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:44 pm

Hayburner wrote:Maybe have someone hold her for you and to keep her mind off of the water getting in her back, don't forget the treat afterwards, :lol:


And during too, if that helps make it a more pleasant experience for her. :-)

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby kande50 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:26 pm

Ponichiwa wrote:
I imagine this is climate-dependent as well. I live in the hot and humid and sticky part of Texas, where sweat is a way of life. The horses sweat in turnout, under saddle, and sometimes in the stalls. No amount of cool-out unless under fans is going to stop the sweat.


So true. If I lived somewhere hot and humid I'd probably hose both of us down before, during, and after riding.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby StraightForward » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:04 am

kande50 wrote:
Hayburner wrote:Maybe have someone hold her for you and to keep her mind off of the water getting in her back, don't forget the treat afterwards, :lol:


And during too, if that helps make it a more pleasant experience for her. :-)


That was how I had to teach Pickle. Otherwise she would try to take me down with her big linebacker shoulders. Started out sponging with warm water so I didn't have to worry about tangling feet and hose as she got used to the sensation of dripping water. Also, the right spray attachment that allows you to start at a trickle really helps.

I see it's called a thumb control nozzle https://www.amazon.com/Gilmour-Heavy-Co ... ray+nozzle
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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby heddylamar » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:32 am

kande50 wrote:
Ponichiwa wrote:
I imagine this is climate-dependent as well. I live in the hot and humid and sticky part of Texas, where sweat is a way of life. The horses sweat in turnout, under saddle, and sometimes in the stalls. No amount of cool-out unless under fans is going to stop the sweat.


So true. If I lived somewhere hot and humid I'd probably hose both of us down before, during, and after riding.


That's why I hose after every ride, and, some days, even if I'm not riding. My BO will haul all the horses (okay, we have a whole 6 in the main barn, plus 3 at her house) out for a cool bath when we're in the triple digits. The DC area is not known for mild, non-humid summers.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Chisamba » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:10 am

When it's very hot I hose them off, bring them in and put them in front of fans. Hose after riding, again, if hot.

I mostly dry groom in fall and winter.

I medicated bath if they have fungus, scratches etc.

I shampoo and whiten for shows.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Josette » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:38 am

I only bath in extreme heat during summer months - about 3 full baths to get crud off legs, etc collected over the winter. One guy tends to lay in his manure which I can't tolerate and will spot wash. I find it necessary to remove excess sweat and fly spray- I don't like when the hair is holding onto dirt and sweat. I always hose off after a sweaty ride or sponge off with liniment wash. My horses enjoy baths during the summer heat. I do use warm water for bathing but they will tolerate the cool water in hotter weather.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Backyarder » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:34 pm

I hose lightly after a hard work out, bathe with soap maybe twice thru the summer...I sponge her girth area and mouth after every ride...she loves having her muzzle sponged...and it gets ride of the slobber stains...shes a blonde gal(perlino). I wash her tail when it's getting icky but not often, just keep it brushed and spray with a detangler as necessary.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby PaulaO » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:45 pm

The aisle spigot has hot water, so I will start with that. Of course, it all depends on her mood. Chestnut mare.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Hayburner » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:52 pm

Glad you have hot water available - even my princess who never had a bath till I bought her gets antsy if the water temp isn't "just right"....she also wants the sprayer on the "shower" setting, nothing blasting at her. I do find that both my old guy and her aren't crazy about their legs being washed so I do them last.
Her favorite part is getting her mane really scrubbed down deep at the roots, she'd have me do that part for hours her udders done with a sponge or rag and her face/forelock done also with a rag.

I have to start desensitizing her to the new vacuum I bought - this should be fun, NOT !

I just don't like riding or grooming a dirty horse - I know, I know, I should have bought a motorcycle, LOL......

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby kande50 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:24 pm

PaulaO wrote:The aisle spigot has hot water, so I will start with that. Of course, it all depends on her mood. Chestnut mare.


I start at the bottom and work my way up. If they start moving I don't take the spray away until they stand still again--at least for a second or two. I am careful not to work my way up too fast though, because if they get too far out of their comfort zone then I won't be able to wait until they stop moving to reward them.

IOW, the water is the aversive and taking it away is the release, so I want to take the water away when they're not moving because that's what rewards them for standing still. I also feed treats for standing still, because I want to "charm" the aversive in this case.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby AmityBee » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:56 am

Well, never?! I rinse off the sweat after I ride when it's hot and I sometimes cold hose legs and neck when it's so hot out that the horses sweat in their stalls. I have never used any kind of soap on his body and maybe used shampoo once or twice on his tail.

Once wet I usually let my horse have a nice roll in the sand paddock. Crusty, dirty, happy horse. He's always very shiny, even when dirty.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Hayburner » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:46 pm

Kande50 - That's how I saw it done on a Warrick Shiller video - reward good behavior by taking away the hose/water.

Funny you start at the bottom and I start at the top....LOL....whatever works....

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby kande50 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:12 pm

Hayburner wrote:Kande50 - That's how I saw it done on a Warrick Shiller video - reward good behavior by taking away the hose/water.

Funny you start at the bottom and I start at the top....LOL....whatever works....


I'll start at the top with the ones who aren't going to hurt themselves trying to get away, but some of them will start going nuts before I even get to their hooves. I suspect the problem may be that they associate the spray with electric fence, because their fear seems to be way out of proportion to what you'd think it would be.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:37 pm

I just want to say that I am a bit jealous of all of the extra time you folks with nice bay, black and chestnut horses have! At least I don't have to clip my grey girl (she grows very little hair).

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Moutaineer » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:20 am

Uh... my black horse is a giant dust bunny, and every speck shows, so no grooming shortcuts here. And he likes to lay in pee.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:13 pm

OK, that's fair Moutaineer! But you know I get things like this to deal with--especially during rainy spring and autumn periods:

dirty mare.jpg
dirty mare.jpg (88.51 KiB) Viewed 856 times


We are getting 1-2 inches a rain day for a few days this week, so I'm sure Em will soon have an opportunity to replicate this look. I am very close to wishing for winter so that I can stop bathing and keep her rugged up!

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby musical comedy » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:49 pm

I hose after every workout if they are sweaty. If a horse (or person) is truly working, they are going to sweat and get hot. If it is already hot and/or humid outside, how are you going to cool them down if not with cool/cold water? Walking in hot/humid weather won't cool them down. Besides, it takes a long time to cool down a hot horse. Take the temperature before you start hosing, and then take it intermittently during hosing. I won't stop hosing until the temp is down to <101.

You will see the temp drop a little about each scraping. The other thing is sweat has salt in it and gets stiff and sticky if it dries on a horse. That must not feel great to them plus it makes grooming difficult. All that said, if a horse is just ridden lightly and not sweating, then sure, just do a walk cool down, brush and be done.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby StraightForward » Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:07 pm

piedmontfields wrote:OK, that's fair Moutaineer! But you know I get things like this to deal with--especially during rainy spring and autumn periods:

dirty mare.jpg


We are getting 1-2 inches a rain day for a few days this week, so I'm sure Em will soon have an opportunity to replicate this look. I am very close to wishing for winter so that I can stop bathing and keep her rugged up!


Oh, that's just charming! :lol:

Tesla somehow manages to get a lot of grime into her coat, whereas Annabelle is a clean machine. I think she might be part seal. Once I got my new filly with fairly low amounts of leg chrome, I gave my bottle of Green Spot Remover to Susan.
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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:15 pm

Yes, some of us need all of the donations of Green Spot Remover we can get! It is funny how even with the same coat color there is such a difference between individuals.

I agree with MC on getting rid of sweat/salt + cooling the horse down. But I'm also not in a restricted water environment like CA or ID, thanks to the "amazing" TN climate aka it's a temperate rain forest around here!

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Ponichiwa » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:16 pm

Solid use of camouflage by Em. I'm impressed.

I'm using a lot more shampoo now that I've got a palomino. I might need to buy stock in Quic Silver. Yesterday somehow Queso's mane was green.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Ryeissa » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:56 pm

I rinse off every ride and use whitening soap every couple of weeks.
White leg pinto! I wash more often leading up to shows.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Quelah » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:25 pm

I bathe a LOT. One I'm in California, two I have three black horses and one black and white pinto. Anything that sweats gets rinsed, I use the Vetrolin hose end shampoo sprayer at least once a week on the horses in work. I managed big show barns for many years and I don't really dig "grooming" horses or cleaning tack anymore. Pinto's white parts need to be white, and sweat left on black horses fades the coats. My horses have fabulous coats and they're very clean (usually).

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby goldhorse » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:27 pm

I bathe a lot too! Also in N. California. The retired palomino is actually quite tidy but he suffers from sweet itch. The head dermatologist at UC Davis recommended frequent baths during the insect season to wash away the insect saliva. If not a full bath, at least a rinse. So he gets that about once a week.
The second palomino is a pig. His nickname is Piglet because he's as sweet as the Winnie the Pooh character but he is also a PIG. He makes huge piles of poop and sleeps on them every night. He doesn't get all of his tail out of the way when he poops. So at the minimum, he gets a full tail shampoo every week and probably a full bath every 1-2 weeks.
The new horse in black bay. I don't know his bathing needs yet but I can't imagine it will be like the first two.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby heddylamar » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:55 am

goldhorse wrote:I bathe a lot too! Also in N. California. The retired palomino is actually quite tidy but he suffers from sweet itch. The head dermatologist at UC Davis recommended frequent baths during the insect season to wash away the insect saliva. If not a full bath, at least a rinse. So he gets that about once a week.


Would you say it seems to have worked?

In addition to being a giant fungi, Anzia has sweet itch. If bathing/hosing more often would help, I'm happy to do so. I just figured that, like a human, frequent soapy baths could also have a detrimental over-drying effect.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby goldhorse » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:33 am

I think it has helped. I use a hydrocortisone shampoo along the ventral midline over the itchy spots and apply that first and leave it on while I do the rest of the body with either Ventrolin shampoo or UltraCruz shampoo. That's what I had this year so there's no specific reason why I use them. Then I rinse everything off. Once dry, I treat the open wounds on his belly with some mixture of goo to make a barrier against the bugs.

My routine for sweet itch this year has been:
1) Heavy worming starting in March for the neck threadworms.
2) Fly sheet. I'm still searching for the perfect one. My boy is very broad shouldered so I like the Hug but it doesn't have a belly band.
3) EcoVet fly spray
4) SpotOn repellent every 2 weeks
5) Bathing every 1-2 weeks
6) Hydrocortisone lotions over the itchy spots
7) Diaper cream as a barrier over the open bite wounds
8) 1000 mg of niacinamide (Vitamin B3) every day (supposed to act as an anti-histamine-I don't know if it works but it's inexpensive)

Sometimes I use a chlorhexidine shampoo or Hibiclens if the skin looks really bad, like in the armpits. Maybe that would help with the fungus.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby heddylamar » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:09 am

I do much of the same for Anzia with a few additions: prescription antifungal shampoo (same kinda stuff you'd use on dogs), and daily Benadryl during the really bad weeks. Per the vet, I've tried monistat on some of her fungal outbreaks, but diaper ointment has far better results. I've had no luck with fly sheets, Anzia just shreds them.

Between all of the fungus and the sweet itch, she's a big beggar -- please rub my belly!

I'll increase the baths, and see if that helps.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Ponichiwa » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:15 pm

On the topic of fly sheets for horses with broad shoulders, I really like these from SS Tack:

https://www.sstack.com/test_inactive-si ... sed-front/

They've got an open front version if you don't like the over-the-head blanketing routine.

https://www.sstack.com/test_inactive-si ... pen-front/

They're designed to fit QH-type horses who are really broad in the shoulders and don't have a whole lot of wither.

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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby goldhorse » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:28 pm

Funny, I tried the mosquito mesh this year. At sites where the nylon straps were sewed onto the mesh rubbed his hide off. I ended up throwing it away.

PaulaO
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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby PaulaO » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:44 pm

last night I took Miss A. to the hose in the aisle. She stood there quietly while I washed her tail. It helped that a fellow boarder stood at her head, but he didn't have to hold her. I think she thought he had treats. At least her tail is clean now!

Hayburner
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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby Hayburner » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:35 am

Good for you Paula. That's a start! Maybe do her mane next and really massage the roots, my mare loves that! Before you know it she'll love getting all prettied up!

redsoxluvr
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Re: How often do you bathe your horse?

Postby redsoxluvr » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:05 am

I hose during the summer, and if I am suddenly overrun with free time I may use soap on them once or twice per summer and deep condition the tail at the same time. Otherwise, they get curried and brushed when they get worked. That's it.


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