Infographic: Bathe Your Horse Like a Pro

Follow these 10 steps to maximize bathtime for your horse.

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How frequently we bathe our horses can vary tremendously and often depends on factors such as the climate and our horses' jobs.
Routine baths can help remove dried sweat, caked-on dirt, debris, and flakes of dry skin. They allow us to inspect our horses' skin and coats and remove foreign material that could damage the skin or cause painful infections. Bathing is often necessary after riding, on hot summer days, for itch relief, to treat skin conditions, or before going to a competition. Gather your supplies and find a safe place to wash your horse. Rinse your horse's entire body, mane, and tail, positioning yourself so he can't strike or kick you. Use a damp sponge or mitt to apply your shampoo of choice-
which might range from a shine-enhancing product to a medicated shampoo--following application instructions found on the product label. Some are used full strength and others diluted.If your horse has white markings, apply bluing shampoo to a sponge or
mitt and use it to scrub those areas, again following the manufacturer's instructions. Shampoo the mane and tail, using your fingers to massage it into the hair roots and tail dock. Some horses tolerate having their faces gently sprayed with water. You can also use a sponge to dampen the face and forelock. If you're not confident you can remove all the soap from your horse's face, skip shampoo and use water only. Use a clean sponge or rag to wash other delicate areas, such as the teats and vulva on a mare or the outside of a gelding's sheath. Rinse the horse's body, mane, and tail to remove shampoo and body wash until all signs of soap and suds are gone. You can use a sweat scraper to remove water so the horse dries quicker. Apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner to
the tail. You might also apply a conditioning spray to the body of horses with dry coats or that get bathed frequently. Apply a cotton scrim sheet or cooler and, if possible, hand-walk the horse while he dries.


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The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care is an equine publication providing the latest news and information on the health, care, welfare, and management of all equids.

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