Clean Themselves?

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Clean Themselves?

This is a discussion on Clean Themselves? within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How do horses in the wild clean themselves
  • Do horeses lick themselves clean

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    06-15-2009, 11:11 PM
Clean Themselves?

I had a thought earlier this morning as I watched my cat clean itself.

Do horses clean themselves? Do they have other herd members help them? Or are they one of the animals that don't get cleaned unless it's natural water or humans cleaning them?

I was just thinking, 'cause cats lick themselves, and birds preen, etc. But I've never really herd of/seen a horse groom itself or another horse helping it.
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    06-15-2009, 11:21 PM
I believe that the only way that horses are able to clean themselves is to roll. They will often rub an itchy place with either their teeth or on a post or tree but no cleaning. If they have access to it, they will roll in mud to loosen pest eggs and loose hair that will then fall off with the mud when it dries.
    06-15-2009, 11:27 PM
Yep, but they do 'mutual grooming' on the withers, dock, and chest too. Otherwise mud is the way to go, although, my mares will stand stock still during a downpour. You can watch the mud stream off them, and when it's done raining, they won't roll for a few days - they get fluffy
    06-16-2009, 10:50 AM
Oh, okay! I learned something new! Lol

Thanks both of ya.
    06-16-2009, 06:06 PM
My gelding licks my mare when she gets a cut or scrape. But I've never seen another horse do this, so I don't know if its normal or not. Otherwise the only type of grooming I've seen is what the others have described.
    06-18-2009, 01:14 AM
Mine doesn't do anything to clean himself...but he does work really hard to get himself dirty after I clean him
    06-18-2009, 02:51 AM
To a horse, grooming normally means getting as filthy as possible, I'm sure that mine know that if they get really dirty a stupid human will then spend hours ' cleaning them ' ( giving them attention I mean )

I don't know who's smarter - them or us
    06-18-2009, 05:18 AM
I think horses have a very different definition of clean than we do ;)
    06-18-2009, 09:31 AM
Good point Nutty Saddler. I wonder about that everytime I go down to the paddock and Soda is crusted with dirt on literally every part of his body (how the heck does he do it?) I swear he looks at me thinking "ha, now you have to spend 2 hrs brushing me" they usually only get a quick going over once a day..
    06-18-2009, 11:30 AM
I agree w. Jody111, I know mine don't care if they are dirty, mine have rolled after I've sprayed them off, so they don't care if they are shiny and clean.

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