After my friend and I had finished our ride and were grooming our horses she mentioned how Alibi always have some grossness on her udders. I had never really checked Bella's, I sprayed them when I bathed her but never really soaped up under there. Well I decided to take a feel and from the quick feel I got before she tried to kick me, I could tell it was gross. It almost felt scabby it was so thick and rough feeling. Since cleaning it off by hand clearly wasn't going to work we took them to the wash area and I tried using the hose to loosen the crud, that helped some but every time I tried to touch it she would kick, and she is very agile and can kick forward and back, and even to the side so there was really no safe place to stand where you can reach. I did get some off, and it kind of looked like a chestnut, which I thought was odd.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to clean it without getting hurt? I got a pic with my phone but it came out blurry since I wasn't going to stick my head by my already pissed off mares back legs
I have only had one mare wanting to "offer" a kick when cleaning that area. The rest of them love it. Try taking an extention "hand" stick and go from there. They get that smegma type stuff in between the teets that on occasion that needs to be cleaned. If nothing works, try and get a sedative from your vet.
Try standing right up against your mare's hip and lean into it so she can't kick you, just is able to sort of shove against you. Slowly and softly massage her chest area and work your way back to her udders. If you have some Excalibur (sheath cleaner) rub that on your left hand and gently massage her with that. If not that, baby oil works really well too but you have to wash that off or it just makes new dirt stick. Once you get the Excalibur massaged in (again GENTLY GENTLY is the word) let it sit for 5 or 10 mins and then slowly go back in there and massage it off with a warm wet sponge. Then rinse again with warm water to get all the Excalibur off. Keep your right shoulder into her hip and if you are gentle and slow, she will probably start liking having her udders cleaned and will not offer to kick again. If you don't have warm water at your barn then set a black bucket of water out in the sunlight to warm up for 1/2 hr or so before you try to rinse her off.
Think how you'd react if someone tried to roughly wash your 'udders' and rinsed 'em off with cold water....you'd kick too! LOL!
I wasn't being rough at all, the first time I went to feel it I ever so gently went to touch and as soon as I made contact she tried to kick me! It really caught me off guard! We don't have warm water so I was using cold water to spray her. I will ask the barn owner if she has any excalliber, if not I'll check tractor supply and get some, I tried standing right up against her but she nearly knocked me over when she tried to kick. She also hates her stomach rubbed because she is prone to ulcers and gets very sensitive when they flare up. I guess I will just do what I can day by day. What is the hand extension and where can I get it?
Have someone hold her off rear leg while you work from the near side. If her other leg is in the air she can't kick you. You can take a piece of PVC pipe or a dressage whip or long crop, anything you can use that's long enough to get you out of her legs reach when kicking, and you can slide it up under her teats gently and keep on touching her no matter what she does until she figures out 1) you're not hurting her and 2) nothing she does does any good so she might as well be still. Once she lets you touch her and doesn't try to kick, praise her and move off. It's not unusual for them to be a little touchy if they aren't used to being touched there, so you just have to desensitize her.
I always started my mares getting used to being handled around their udders by rubbing and scratching their hind legs. The backs of the legs and inside their back legs is hard for them to reach and always itchy. They love being scratched there. From doing that, it's not a big deal to occasionally rub the leg-side of the udder, and from there, they are usually relaxed enough to allow handling the area between the teats.
I just pick off the chunks of gunk and kind of wipe the area gently clean with my hand. Nothing else except clear water after a ride and an occasional horse shampoo with a sprayer. I think that area's skin is so sensitive that it is too easy to use soaps and chemicals that do more harm than good, by causing the tissue to produce more gunk. The gunk doesn't hurt them, or we'd hear news reports about wild horses dying from gunky private parts. It's just unpleasant for us.
Like Dreamcatcher said it's not unusual and she just needs some desensitizing.
Most of mine I've had since birth and they've been touched since they were foals but my gray mare was like yours when I got her. I used a sponge with a dowel rod in it and desentized her. Kept me out of kick zone and she got used to it fairly quickly. I've ended up using it now to clean all the girls. No smegma smell on your hands :)
I remember Vida (on this forum) said once one of her horses was good about cleaning only when you did it between the back legs. Did sound little weird to me, but I tried the position out of curiosity last time I was cleaning, and yes it was pretty comfortable indeed.
First couple times I did it very slowly with lots of talking and petting on my paint. Also using some oil first to get that dirt loose before actual cleaning helps quite a bit. I started with the inside of her leg: pet and scratched there till she relaxed, then I went closer and closer to her "private part" (and yes, I was standing by her side, close to her hip).
Raven use to cow kick when I first started cleaning her udders. They were so dirty and she had half her tail rubbed away from scratching it on the stall walls because of the dirt. I thought using a soft sponge would help her feel more comfortable but she likes me just to use my hands and she gets a treat when she's done and she knows to expect it when she's all clean. I also heard putting vaseline on the udders can keep them clean longer. Haven't tried it yet but hope to soon.