Cleaning the underside of a mare? - Page 3

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Cleaning the underside of a mare?

This is a discussion on Cleaning the underside of a mare? within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Underside of a mare
  • Cleaning fillys belly

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    04-05-2013, 08:16 PM
My first mare never needed to be cleaned, my second has to monthly or so, she grunts and groans when you peel off the flakes. I use baby wipes and a very soft sponge and just water, once everything is damp it usually comes off easily.
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    04-05-2013, 09:46 PM
Thanks for all the advice everyone! Extremely informative.
Although i'm a little overwhelmed with all the options :)
What is the best method for looking over your horse for general marks, ticks, anything necessary? I usually notice things when I groom.
    04-05-2013, 11:28 PM
When I worked at breeding farms the mares looked at the cleaning of their udders as a treat. I'm sure it gets itchy for them. A lot of them would widen their stance and move their hips back and forth as I gently scrached them. Out came their top lips. I wouldn't use soap. Just a soft damp cloth.
As for nostrils; I use a soft damp cloth and just wipe where I can see. Especially when it's dusty or windy out. Or really hot. Teddy appreciates it.
    04-06-2013, 07:34 AM
Originally Posted by hellothere    
What is the best method for looking over your horse for general marks, ticks, anything necessary? I usually notice things when I groom.
We give our mares a general look over and run a hand quickly over them each morning and evening to look/feel for cuts/scrapes/ticks/etc.
    04-06-2013, 09:38 AM
My filly will NOT let me get a hand anywhere near her udders. Well. She will for like a second, then she chucks a fit and threatens to kick, and those hind legs... I do NOT want them coming into contact with my body... she is LETHAL. No matter how hard I try to get her to chill out, she just won't accept it.

I have one of those car washing mitts, except it's actually made for horses [same thing, just costs more haha... I won it for coming third in a SJ comp], so I was considering stuffing it full of old baler twine, tying/taping it to a pole or a bit of pipe, and being able to get in under there while standing at her shoulder out of reach of her back legs. That, or wrapping said pole/pipe in a large sponge.

Mum's filly is so good about her udders, probably because she was mine originally [our little buckskin pony filly]... I bought her aged 5 months, got her home aged 6 months, and from the day she got here I was handling her everywhere. Easy when they're 6 months old, about 11hh if that big, and only 250kg [she was in great condition just fine built and tiny]... not so easy when they're 2 1/2, 16hh, and 460kg, with absolutely lethal hind legs that they know how to use...
    04-06-2013, 01:41 PM
Green Broke
That's why I suggested using a stick or whip first. You can desensitize the horse to being touched there without having to worry about getting kicked.

Rub the stick on the belly and slowly move it toward her udders. When she acts up, try to keep rubbing the same spot until she stops reacting. Then take the stick away. Removing it while she acts up rewards and reinforces the behavior.
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    04-07-2013, 10:27 AM
A stick is no good, tried it, she just panics and rears and strikes out... I am almost certain someone has done something awful to her at some point. I can ride with a whip, I can handle her with a whip or a stick in my hand, I can rub her almost all over with a lunge whip, I can lunge with a whip no trouble, but as SOON as that whip or stick goes underneath her, it's panic stations, get the hell out of the way of those flying hooves.

That's why I was thinking of a sponge or a mitt on a pole rather than a stick. She's ok with things that don't feel like they might hurt her being underneath her. Brushes, sponges, hands, etc. But a whip, stick or anything of the description is not on.

I'm working on it but I think I need to keep these two last 'major' issues of hers separate.
    04-07-2013, 10:56 AM
Green Broke
Like most things, it doesn't happen overnight. That just tells you what you have to work on. Keep working on desensitizing her and she will come around.

Another trick you could try is wrapping a rope around her body once. Hold both ends and pull snug in an upwards direction. Just tight enough to keep contact under her. Start at her girth line. Move your hand up and down a little so the rope rubs her. Slowly work the rope back across her belly. If or when she acts up, do your best to not release tension on the rope until she stops and stands still. Then release. This will also prepare her for a back cinch if you ride western.

Anytime a horse tells you that you've found an "Oh no" spot, that just tells you what you have to work on.
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    04-07-2013, 02:14 PM
Done the rope thing too, extensively, while I was prepping her for breaking. I ride English but it's pretty much one of the default methods in my toolkit so they don't fight being girthed up for the first few times. My horses ["mine" meaning those I have had any part in training... not many, I'm only young and don't have a ton of money so can't take projects constantly but still] are all absolutely fine with ropes looped and tied and flicked around all parts of their bodies. Getting in near the udders is a bit hard though!

This one is a paradox. She's quiet, but she's crazy. She's the easiest horse to train I've ever had the pleasure of working with, but the hardest as well. She has huge issues, but she's largely unspoiled and incredibly trusting. She hates men, but she will choose to demand cuddles from men over women if there are any men around. She's a nightmare about her feet, but she's a dream about her feet. She's consistent, but she's unpredictable. She's reliable, but she's dangerous for the wrong handler. She's a good doer, but she's a hard keeper [that one I can explain - she keeps weight on easily enough but HOLY HIGH MAINTENANCE o.o there are SO many feeds that she can't have because they send her lame, the one thing I've found that's really working so far is beet pulp]. She's not a kicker, but she's lethal with those hind legs. She's sweet as pie, but if looks could kill...

...her neighbour would be a dead horse. [edit; I do NOT tolerate these faces being made at me, or while I'm between them or in the box with her, and she doesn't follow through with the looks or I would do something about making sure she can't/won't kick out in his direction]
EVERYTHING about her is a paradox. The level of fear she used to have had to have been man-made, but this reactiveness and sensitivity is just... who she is. A less sensitive, less reactive horse would never have turned dangerous or been that scared... the guy wasn't THAT bad, not abusive, just... "forceful" I guess is the word. The thing is, she can't BE forced, she is The Great Almighty Queen of Her Royal Domain and everything has to be a 'discussion'. You know what they say. You tell a gelding, ask a stallion, but you must discuss it with a mare. She needs to think it's her idea.

Thankfully she is by nature a horse that is incredibly willing to please, or she would be an absolute nightmare. So mostly, if I ask her to do something, it's "her" idea, because she wants the approval. She thrives on it.

I didn't actually ask for advice, by the way :) I was just sharing my thoughts for the benefit of the OP, because I have a filly who is utterly impossible about cleaning "under there". Back end is so easy it's not even worth talking about, but underneath is just... ugh.
    04-07-2013, 05:41 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony    
I didn't actually ask for advice, by the way :) I was just sharing my thoughts for the benefit of the OP, because I have a filly who is utterly impossible about cleaning "under there". Back end is so easy it's not even worth talking about, but underneath is just... ugh.
Sorry if I overstepped giving advice. I just wanted to share what had worked for me. Possibly it could have helped you or anyone else having these issues.
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