Help with Washing? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-06-2012, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
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Help with Washing?

So, one of the few issues my boy has on the ground, is that he is such a pain to wash. He doesn't rear up or buck or anything. But he makes it VERY clear that he doesn't like it.

Washing him in the wash stall didn't help one bit, he was constantly moving around and it just wasn't a safe situation. So the next time I tried him outside with a bucket of warm water. He was better, but still really showing he didn't like it. So the last couple times I've just been rubbing his legs down, pouring some water down his legs, trying to get him to calm down.

When I first went to look at him, his previous owner washed him off twice and didn't have a problem with him.

Anybody got any info that might help me? xD
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-06-2012, 05:53 PM
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Well while I don't know any way to make them actually LIKE having a bath, but I do know how to get them to stop freaking about it. Say your holding a horse that skitters around when you put the hose water to him, when he moves away from you the water is no longer on him. Now its in his head "Huh if I skitter around her, then no more water touches me for a few seconds!" You can get this out of their heads by only holding the water to them while they are jumping around, and when they are standing still you can take it off. Eventually the horse decides its a lot more fun to stand still than jump around.
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-06-2012, 06:41 PM
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My daughter's late gelding (RIP my dear Clip) hated bathing. For 20 years, he acted like we were devils spewing hot tar out of a hose. He never totally freaked, but he was never calm & behaved like he was normally. We tried everything we knew, he despised baths & he was a show horse, so he had to have them, a LOT. Yet that horse was still and accommodating for sheath cleaning. So who knows, I sure don't.
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-06-2012, 08:56 PM
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My gelding hated getting hosed down. He would do the same thing and start squirming. I was just firm with him. Don't keep saying easy in a nice tone. I stood silent and stayed by his head. Giving pats on the neck and a few treats during the bath helped a lot too. Good luck!
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-06-2012, 10:16 PM
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How old is he?

My coming three-year-old (will be three TOMORROW!) HATED being rinsed down last year. He would move around, trying to get away from the hose. I gave him his first real bath EVER last Monday and he acted like he'd been doing it his whole life. Apparently, he outgrew his aversion to water. lol

My old gelding, who was eight when I started working with him, hated to be bathed when I first got him. He would try to dance away from the hose, sit back on his lead rope. ANYTHING to not be bathed. I was just persistent and gentle with him. I would turn the hose on real slow and not use a spray nozzle on it. Then I'd just let it run down his back and legs. After a while, he decided that it wasn't so bad after all. As he got more comfortable with that, I started turning the hose on higher until I could spray him down with a spray nozzle and he loved it. It helped to do it on really hot days after he'd been worked hard. Then he realized how good it felt.
Do not tell me I can't...because I will show you that I can.
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-06-2012, 10:26 PM
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My mare hates water and baths, She is convinced she's gunna melt if the water touches her, and I usually just ignore her and don't really rush it, I usually use nice warm water and start at her legs and slowly work my way up, food always helps too, if you're having a really tough time, maybe a hay bag while you're bathing?
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-07-2012, 12:28 AM
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My geldings had never seen a hose when I got them. I waited till hot weather and turned the sprinkler on in their pasture. Next step was the spray nozzle. Now all I do is turn on the water and ask who wants the hose and they both line up.

Have to sing the bathing song....."working at the draft wash......working as a draft washer......come on and sing it with me...."
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post #8 of 18 Old 05-07-2012, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by BigGreyHorse View Post
Have to sing the bathing song....."working at the draft wash......working as a draft washer......come on and sing it with me...."
You mean like this?

^^ This was his first ever REAL bath with soap and on the wash rack. Last summer just rinsing him down after a ride was like a circus act.
Do not tell me I can't...because I will show you that I can.
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post #9 of 18 Old 05-07-2012, 06:42 AM
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I have this problem with my pony too!
Especially around his head/upper neck.

He isn't as bad when I do his legs and back end but is still a pain (walking around, pulling back)

I just make sure I go slowly with the hose on his body.. and use a wet sponge for his face area.
This might not work for you though as all our four leg-eds are different!.

Vince ~ Mithril Vincent ~ Welsh B ~ 30/10/1997
10 years together and counting..
+ Amber, Mally RIP, Goldy, Angwyn, Karisma, Burdie, Bundy and Roxy
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post #10 of 18 Old 05-11-2012, 10:23 AM
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My horse has never had a bath before I got her. I've just been hosing her legs to get her used to it on 70 degree days. Doesn't help that the well water is very cold, all the time. I learned to take the spray nozzle off, as that spraying sound adds to her being uneasy. I move a little farther up the leg each time but she is still a pain the rear when it comes to even that. God forbid I try and take a wet rag to her face.

So I'm waiting until after a trail ride when she's really hot to bathe the rest of her. Hopefully by then she will be used to the hose and appreciate the cool water. We'll see. That's the plan for now.
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