how cold is to cold to give horse a bath - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-23-2012, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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how cold is to cold to give horse a bath

i just got my first horse and after working her later this week i want to know if its ok to wash her down i know we are still in winer but here in california this week the high will be 53f-61F ands low temps will be 47F-39F is this to cold to hose down after a work out or ride?
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-23-2012, 05:19 PM
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Depends on the wind. If it's windy in a 60F day, I might pass on the bath. If it's nice and warm and the water isn't a tick about freezing, then I'd do it. But it's important not to bathe too often, they need those natural oils.

Personally, I wouldn't bathe my horse until 65F+ just because he's known for losing weight easily and I rather not give him a reason to.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-23-2012, 05:26 PM
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Depends on alot of factors.

How much coat does the horse have? A hairy horse is going to dry much slower and could get chill from being wet too long. But a horse with very light coat isn't going to have as much protection from the chill in the first place.

Do you have a cooler to keep on the horse and time to wait for the horse to dry before removing it?

Is the horse kept outside, in a drafty barn, or in a heated barn? If the horse is outside, is it cloudy and windy or sunny?

Do you have hot water or just cold water?

If you can give the horse a bath with warm water, cover them with a cooler afterwards and keep them in a warm, undrafty area until they are dry, then it should be ok. Otherwise I wouldn't.

I just look at it this way. I don't bathe my horse in any temperature I wouldn't be ok taking a shower in myself! I'm sure the horse doesn't appreciate it

I would suggest hosing off her legs (since ice water is fine, actually good for their legs), then rubbing off any saddle marks with a damp sponge, and if its cool, throw on a cooler for a bit til they dry.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-23-2012, 07:34 PM
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The old fashioned rule of thumb is: If you have a heated barn without draft and a solarium to dry him off, you can wash your horse at any time.
If not, you can bathe your horse as soon as it's warm enough where you'd be comfortable taking a dip in the pool or pond.

"My horses are my friends, not my slaves."
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-23-2012, 07:38 PM
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I had no choice when I got ginger she was covered in feces and nastiness.. and had to be cleaned.. and it was like 20 degrees outside at the time and she is a yearling that had a poor winter coat.. the hose was frozen so we had to use buckets of hot water.. not too hot to burn, and dry her off immediately with towels.. and then put her in the barn with her blanket on

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post #6 of 14 Old 01-24-2012, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks every one, im starting to work this horse who has not been workeds in over 5 months and she just breaks out in sweat after 45 min So i wanted to wash her down after a work out
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-24-2012, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Diegojambriz View Post
i just got my first horse and after working her later this week i want to know if its ok to wash her down i know we are still in winer but here in california this week the high will be 53f-61F ands low temps will be 47F-39F is this to cold to hose down after a work out or ride?

I would say this is too cold.
I don't give a bath unless the weather is in the 70's.

Rule of thump I use also, if I wet a little spot on my arm and hold my arm out and it gives me a chill, it is too cold. If you are wearing a jacket, even light weight, it is probably too cold.
Just sweat scrap her and brush her after and she will be fine.

Also make sure she is cooled down before allowing her to eat or drink.
You can test this by placing your hand on the lower part of her chest in between her front legs, if it feels hot or warm wait until it no longer does before allowing her food or water.
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-24-2012, 01:04 AM
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I trained a Peruvian Paso in the winter a few years back. I would work her for an hour & she would just drip with sweat. Took me longer to dry her off, I used towels, lots of towels. She was kept outdoors & blanketed. She never got sick so I think I would try the towelling off method until it was warmer in case this horse got chilled.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-24-2012, 08:54 PM
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depends on the weather. and if you have heated water. if you do have heated water you can bathe alot colder. windy affects the temperature and so does humidity. I personally wouldn't bathe under the temperature of 60 unless it was 55 and you had a cooler.
now if you live in one of my dream barns that have warm water and a heated barn with a washrack inside...I'd bathe my horse when it was 20
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-24-2012, 09:07 PM
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When it's too cold to bathe and I need a clean horse for a show, I use the fraction method. I have a bucket of warm water and shampoo and a bucket of plain warm water. While the horse is blanketed, I peel back a small fraction of his blanket and wash one part at a time. Once I have one part washed, I'll towel it dry, cover it with the blanket, and move on to another small section. If the legs are dirty, I'll soak the legs in buckets of warm water, toweling them dry imediately after.

If it's too cold even for that, I have my trusty vacuum. It doesn't help with mud, but it's very useful for removing dust and dirt.
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