My horse won't let me wash her. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-18-2013, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Question My horse won't let me wash her.

I can wash her front legs with a bit or persuasion, but that's as far as it goes without having her half-rearing (And I leave it at that as I do NOT want to risk her flipping on cobbles.) I can sometimes catch her back legs but if the water stream goes any higher than her elbow she has a tantrum. I cannot tie her up as she knows the string will break so she purposefully pulls back to get away from the water. So I end up holding the rope in one hand and attempting to hose her with the other. There's no major rush as I won't be showing until next year, but I have had her for 9 months and have never given her a proper bath because of this issue.
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-18-2013, 05:48 PM
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each time you stop because she throws a fit, you teach her to keep doing it.

She has your number.

What I did was use two ppl at first, one holding, one spraying. Spray her legs til she stops dancing like an idiot. When she stops, RIGHT AWAY point the water away. Repeat. Go higher. I did treat, but if you're already having problems with her, you probably shouldnt.

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post #3 of 17 Old 08-18-2013, 05:53 PM
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What she said. Every time you stop because she is having a fit, she is learning that what she has to do is have a fit so you'll stop. What you want her to learn is that when she stands quietly, you will stop, and to do that, you must never stop unless/until she is standing quietly.

As she already has a bad habit, you might have to start with getting her to stand quietly while you water the ground at her feet. When she can do that, work up to standing quietly while you rinse her hooves. Once she's got that, move up to rinsing her lower legs, then her upper legs, and so forth in small stages.
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-18-2013, 05:56 PM
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Her not tying properly is another HUGE issue, but one that requires determination to fix. There are several good threads on HF about it already, much better than any advice I could give, if you are interested in addressing that issue. Cribbing and not tying properly are two issues that are deal-breakers in a horse for me, the latter mostly because it is very dangerous IMO (the former because I hate that sound!)
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-18-2013, 06:19 PM
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You should probably start off by putting the hosepipe away and getting a sponge and a bucket of water
If you can have a strong person hold her then better if not hold her yourself in a fairly confined space where she cant see enough room to get away from you but you aren't at risk yourself
Use water that's warmed enough to not make her go 'ow that's cold' Squeeze as much of the water out as you can and begin by just wiping her over so she gets used to the feel of being wet at your hands (remember horses get rained on all the time and that doesn't worry them) As she begins to accept it you can have a wetter sponge and allow water to trickle down in the way a hosepipe would and once she's happy with that then go back to the pipe
Its a bad idea to start a battle with a horse that you cant win as they learn from it
I always use a hose with a spray attachment on it that allows you to control the ferocity of the flow - from a trickle, fine spray to pressure wash!!
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-19-2013, 02:38 PM
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I'm in agreement with Jaydee, bucket and sponge first then move onto the hose, and keep her in as small as space as possible.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-21-2013, 10:44 AM
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I'd run a chain shank over her nose and pop her and tell her to stand up.

All horses need some sort of verbal command that means for them to get those feet still and stand there like they have some sense.

This mare has figured out that you can't make her behave, and is having you on basically.

She is spoiled more than anything.

I also would not go back to bucket/sponge at this point. Waste of time.

Horse needs to be corrected strongly, get her off cobbles into grass and make her behave.

And if you are a baby talker? Quit it. If you are a soother...always dragging out's allll rigghhhttttt? Quit that too. You are making horse worse.

Tell her to stand still, and use lower pitch to voice. And don't jibber jabber to her either.

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post #8 of 17 Old 08-21-2013, 11:04 AM
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I would tie her firmly to the "patience pole" with a rope and halter that won't break or come loose, stand back, and start doing approach and retreat with the stream of water.

When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure. - Peter Marshall
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-23-2013, 01:16 PM
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Ditto everyone. She now has your number, where originally it might not have been about getting out of a bath

I use an adjustable shower nozzle to bath my horses.

I have two with serious back issues. During bath season, I know when their backs need a visit from the chiro because they will move away from the water hose as soon as the cold spray hits the area that needs worked on

Once the chiro works on them, they're back to enjoying a bath on a hot humid night, to get the yukkies off them.

Your horse has now picked up an obnoxious and unacceptable bad habit that needs fixed.

I would not tie the horse to bath her (yes she needs to learn to stand tied, just not during bath time) but I would beg someone experienced to hold her and give you some guidance on getting her bathed before she lets loose with a back leg and sends you to the ER

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-30-2013, 02:55 PM
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Go slowly, and like the others said, do NOT give up. She has to learn that you are the lead horse, and that you won't be pushed around. Don't ever do it by yourself until you are completely sure that she won't act up. Get a more experienced rider and have them hold her for you. Show no fear whatsoever. Don't try to calm her down because it doesn't sound like shes afraid, it just sounds like shes being a brat. Bring her into some grass or dirt, not cobblestones, and get her to behave. Good luck!
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bath , hosing , rearing , training , washing

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