washing the face? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 09-01-2009, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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washing the face?

I usually just wipe it down with a wet rag but his face is predominantly white and it doesnt get all the dirt off. Is there a way to actually wash his face? If so how do I introduce him to it? He stands wonderfully for baths just never tried the face.
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-01-2009, 02:33 PM
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It has taken me about 2 years to get Dobe used to me washing his face and this summer is the first time that he has been completely comfortable with it. What I did was take any kind of spray nozzle off the end of the hose, turn the water on very lightly (more than a trickle but not full blast either). I started at a place on his neck where he was comfortable and rubbed him with the end of the hose in my hand. I slowly worked my way closer and closer to his head and finally got to his jaw. Then I worked under his eye and up onto his forehead. Stay away from their ears when you are first doing it. Past that, just keep working on it until they are comfortable with water being run over their whole head. Make sure to NEVER get any in their ears though, that will make them shy from the water for a really long time.

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post #3 of 13 Old 09-02-2009, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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ok awesome. His next bath will be this weekend. He's let me get the very bottom of his jaw but I never asked for more. Thanks!
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-04-2009, 12:57 AM
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Try and remember to remove the spray of water from his face BEFORE he feels like he has to jerk his head away to get away from the water. If you can get your timing down by the end of your next bath he'll be standing there loving having the water sprayed on his face. I have a mare who has an issue with having a lot of gunk in her eyes - she loves having the water sprayed gently sprayed directly on to her eyes - she'll even try and open her eyes to the water. I think it makes her eyes feel better.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-04-2009, 01:04 AM
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I don't even use the hose really. I just wet a sponge down and wipe it all over his face to wet it down, then I put a bit of shampoo in my hands and rub it all over his face. To scrub I use one of those rubber currycombs that fits over your hand (one side has bigger bumps for the body the other has small, thin ones that gently massage the face. They come in lots of different colours too) to gently rub his face to get the dirt loose. And to rinse I just repeat step one again. :)

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire. ~Sharon Ralls Lemon
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-04-2009, 01:10 AM
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I have a Welsh Pony who isn't a fan of his face being touched. I take a handful of treats and stick them in my pocket and then grab a soft, small sponge. After that, I will grab a bucket and fill it up with lukewarm water. Next, I take the sponge and drop it in the bucket. The fourth thing I do is grab some tear free baby shampoo. I apply the shampoo directly to the sponge and, in a small, gentle circular motion, I scrub my horse's brown spots away. When I'm finished scrubbing, I completely rinse the sponge and then take the water in the bucket and careful sponge my horse's face off to rinse the suds away. I try hard not to get soap in his eyes. So far I never had, but that's why I use baby shampoo. I only do this if my horse's face is particularly dirty. Otherwise I just rinse his face with a damp sponge. Good luck!
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-04-2009, 01:12 AM
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Oh, woops, I forgot to add...
I reward my horse with the treats every time he gets nervous of me touching his face. Now I don't need to use them anymore.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-05-2009, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for all the tips. Im going to see him today so ill get a chance to try to wash his dirty face lol. I have baby shampoo and hadnt even thought of using that on his face lol
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-10-2009, 06:09 PM
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A long time ago I watched one of Lynn Palm's shows where she did the whole bathing thing. Her method for teaching a horse to accept head/face washing was to use a hose with no nozzle turned on relatively slow, move up the horses neck with the water, getting them used to it as you go, eventually, you work your way up between their ears and let the water run down their face. This way, you don't run the risk of getting any water in their ears and the whole thing is done calmly, etc. this method works pretty well, especially if your horse isn't too cracked up about having water on his/her head.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-13-2009, 09:17 PM
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I use a tiny sponge (bought from Lammle's) when I need to wash or use something on their face. That way there's no spray that can get into their eyes and ears and makes the pleasant for you both. :)

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