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- - Sheath cleaning... (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-health/sheath-cleaning-142736/)
It's that time. Brock's sheath is proper crusty and icky and I'd like to have a good feel around to make sure there's no bean in there (which there very well may be).
Now, I did it last year a little while before he was moved to his paddock home and he was no trouble - he dropped when I asked, I cleaned and there was no fuss.
I decided it was beyond time to do it a few weekends back when he had his tackle out while I was washing him, and he was majorly p***ed off with me and kept trying to cowkick my arm. However, I'm pretty sure he had it out for the mares and not for my benefit (he wasn't fully erect but certainly not the usual floppy hose, and he was between two mares who were squealing and peeing all over the place *sigh*) so it may just have been the wrong moment.
I had a good feel of his sheath on Saturday just to get him happy with me fiddling around down there and he didn't fuss at all, so I'm going to give it another go this coming Saturday. Does anyone have any tips for me if he decides to be Mr Grumpypants again and not let me clean his wiener? I know how to do it but I'm wondering if anyone has tips regarding safe positions to stand in, ways to keep him from getting cross and anything else. :-)
Otherwise it'll be a job for the vet and it might be a few weeks before they came out for a routine visit (all depends on what the other horses at the property need - with pretty steep vet call-out fees, the BO likes to get routine stuff done in bulk which is understandable).
I try to put my hands in the area during the regular grooming process (only when no one is looking, I don't want to be considered a pervert) so that my horse is used to being touched there. I try to be all business, no tensing up, no hesitation, no lingering in the area, just confident and calm and serene. If he drops during the cleaning process (usually happens when I'm brushing his butt) I might check for a bean or pick off a particularly large bit of gross stuff but I generally ignore it (or tell him to roll it back up :P ) He's pretty good about having it properly cleaned as a result.
If your horse is touchy about it I've heard squirting some mineral oil in the sheath and leaving it overnight will loosen the crud enough to allow it to be wiped off. I'm considering doing that this winter to avoid getting my horse wet.
My guys don't mind me touching them all over and I like to make sure there's no mud or sand in the sheath area and between the legs. I always run my bare hands all over their body to check for dirt and skin integrity anyways so they're used to it. I guess I would try and gradually get closer and closer as long as your horse's mood permitted. No sense risking getting a kick. My friends also use unscented baby oil and squirt it on when their horse drops and needs to be cleaned. It seems to work for them.
Thanks - he doesn't mind me touching the area or even touching it, but to get a bean out means I have to hold it and that's what he doesn't like (fair enough, he must think me very rude LOL). But I'll try the mineral/baby oil if I can pick some up before the weekend as that will hopefully make the whole job a lot quicker!
Yeah he's cowkicked me before, ages ago, and I'm not keen to repeat that experience! Corked thigh so I couldn't walk properly for three days... I might get my friend to give him scratches on his head - that generally kept him pretty dozy when I was dressing his hind feet for thrush last year, so hopefully it'll work here too.
Someone will be turning up to work on Monday morning with smegma under their fingernails... :mrgreen:
Creating a diversion sounds good too, Evil. Hope it works out for you. It's one of those necessary evils...
stand right up against his leg/hip, and clean with one hand while holding his hip with the other.
By standing right against his leg you can feel any movements he may be about to make, and with the hand on his hip, give him a little push because then, by unbalancing him, he cant kick out without falling over.
Also, by standing right against his leg, the worst you can get from him should be a shove rather than the tail end of a cow kick.
(experience with a 9yo ottb is showing here :lol: )
I also look up now and again to see where his head is and what his ears are doing, plus you can usually hear his tail if he's agitated
Thanks everyone! Holly, great tips re where to stand, cheers :-) Will do all of this on the weekend.
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