Cleaning the underside of a mare?
So I have a young mare and I've never really cleaned the underside of her with anything other than a hose.. plain ol' water. I know geldings require sheath cleaning.. So what about mares? Do I need to be doing anything differently?
I wipe both my girls with a baby wipe whenever they are groomed. If they require a more thorough cleaning I will do that as necessary.
I generally just use a hose, if it seems particularly filthy I'll use dawn or some other kind of mild soap (I usually have dawn of hand).
Most mares require no special care. If you really feel you need to do something, soap and water is all you need.
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Every time I groom her I reach under with my hand and pick off whatever gross stuff I can, then after a good work out she's always rinsed off with water, even down there. During baths I used an anti-fungal shampoo down there and Excalibur to keep her clean.
It kind of seems like it just depends on personal preference?
I know this question may seem a bit graphic, but how can you tell if there is really anything necessary to clean?
During the summer she usually gets hosed all over including in between her legs.
During the colder months when it is too cold to hose, I usually rarely clean her underside even with just water, I just continue as usual. How often would be a good "underside cleaning" schedule? Maybe once a week for these colder months, or..?
Also, while i'm at it, do you take any special precautions to clean the nose?
My mares sometimes will get a lot of mud built up in the middle of their udders. I make it a routine whenever I give them baths to check down their and clean out the dirt. I just use shampoo and water.
I think it is important for them to be used to being handled in that area. If you ever breed you may need to milk the mare or use the milk to predict foaling. I also had a mare get a tick in that area. Ticks love crevices to feed in.
I just pick out the smegma (the black, sticky stuff) periodically, about as often as I peel the chestnuts. It gets washed when she gets a bath. No need to use Excalibur or anything. For the nose, I just wipe it out when I'm cleaning the face with a rag.
They actually market "Under the Tail" wipes, which are basically baby wipes with the price jacked up. Every so often I feel around my mares teets when I groom and if it's getting grungy under there I'll wipe it off with warm water and a sponge/soft cloth, or baby wipes if I have it on hand. In the summer it's fine to hose under there. As for the back side, if it gets really crusty when she's in heat I'll brush off her legs with a brush, but never her genitals with a brush. Always a wet sponge/cloth/baby wipe.
Having 2 sponges is actually part of a complete grooming kit; one for the face (eyes and nostrils) and one for the genitals. Though I usually just have a bag of old rags (old cut up t-shirts, holey socks, etc) that I use once on these areas and just throw out.
I usually just pick most of the cruddy stuff off every time I groom. And whenever I bathe her or hose her off in the hot weather I hose under there.
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