Grooming in General - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-11-2015, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2015
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Exclamation Grooming in General

I have two horses, both currently shedding like crazy, and they both HATE bathing. I always use my metal curry comb then the dandy brush on both of them, but it's never enough. I have yet to bathe either of the turds in the last few years because, A, none of my horses have liked baths, B, I was never home, and C, we had water troubles for a year or two (which is now gone... Hallelujah!) But the thing is, I don't know HOW to get them to get baths. I've read that it's bad for horses to not get a bath at least once every few months... Is that true? What I'm afraid of is that my poor babies may have something wrong with their skin because of the dirt. I am trying my HARDEST to help them and make sure their health is top notch so they can be happy but I just... don't know HOW. Is there some sort of special shampoo that I should use? Should I force him to be tied down for a bath even though it probably scares him? I don't want them to be scared but I don't want them to suffer either... I'm doing it all alone as well. Two horses for one girl. It's hard work. Am I supposed to use some special type of shampoo? What do I do with their manes? Cut or let them grow or braid or what? I'm just so scared that it'll be too late for help...
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-11-2015, 04:25 PM
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Nothing bad will come of not bathing, unless there is something wrong that causes them to need it. They don't need baths every few months, and frequent bathing with shampoo can actually be detrimental to their skin and coat.
I know someone who doesn't brush her horse's mane at all, and Maggie's got the longest mane I've ever seen on a horse in person. Also, excessive brushing of the mane and particularly the tail can cause it to become very thin and short, as it pulls out the hairs.
Not having a bath won't make them suffer. For the most part horses don't need baths at all. They simply come as a convenience to us humans. Just keep brushing. And brushing, and brushing... And more brushing. Eventually, it'll pay off. Make sure to be very thorough in the process as well. Don't be afraid of applying pressure either, as some horses actually prefer a more vigorous grooming.
All it takes is patience and elbow grease. LOTS of elbow grease. You'll get there :) And if you need any help or tips, the internet is your friend. A very useful friend.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-11-2015, 04:28 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Kent, UK
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i hope not bathing is bad for them. Mine went 3 years without a bath (smelly pony!) but had a great coat because of natural oils! Otherwise he gets a bath once or twice a year at most. Hes quite happy being bathed if i give him a haynet and use a bucket and sponge! I use baby shampoo or horse shampoo if i remember to pick it up at the tack shop. And what type of horsr you have depends on what you do with their mane. My IDX (supposedly he's a sports horse!) gets his mane pulled, albeit unsuccessfully and wonky most of the time, and my welshie might have a tidy up occasionally but i like to keep his au naturale because he looks beautiful like it!
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-11-2015, 05:29 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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None of our horses get baths except the 2 oldest when they were shown many years ago and none ever have skin problems. They get a rinse after a ride if they are sweaty and when it rains. That's it.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-12-2015, 01:13 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Mississippi
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I only bathe with soap if:

1. I have a show and he's all muddy and stained.

2. He/She rolled in mud. (Both have lots of white)

3. It's hot and I'm bored XD.

They certainly will not suffer from no baths. Chester hasn't been bathed with soap in about 5 years. Cheyenne has gone without one for about a year now:)
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-12-2015, 01:42 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Just spraying them off would be good. Don't use high pressure. Hold them on a lead rope so they can move without being tied. Let the hose run so they can see it and adjust. Start by spraying just the hooves and as they accept it slowly move up the body. Don't spray their faces or ears.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-12-2015, 02:04 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
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Everyone has already told you bathing is optional and I agree. I had to laugh when you said you have 2 horses and only one of you. I usually don't bathe the minis because they are on a dry lot so don't pick up the ticks the other 8 horses do but at least once a year in late spring/early summer and then sometimes in the fall all 8 will get lined up for a wash with a shampoo containing pyrethrins to kill all the ticks. Sometimes I'll do the 5 that is a herd one day and the 3 in the other herd the next but usually I want to get it done so it's like an assembly line. Spray one, suds it up (you have to let it sit on them a while), move on to the next, go back and rinse the previous one and then they have to stand there until dry or they'll go out and roll which leaves them dirtier than they started out if they're still wet.

To get them used to being sprayed with a hose wait until they are really hot and sweaty and then start at their feet and move slowly up. Avoid their head because that's what they tend to like the least although I have several who will come and put their face right in front of the nozzle when I'm spraying them down on a hot & humid day. The chest and inner thighs are their favorite. Let them become comfortable with each area before moving to another. I usually hold the lead and let them circle around me when I'm first getting them used to it but will tie if they are being brats about it. One of my group of 8 didn't like getting sprayed at first and now he's one that begs for it. I would get them totally used to being sprayed down before adding shampoo into the process because you need to make sure you can get them rinsed everywhere.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-14-2015, 11:21 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Nothing bad will come except they will probably get itchy after a while. I would work on trying to get your horses used to water first before you get concerned about soap. Its a good thing to be able to wet your horse down to help cool him/her off after a long sweaty ride or just to be able to bath him/her. I would just start by slowly wetting their feet/legs then once they get used to that slowly work up their body.
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