Bathing in winter? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-05-2015, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Bathing in winter?

Here's a newbie question I know I could ask my trainer, but you guys are so much more fun.

What do you do about bathing your horse during the winter? I'm laid up for a couple of weeks but will probably be able to get out to the stable to walk her around and groom her. She's got a lot of dirt and mud on her lower legs, but I feel bad even thinking about wetting her down during the cold weather. What's the usual way to deal with dirt in the wintertime?

She is blanketed and doesn't have a thick, winter coat growing in, in case anyone wants to know.
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-05-2015, 12:49 AM
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If the mud is damp/wet I wipe off what I can, get them in somewhere dry and let it dry. Then I brush it off. Dry dirt gets brushed off.

If there is staining and I really must clean the horse up, I will take warm water, mild soap, and spot wash, rinse and towel dry.
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-05-2015, 12:51 AM
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I don't bath in the winter...

Well I do, my horse doesn't, next bath will be 19th March in the wash stalls ar the show ground

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post #4 of 14 Old 12-05-2015, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I figured it was a bad idea to wet her down :)
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-05-2015, 01:26 AM
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Since you're in CA, how cold is it? You can bathe at 50 degrees F or above. If it gets chilly at night make sure you do it early enough your horse can be completely dry by sunset.
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-05-2015, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JCnGrace View Post
Since you're in CA, how cold is it? You can bathe at 50 degrees F or above. If it gets chilly at night make sure you do it early enough your horse can be completely dry by sunset.
It's that warm during the day, but nights are getting into the 30's. If I can get there on a warm-ish, sunny morning, maybe I'll hose her legs down. Thanks!
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-05-2015, 06:31 AM
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What Boots said

I used to ride the horse in my avatar in Christmas parades. In his younger days, he seemed to know when parade day was and would find a big mud pit to roll in, that morning.

He was so caked one time, I almost couldn't find him, under all the mud. He had mud in his eyelashes that year.

It was the one time in 24 years I really got mad at Duke, because it was too cold to bath., lollol

It took me a few hours but, with the help of a metal shedder, the shop vac, brushes, wearing out my rotator cups, then a light spray of Sho Sheen, he was parade-ready.

Meaning, they can get spit shined without a bath but boy, it takes some elbow grease.

This unwanted horse hiatus that you have to take will be a good time to see if Diva is prone to rain rot. Something horses get across the tops of their backs and itches them like crazy.

If she does get rainrot, diet might have to be re-evaluated.

Also, be sure to check her feet for thrush or maybe your trainer can at least do that. Since Diva came to you with thrush anyway, not being able to keep her hooves picked and sprayed may allow thrush to start up again.

Get better soon for lots of reasons

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post #8 of 14 Old 12-05-2015, 08:08 AM
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I'm with boots. When the mud is dry just curry/brush off.
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-05-2015, 08:57 AM
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I am a firm believer in putting radiant heat lamps in an enclosed wash stall, if you plan on washing a horse.

Radiant Wash Rack Heater - Barn Pros

I clip horses that are in work during the winter and then blanket them. There is nothing harder that trying to dry out a sweaty or wet horse, in the cold, and I have seen too many slide into hypothermia while there.

If I have a full coated horse, I use vacuums to clean them. You don't need a 600.00 horse vacuum. If you take time to get your horse used to the loud sound of a shop vac, they do just as well. They will suck the dander and dust that fills the coat. If you get a wet/dry vac, you can damp wash the wet mud off and suck most of the water out of the coat making drying MUCH faster.

Shop vacs are louder that horse vacs. I get the horse used to it over a long period of time. I turn it on and off at a distance, while the horse is in the wash stall. Then I turn it on and leave it on, at a distance they will tolerate, while I groom them. I, over a period of time, move it closer and closer.

The first time I move it to them, I do it with it off and rub them all over with it. Eventually, you should be able to vac them. They will learn to really like it. If you get a powerful one, it will really clean them and give a nicr "suck massage" at the samr time.

If you search, you will find that some big shop vacs are noisier than others. Try them out.

A possibility.....
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-05-2015, 06:51 PM
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What others have said about letting the mud dry then brushing it off. My boy has a decent winter coat in already, and we just had a nasty wet 4 days with about a 3.5 inches of rain total so the pastures got quite muddy. All I did was curry comb him then soft brush and he shines. :) Plus it'll be easier on you to just brush her down without having to worry about her drying before sunset, etc.

I don't see a problem with using a hose on her lower legs as you pointed out because the hair is much shorter there and should dry rather quickly.
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