When is it too cold to bathe? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 10-30-2015, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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When is it too cold to bathe?

Another newbie question... when is it too cold to bathe my horse outside? He is a grey so I'd like to clean him up a bit (we've had him for a month and he hasn't been bathed yet). Tomorrow they are forecasting 7 Celcius and sunny which his about 44 Farenheit. Would it be too cold to bathe him? I thought I would use buckets of lukewarm water rather than straight from the hose cold water. And we do have a fleece cooling blanket we can use to cover him up after so he can dry. Thoughts? What do people do all winter - not bathe their horses? I'm guessing the oils in his coat help him stay warm and I definitely would not want to do this in sub-freezing temps.
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-30-2015, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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A little post-scriptum... he will be ridden tomorrow for a lesson. Assuming it's ok to bathe in this weather, would it be better to do it before the ride or after? I'm thinking after, since he'll be warmed up. Should we cool down, then bathe? Or just go right to the bath after his workout, then cover him with a fleece blanket until he's dry enough to put out?
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-30-2015, 05:53 PM
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Lightbulb Bathing

K, so do you have a stable that has a washing area in it? Or do you do outside like me? If you have a barn I think it would be fine as long as you cover him up, do it inside, and maybe if it was heated. If it was outside, I really don't know, I wouldn't just to be on the safe side. I don't bathe my horse during the winter, just groom him really well. This is how I would think about it; would you want to take a bath outside in cold weather? Probably not. would you like to take a bath inside, where it's heated, and you can cover up with a blanket after ward? Yes. But, don't take this paragraph as god's word, because I'm really not sure, just giving out my opinion.
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post #4 of 17 Old 10-30-2015, 05:54 PM
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Seems cold to me, unless you have an indoor heated wash stall. I don't bathe below 65 and sunny.

Maybe you can spot was him instead? Or, believe it or not, a shop vac works AWESOME for cleaning up the annoying dust on your horse!
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-30-2015, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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SlideStop, that sounds about right! He is more dusty than anything. I put some goop on his wounds where he was bitten by another horse on the rump though, and as a result, he has some pretty dirty areas on the rump.

You're right dawnandduke, although in this parts, 7 Celcius is pretty warm this time of year :) But you know what, a spot wash would probably be just fine. I would feel better not worrying about giving him pneumonia. And no, we don't have an inside wash stall. I keep wishing we could get a nice 20 day, but that probably won't happen until... oh... May?
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Last edited by Acadianartist; 10-30-2015 at 06:08 PM.
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-30-2015, 06:04 PM
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If you decide to wash him just note a couple of points.
wash him where he is out of the wind, and not in his resting place
move FAST, it takes longer than you think to wash so start with the areas you think most important, then if you are taking too long you can rinse and finish
scrape the excess water off
towel dry
cover and walk him until dry and warm
change cover before turning him out
give him a good feed to create energy
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Last edited by ShirtHotTeez; 10-30-2015 at 06:04 PM. Reason: typo
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-30-2015, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks ShirtHotTeez, for your detailed description! At this point, I think I'll just wash his rump and legs (they are caked with mud) and just leave everything else alone. And those areas will get a quick wash, scrape, towel dry, then a walk and feed until he's completely dried off. And a different blanket for turnout, yes, with a flake of hay to keep him happy.

I feel like an idiot horse newbie for even asking about bathing in this weather (to be fair, I bathe my dogs outside in these temps because like I said before, this is actually warm for us this time of year so we are toughened up to it). But hey, at least I had enough sense to ask before doing it!
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post #8 of 17 Old 10-30-2015, 06:37 PM
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Just accept the dirt. Why make them suffer to be clean.
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-30-2015, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
Just accept the dirt. Why make them suffer to be clean.
Sounds like something my kids would say ;) But in all seriousness, I agree. Still, the vet and previous owners warned us about mud fever so I will at least hose down his legs and rub off some of the crud on his rump.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-30-2015, 06:46 PM
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Hot ragging on spots works a bit.

Like it sounds, soak a terry rag in hot water and rub the bad spots. Much more effective than cool or cold water.

Also since he is grey, might not hurt to add a teeny bit of vinegar to the water. If he was a dark horse I might worry about lightening the coat. Sometimes I use a very weak vinegar water in my geldings blonde mane and tail. Don't really think it does much, but maybe. LOL

A bit of bluing in the rinse water though, makes a significant difference.
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