Has anybody ever used Dr Bronners castille soap as a shampoo for their horse? My mare is extremely sensitive to insects and I'm trying to prevent discomfort as much as possible. Somebody recommended that I stop using perfumed shampoo and try castille soap because of the essential oils (which could help repel flies).
Of course, this would be in addition to many other precautions I'm taking with her (fly spray, sheet, boots, mask, stall sprayer, feed through control, specific turnout times, etc. etc.)
Never used it, but could be helpful. Perfumes DO attract insects, bees, since that is how the bugs find food.
You might grate the soap from bar shape and then put the shavings into a LARGER jar, pour hot water over it to melt the soap. Keep stirring or shaking the jar until you get the shavings melted down into a semi-solid liquid soap form. Kind of like heavy shampoo or cream rinse conditioner thickness when finished. Lots of water to that bar of soap. I did heat the jar in microwave to keep water hot for SHORT times, like 10 seconds. The water WILL bubble up with the soap and overflow FAST while heating it. I used a plastic peanut butter jar, not glass. Lots easier to use your soap this way, than as a bar. Ivory Soap bars could be another soap to use with no perfumes.
We put our horses outside at night, to prevent them being chased by the insects so much. They also get vasalined on the "tender spots" of midline, chest, ears which keeps the gnats and bloody scabs away.
I love the soap (and you can get it in either a bar or a liquid) but I've never used it on a horse. I will mention as a human that the peppermint version of the soap is very refreshing and rinses very clean easier than other types of soap- squeaky clean- no residue... but it does leave a tingly after effect like liniment... also for that reason you really don't want to get it near your private parts...and I'd worry that for a sensitive skinned horse it might irritate. If you do try it- I'd spot test first. Although on the bottle there is a long list of uses- it doesn't really work as a human shampoo as it's very stripping/drying.
Because it does so well stripping dirt off of tack, I would think that it would be quite harsh on a horses skin. In fact, I have to wear gloves when I clean my tack with it, because it makes my skin red and dry.
Definitely spot test first. Let us know how it works?
i use castille soap all the time on my mare, not just dr. bronner's but the other popular brand (name escapes me).
it works great. word of warning, however, when using the peppermint scented one - i guess it must have a lot of menthol in it b/c it caused my mare to shiver when i left it on for a while. it doesn't happen when i wash her legs b/c i rinse them quickly but when doing a full body wash which means she's left with it sitting on her, i don't use the peppermint any more. i use other "flavors."
I use Feibings castile bar soap on me. It's a lot cheaper from the grocery store than the tack store, which also carries it. I never even thought of using it on the horse, but I'll try anything, what with owning a sabino Paint gelding with white on all 4 legs.
We use the peppermint liquid Dr. Bonner's Castile soap on us. It has been wonderful for my overly sensitive very dry skin. In fact my skin is less reactive than before.
Yes the peppermint can be tingly on any sensitive area but rinses clean and the no residual effect. You may want to dilute the peppermint soap or try the other versions of Dr. Bonner's soap in case your horse doesn't care for the peppermint tingle.
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Courtesy my cousin Tim
I guess castile soap is a love it or hate it thing. I have the liquid Dr. Bonners in tea tree, lavender, peppermint and black soap. All except the black soap left my skin feeling dry and filmy, the black soap was quite nice. My friend raves about it for her hair, but I didn't care for it on mine.
I use the tea tree castile liquid on the horses and while I don't use it on manes and tail as I find it drying, I do find it works nicely on the body for mild itchiness.
I found an oatmeal soap that works better though, so I have stopped using castile altogether.
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I use Dr. Bronner's liquid lavender soap on the horses, but mostly for cleansing wounds and legs. It will leave a residue on the coat, so I don't really like it for general bathing. It's a very gentle and mildly antiseptic cleanser and works well even on the chestnut with super-sensitive skin (have even used it to clear up an outbreak of cellulitis, followed by cold hosing and then benzalkonium chloride).
I would not use the peppermint version because, as has been mentioned, it's much too strong. I would also be very careful with any of the essential oils because they can irritate a sensitive horse. I have tried all of them and they have done NOTHING to repel the flies.
I've never used it on a horse but started using it on myself after asking a friend with the most beautiful skin of anyone I know what she uses and discovering it was Castile soap. I usually use the one with a little Tea Tree oil. I love the feel, and my dermatologist is happy.
You'd need to follow it up with a quality moisturizer. Do follow the dilution rating for the body or you'll crispify their coat.
I LOVE dr bronners, but for me I follow it with a blend of coconut and jojoba oil.