My horse hates having his sheath cleaned. He is good about everything else, but won't stand still for this, pins ears, backs up, will kick out, etc. I can have the vet do it under tranquilizer a couple of times a year, but would like to at least get my hand up there and clean the disgusting mud out.
A lot of the boys are prudes, I swear! :-) Sometimes it's because they are ticklish. You might try to slowly get him used to your hand being in his Personal Private Parts. Hand inside his thigh, hand moving up higher, hand on the outside of the sheath, etc. I've seen some geldings who would let you clean them if they were tied next to their best girlfriend. Try anything and everything. And if he stays that ticklish, just let the vet do it when he's tranked --- no sense in getting your head kicked off.
I was a groom at the track for a number of years, and some of the young colts would also give me trouble. If you can get your hand up there for a moment, take a handful of furacin and spread it around up there as best you can, then give him a treat and leave it alone for a hour. I like to work my horse for this hour so he will be relaxed, when you are done riding hose him off and have a bucket of warm water and bar of castle soap ready. The furacin makes it very easy to clean so it will not hurt him and the castle will not irritate him if you cannot rinse it all off. Also if you have a friend who could help you, have that person give him treats (treats can be useful)while you are washing him there and after a couple of times they don't seem to care as much. Some horses are very sensitive and the furacin makes it so you are not pulling on there skin.
thanks all...will try the furacin, I am afraid to try mineral oil as am in S Florida and afraid it will attract bugs.
Oddly enough, once in awhile, he "forgets" to be scared and let's me clean it, but that is like a once in a blue moon.
I will try having treats in bucket while I just put my hand near area (or have someone give him treats)
I may have vet clean it to get main gunk off then it won't be so sensitive if I try a little at a time.
Never had a problem with previous horses...however this guy was in a field 13 years unridden ( a project horse I adopted), he has been with me now 3 years, riding nicely (finally), learned everything else including standing on crossties like a gentleman etc...this sheath thing though he is super protective about!
How does he feel about being touched all around the sheath area? Does he only get upset when you "get all up in his business"? If so, I'd be concerned that something is sore, especially since you say that sometimes he's okay with it. My gelding lo-oves having his inner thighs sratched, even all the way up into his "groin". There's not a "private" place on his body, so when it comes time for a sheath cleaning, it's no big deal. Even so, if he had some irritation up there that caused some soreness, I'm sure he'd at least wiggle to let me know.
The idea of genitals being "private" is a human one. What they are as far as a horse is concerned is "very sensitive and very important". A gelding's sheath is part and parcel with his entire underbelly and is worthy of serious guarding. So allowing anyone to "paw around" down there is potentially quite dangerous from the horse's perspective and requires a great deal of trust. Some horses are the trusting sort that lump all 2-leggeds in the "green light" category, some allow a special few the privilege of full underbelly access and some, well, you'd better show up with your syringe loaded, your twitch in tow and a few friends.
It sounds like your guy has reason to have some trust issues and it also sounds like he's close to allowing you full green light access. Getting him used to every day grooming of the area all around the sheath, if he's not already, will help a lot.
I incorporate it into the post-workout bathing routine. They get hosed off after almost every ride when the weather is warm (which is probably the majority of the time, where you are), and I just run my hands under their belly while hosing, then spray (gently!) up their sheath with the hose. DH's horse hates having his sheath cleaned (needs sedation to get him to drop and really clean it) but he has grown accustomed to the wash rack routine and now lets me get the mud and superficial gunk out without much fuss.