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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2013
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    342

    Default Too cold to bathe?

    So what do you all think is too cold to bathe. The thing I hate most about winter is not being able to give the horses a proper bath.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2008
    Location
    NY
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    I think it is okay to bathe so long as it is not below 50 degrees. Horses, unlike us, do not prefer tropical climates. If it's a little chilly, simply use warm water (if available) and towel dry with a cooler after.

    There have been a few nights-before-show (or show mornings) where it's been a generous 50. My horses never hated me for it, but it's not ideal.
    Forward is Good.. Progress is Better: BlunderBlog
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2011
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    Coastal Marsh of Texas
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    Default

    I agree with the 50 degree mark and I'd even dry with towels if it's in the evening where the temps drop quickly.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    Default

    I have bathed in some pretty cold temps but always with a hot horse. They would come off the track sweaty and hot and we would bathe quickly with warm water. I always had two dry antisweats and one cooler available for immediately afterwards. Put the antisweat on first then the cooler. Swap the wet antisweat for the dry one when the horse is cooled out and ready to go in the stall. I know we don't work non race horses as hard as race horses but the same principle applies. Don't just pull them out of the stall, work them first or at least free lunge.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2011
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    164

    Default

    I've bathed a body-clipped horse lots of times in cold weather in an unheated wash stall with a heat lamp. The trick is to keep the horse covered in warm water while you work (quickly!), then scrape and pile on layers of antisweats, blankets, cooler to cover neck, etc. Dry the head, tail, legs with towels. Strip off the bottom layers as they become damp. Repeat till horse is dry, then blanket appropriately. YOU might get wet and cold, but the horse will remain warm as toast throughout.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2008
    Location
    Nowhere, Maryland
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    5,268

    Default

    I have done it down to 40 degrees, with warm water and lots of towels/ coolers. Really not a big deal (other than having to heat the water with a bucket warmer)-- the joys of doing a pony club rating with a white pony in March



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2008
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    NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highflyer View Post
    I have done it down to 40 degrees, with warm water and lots of towels/ coolers. Really not a big deal (other than having to heat the water with a bucket warmer)-- the joys of doing a pony club rating with a white pony in March
    Hah! I think I had my first rating in March too! My old gelding was not happy, he looked like a yak! I miss PC!
    Forward is Good.. Progress is Better: BlunderBlog
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 29, 2013
    Posts
    225

    Default

    Take in effect the wind chill as well.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
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    I've done it with warm water on an unclipped horse - done it in sections and hand dried and blanketed as each part is done - neck, shoulders, belly, rump.
    Then put a cotton cooler under the main cooler, and removed it when horse is almost dry and warm.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2004
    Location
    AZ
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    2,834

    Default

    I always stayed in shirt sleeves and got wet, too. If I didn't mind getting wet, I figured horses would be OK too. It also depends what you're accustomed to. When I went to AZ for the winter, I would be clipping and hosing off sweat when the other boarders were putting winter coats on themselves and their horses. Me and mine were HOT!
    Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    525

    Default

    I have to clip my horse in the next couple of weeks, but I have no indoor wash stall or warm water. I'm in Eastern Ontario, so warm days are numbered. I was planning on filling large buckets with hot water from the barn I work at, then diluting with cool water when I bathe. I feel like a monster getting by boy wet outside, but his coat is pretty gross from sweat and dirt. Any suggestions?
    Proud mother to Matt, a 18 year-old TB gelding.

    FOREVER



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2009
    Posts
    1,023

    Default

    I'm ok with down to 50's as long as it can be done out of the wind and there is a blanket (SP has one I really like that is wicking and dries quick) on them quickly afterwards and until they are dry. Some horses may tolerate colder but my poor girl will shiver pretty bad and so I tend to do warm buckets of water and spot treat if I must and it's colder. I yearn for a barn some day with warm water indoor wash racks...

    As far as warm water for just spot treating - I have see people bring hot plates to the barn and heat water to boiling and then add it into a larger bucket of cold to make "warm."



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2011
    Posts
    37

    Default

    My vet once told me 60 was the coldest it should be. My gelding had rain rot BAD in Winter and needed a bath every day. We had to carry hot water from the house, I never want to go though that again!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2006
    Location
    Larkspur, Colo.
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    5,895

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrookdaleBay View Post
    I have to clip my horse in the next couple of weeks, but I have no indoor wash stall or warm water. I'm in Eastern Ontario, so warm days are numbered. I was planning on filling large buckets with hot water from the barn I work at, then diluting with cool water when I bathe. I feel like a monster getting by boy wet outside, but his coat is pretty gross from sweat and dirt. Any suggestions?
    I attach a garden hose to the drain valve on my hot water heater down to the outdoor wash rack by my barn. It's a walk-out basement so I just run the hose through the patio door. By the time the hot water drains through 300 feet of hose it is the perfect warm shower temperature.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
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    19,778

    Default

    When I was a kid, we bathed in sub zero by bringing the horses into the heated old dairy barn.

    As long as you're using warm water and can keep them warm until they're dry (through heating or blankets/coolers) I think you can bathe down to zero. If you don't have a heated space, though, you'll need a LOT of coolers....especially if they're furry.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2009
    Posts
    2,261

    Default

    Like Laurierace I've bathed horses all winter long at the track on some freezing days. Use warm water, cover with good, warm coolers and walk dry. It's a cold wind more than anything that can cause trouble.
    "I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted". - Anonymous



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