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Tell me your fave bathing tools, tricks, tips!

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  • Tell me your fave bathing tools, tricks, tips!

    I suppose it could be because I don't have a wash stall (bathing is done only during the PNW's short summer season and only out behind the barn) but I HATE bathing my horses. We have nothing for tying, so I have lead rope in one hand and hose in the other. And then after the hose, whatever I use to scrub with. Often getting dizzy as the horse goes round and round me -- but that's preferable to the smart ones who pull out of hose reach or stretch me like a wishbone. (Yes, they need better training/manners about bath time and I'm workin' on it!)

    Definitely some work required on the logistics, but would love to hear about your favorite products (more into tools than specific shampoos but happy to hear about anything!). There's a product I remember reading about that hooks up to the hose and dispenses the cleaning solution -- anyone have opinions good or bad on that? At this point I'd be happy if I could even remember what it was called! Barring that, what do you use to wash the horse's body? Mane? Tail? I love products, make this fun for me!
    Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.

  • #2
    I have the exact same problem - my horse will NOT go in the wash stall so I have to have hose in one hand lead rope in the other. He's pretty good about it, though. Finally. I'll be interested in what products others use, too. I use Cowboy Magic shampoo and conditioner.
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


    • #3
      Can't really help with the products too much, I use very simple oatmeal shampoo on my horses. Whatever shine and conditioning products I bought for myself but discover are too heavy for my fine hair make their way to the barn too and that is what gets used on the boys' manes and tails.

      I would strongly suggest finding *something* to tie to, even a tree, etc. Trying to bathe a dancing horse is for the birds, its impossible to enjoy when you're trying to wander around with them stepping on the hose and kicking up mud.

      I bathe my horses tied to a tree, no wash stall, but having a large mat down or even a few small ones strewn is a simple but valuable pleasure. I *hate* standing in mud, slipping as I cross side to side, or having the horse stamp at a fly and splattering dirt and sand all the way up to my ears.

      I have a little plastic mesh basket I tie around the tree and keep all my bathing soaps and tools there, so I never forget anything.

      My boys when from bath haters to bath lovers when I broke out the curry comb and use it wet. I soak the horse, then pour some oatmeal shampoo directly on teh curry and curry away. They LOFF it! The shampoo works in nicely and evenly, slippery so the plastic curry doesn't hang up or squeek across their wet skin, and the boys get a nice deep itchy massage. They stand like statues for this luxury treatment

      When I rinse, I use my squeegee as I hose to really get everything up. I run the water and squeegee along under the cascade of water. I watch the water that is being squoze out below and when it runs clean, no dirt or soap, then I move onto the next section. It goes very quickly once you get the knack. Even if I'm not using soap and just doing a simple rinse, rather than stand there running water I hose and squeegee at the same time and know they're clean down to the skin when the water runs clean.

      I sometimes rinse with a few glugs of Refreshmint in about 2 gallons of water. I just pour it all over them and then squeegee, it does smell nice. Other times a splash of white vinegar in water, it does leave a good shine and I like the smell of vinegar. If work is slow and I actually have time on my hands, I'll sun brew some black tea until its good and strong and rinse with that and some vinegar. Black tea is a good skin calmer too.
      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


      • #4
        I do a major spring and fall bath to help prevent any rain rot or skin issues. I use a bucket filled with Microtek shampoo and Betadine. I use a curry and scrub this into his skin and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Letting it sit is key to killing anything on their skin. I do a rough rinse then I bathe with just shampoo. I like the smell of Microtek so I usually just use that and do a rought rinse after that. Then I use a conditioner which makes their coat super soft. Then I do a really good rinse and squeegee. I always walk my guy out to graze in the sun and air dry so he doesn't roll when I turn him out and make mud. After rides I just rinse off no shampoo and if it's bathing in the middle of the summer I'll just use shampoo plus some conditioner on the mane and tail. I would highly recommend finding a way to tie your horse or teach them to ground tie. It's easiest to start them ground tying when grooming, esp after a ride when they are tired and then ground tie when bathing. It's no fun holding a horse and trying to bathe them.




        • #5
          I have to look at home to see the brand name but. I love my rubber arm guards that prevent cold water from running up your arm and down your shirt!. Miss Mare was too big for the wash stalls at the last barn we were at the current place has a huge wash rack almost perfect for her!.When I kept her at tne neighbors I tied to a tree in my back yard. I hate chasing them around with a hose. Get a good sprayer for the hose too


          • #6
            Yes, training is key with, or without a wash rack!
            That being said, pick a dry dry day, line your horse up next to the barn/fence and start spraying water away from the horse, slowly moving towards bottom of front feet, work your way up to shoulder and all over. Since you are at the shoulder/head you can stop forward and, pardon my assumption if it is incorrect, you can also stop unwanted backing; wall/fence stops spinning. Repeat and voila, no more dizziness.

            Best tool trick: one of those lengthened shower spray thingies from hardware/Menards type stores. Gives me reach (for my extra tall boys) without needing a stepstool
            Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
            ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


            • #7
              LOVE the idea about using rubber currycomb with the shampoo! The only tree I could tie him to was infested with ticks last year. But he's doing much better at standing still.
              What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


              • #8
                I have two trees, and a rubber mat. I use a spray nozzle set on shower and put it right next to the old guy's body and get all the sweat and scurf to bubble up, then I do the same thing with the curry as Buck22, I use the plastic toothed kind and I use Vetrolin shampoo. The old guy adores the massage and scratching. Then I have a squeegee on a handle, it's a C-- shaped thing, and swipe and swipe, and of course I get the exterior of the sheath and under the tail with a special sponge - I bought my sponges in the auto dept at Kroger. I have tied the old guy with one tie to the fence when it was chilly and I wanted to do the job in the sun, he was pretty good about it, but I like my two trees on a hot day.
                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                Incredible Invisible


                • #9
                  I use the Vetrolin spray wash that you hook up to a hose. It kicks out just the right amount of suds and rinses so clean!


                  • #10
                    If the horse is doing the tango at the end of the line while you're trying to bathe it, but is otherwise a well behaved beastie, is it possible that Ponykins just really really really doesn't like cold water? (It sounds like that's what's coming out of the hose.) In that case- your new favorite tool is a bucket heater. Two, if possible, so you can make a warm bucket with soapy water and one or two of warm rinse water. Then follow up with a vinegar rinse if you're concerned about soap left on skin.
                    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                    Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                    Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


                    • #11
                      I use EZall. Attaches to hose, don't have to wet horse first. Don't have to scrub. Leave it 5-10 min and rinse. All done!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pheasantknoll View Post
                        I use EZall. Attaches to hose, don't have to wet horse first. Don't have to scrub. Leave it 5-10 min and rinse. All done!
                        It's kind of amazingly great. I have only recently been introduced to it, and don't know why it's not a huge phenomenon everywhere!
                        If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


                        • #13
                          Use WARM water. Every single horse I have bathed has loved it. May dance around for a minute but as soon as they figured it out, practically fell asleep
                          "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


                          • #14
                            The best thing I've done to make bathing easier is to get a giant plastic bottle (like a jumbo ketchup bottle), and fill it almost to the top with water. Then add just an inch or two of shampoo. This way the shampoo is already diluted, his coat stays wet enough to make a good lather, and you don't use too much shampoo and spend a long time trying to wash it out.

                            I like using my jelly scrubber and flower shedder to really get down to the skin.

                            For manes and tails, I use a no-tears kids shampoo/conditioner. Also great for washing a face--the shampoo won't sting their eyes. To dry off the tail, I just grab it at the end of the dock and twirl it around like a big propellor. Gets a lot of the excess water out.

                            My horse is a homebody, so he only gets a shampoo bath on the first warm spring day and the last warm fall day. Other times he jusst gets hosed off with water. No wash stall or warm water, just tied to a fence rail outside.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by oliverreed View Post
                              I have the exact same problem - my horse will NOT go in the wash stall so I have to have hose in one hand lead rope in the other. He's pretty good about it, though. Finally. I'll be interested in what products others use, too. I use Cowboy Magic shampoo and conditioner.
                              have you tried backing him in? that usually works a treat!


                              • #16
                                I like to use Dawn Dish soap on white socks, it does the job but isn't too harsh. (I think its what they use to clean up animals after oil spills.)


                                • #17
                                  I would like to figure out how all my horses figure out--in the space of a couple of baths--how to step on the hose and stop the water from running!


                                  • #18
                                    Things I have learned about bathing since buying a mostly-white pinto:

                                    RINSING is hugely important. I rinse thoroughly BEFORE I bathe, to blast off loose dirt, and on a white horse you can see it POURING off. Then as I'm scrubbing the horse I'm rinsing thoroughly at the same time, vigorously, and using a squeegee-type sweat scraper to really take the dirty water right off the horse as I'm scrubbing. Otherwise you're just moving dirt from one place to another.

                                    So when I wash I'm scrubbing, then I take the hose in one hand and the sweat scraper in the other and I very thoroughly scrape the horse as I'm rinsing with the hose right up against their skin. This does a GREAT job removing the dirt, and boy can you really tell when your horse has pink skin!

                                    Orvus is the best shampoo ever. I add a couple of drops of blueing--presto--homemade Quic-Silver.

                                    Currently my favorite scrubbing implement is a dish cleaning cloth I got at the dollar store--kind of like a microfiber washcloth on one side and a plastic scrubby material on the other. LOVE it, and it's indestructible.
                                    Click here before you buy.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by pony baloney View Post
                                      The best thing I've done to make bathing easier is to get a giant plastic bottle (like a jumbo ketchup bottle), and fill it almost to the top with water. Then add just an inch or two of shampoo. This way the shampoo is already diluted, his coat stays wet enough to make a good lather, and you don't use too much shampoo and spend a long time trying to wash it out.

                                      I like using my jelly scrubber and flower shedder to really get down to the skin.
                                      This in spades. Diluting the shampoo first and spritzing it on makes for an effective bath. I dilute my dog shampoo as well for bathing them.


                                      • #20
                                        I am also a diluter of shampoo. You really don't need a lot of shampoo to get sudsy, you need water.

                                        I am never convinced I have rinsed all the shampoo off, either, so diluting makes me feel somewhat better about this.

                                        I don't shampoo much, and find that plain old warm water & rinsing works on most areas. (ETA: she has no white at all, so she's easy!) I do wash my mare's udder a lot in the summer, but with super diluted moisturizing shampoo. In the cold weather I use baby wipes. She appreciates it.
                                        Last edited by Hippolyta; Jun. 1, 2013, 12:42 AM.