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Question - What do they use to bathe the racers?

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  • Question - What do they use to bathe the racers?

    I would think the daily baths with anything other than water would dry out the coat, but they are always gleaming.

    So what is the standard stuff to bathe them with?

  • #2
    There is no standard. I always used a medicated shampoo as it help ward off "skin disease" which is just a layman's term. They generally use what is cheap, you can get a gallon of shampoo in the tack shop for around $10. Some people use dish soap, some use cheap human shampoo like Suave. I think the drying out the coat thing is a huge myth.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      I agree with Laurie, a big favorite was Orvis, and the good smelling pink stuff (can't remember the name). Racehorses tend to shine like new money, rubbing one really puts a shine on them no matter how many baths they get! I've used Suave, but did try to stay away from Palmolive...My favorite people shampoo is Herbal Essence and anything that smells like coconut!

      A little trick is to add some baby oil to the rinse water.


      • #4
        I know what what shampoo your talking about....it's called elbow grease
        Forward is good


        • #5
          Anything I can get a free sample of... The real barns have their horses rubbed thoroughly twice a day. That and keeping them covered (fly sheets in summer) tends to keep a shine on like you wouldn't believe.

          "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester


          • #6
            Also going to add that the shine comes from the inside out. Good barns feed only the best and that along with the elbow grease does the trick!


            • #7
              Our horses are curried, brushed, and rub ragged before they train, then after training their bathed, then curried, brushed and rub ragged again, manes are brushed over with a wet brush, tails, and i mean tails only, sprayed with showsheen. Brushes washed and cleaned with soap DAILY! Hard to get a horse clean with dirty brushes....a good rub is not only good for the coat but muscles as well
              Forward is good


              • #8
                Orvus or just plain dishsoap are most common, since you go through tons of it (I worked for a crazy trainer who would mark the amount of shampoo every day to make sure we weren't using too much lol). Soap does strip the skin of oils, however It's very diluted in the baths and they aren't scrubbed like you do washing your hair...then they really would dry out. But since they never get dirty, they don't really need more than a very light wash. Their coat congress from a life lived in a stall that is cleaned several times a day, good daily grooming and feed.


                • #9
                  Just plain water - the coat comes from the inside out, not from shampoos and Show Sheen although Show Sheen is damned handy to have around for tails especially in spring training when the track alternates between mud and slop and a tied tail comes down.
                  Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                  Member: Incredible Invisbles


                  • #10
                    My trainer uses Palmolive! He has the biggest bottle of it that you can find.
                    What you allow is what will continue.


                    • #11
                      When I worked at the track, we used Orvus. I still use it on my guys. Here's what my horse looks like four days after a bath:

                      It gets my pony's white socks whiter than any whitening product too:

                      Since it was originally an upholstery cleaner, it is not a detergent. Doesn't burn the eyes (have gotten it in my own). Non-toxic. Doesn't dry out the coat and skin. Non irritating. LOVE IT. Cheap, too.

                      Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
                      Just plain water - the coat comes from the inside out, not from shampoos and Show Sheen although Show Sheen is damned handy to have around for tails especially in spring training when the track alternates between mud and slop and a tied tail comes down.
                      A good coat does stem from nutrition first, though. Healthy diet makes all the difference. As for Show Sheen... I avoid it because the silicone content dries out tails. I prefer Vetrolin Shine for show purposes (and Cowboy Magic Detangler for tails).


                      • #12
                        We always used dishwashing liquid. Dawn mostly. Or just rinsed without anything. ;-) Never dried out the coats and always silky soft.
                        The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....


                        • #13
                          I was always taught that too much washing dries out the coat too. Then I started working at the track. Most of the trainers I worked for used dish soap and that is what I use now at home. It is cheap and works well. Mostly though the shine comes from the inside out. I have a mare who has never in the 8 or so years we have had her had soap used on her and she shines like a penny.