Horse Bath: Step By Step

Once you’re finished reading my first post about bathing a horse, it’s time for the actual horse bath to begin.

Depending on the horse, you may need an assistant. If this is your first time giving a horse bath, do not do it alone.

A horse bath does not necessarily involve shampooing your horse. You may simply want to hose off sweat after a ride on a hot day, or mud that your horse rolled in during turnout.

Familiarize yourself with your bathing area. Make sure everything that you need is in place, or at least where you can reach it.

Check to see that the water is working properly. I spray the hose towards the ground first to make sure  it’s turned on and working.

It is helpful if you have someone to hold your horse while you hose and shampoo. Sometimes there is a wash stall or horse bath area with cross-ties.

I always start bathing a horse by hosing the feet and lower legs. This gives the horse an opportunity to get used to the spraying and the water temperature before you begin hosing their body.

Even though a horse is a large animal, you will want to use a medium pressure spray. Neither too hard or too light.

Always be careful around your horse’s head. Some horses like their face sprayed, and with others you may only be able to use a sponge.

Another area you want to be careful with is your horse’s back, particularly if you don’t have access to warm water. The back, in particular the kidney area, can be very sensitive. Also take care when hosing between the back legs.

If you are giving a complete horse bath, once your horse is thoroughly rinsed down you can begin shampooing. There are bathing gloves you can wear that help massage your horse and loosen dirt while you are working in the shampoo.

I most often choose to use a large sponge for bathing a horse.

I begin by putting some shampoo in a bucket and then filling the bucket about a quarter of the way by spraying medium to high pressure into the bucket.

This creates a bunch of sudsy lather to dip your sponge or bathing glove into to gather up shampoo to begin cleaning.

Put the soap on your horse and lather him up well.  While you’re rubbing him over pay attention to any spots that might be sore or sensitive.

bathing a horse - shampoo

                        Good old Quic Silver

If you’re blessed to have a white horse, as I was, you will find they are good at laying in their manure. You may have to buy stock in the Quic Silver company!

Quic Silver is a whitening shampoo that works well for light colored horses, light tails and white markings.

If you are going to use a conditioner, now is the time to apply it.

Once you are done shampooing and conditioning, and have rinsed all of the soap off of your horse, you need to remove as much water as you can with your scraper.

Horse Bath Sweat Scrapers

Sweat Scrapers

Now your horse should be ready to go out and graze in the grass or go back to his stall to relax. It is always nice to take him for a walk and let him dry off in the sun after a good horse bath!


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