Washing Your Horse, and Why It's Important

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

Hey, y’all! Sam here with a blog post about washing your horse. Now, you may be thinking, “Didn’t you already make a post about this?” Nope. I did not. You’re thinking about “Grooming Your Horse, and Why It’s Important.”

Washing your horse and grooming your horse are two different things. With grooming, you’re brushing them down with your tools. With washing, you’re actually giving your horse a shower with the water hose and shampoo.

If you have access to a water hose, why do you ever brush your horse down? Because washing your horse too often is terrible for their skin and body. A horse should never be washed more than once a week. It strips the oil from their hair, causing it to become dry and unhealthy. Even if you condition their hair, they still need the natural oil that their bodies produce.

What tools do you need for washing your horse? The same ones you use for grooming your horse! A body brush is very important. Put some shampoo all over your horse’s body, then use the body brush to rub it in for 10-20 minutes. Be sure to scrub every part that you’d normally groom. And don’t forget the underbelly.

You should also use the shampoo on the mane and tail. Scrub it in with your hands before you start on your horse’s body, then let it sit as you’re scrubbing their body.

When you’re done scrubbing, rinse the shampoo off with the hose. Rinse both the shampoo on their body and the shampoo on their mane and tail.

Another tool you will need is the mane and tail brush. After you’ve washed everything with the shampoo, it’s time to use the conditioner. Get a decently sized glob of it in your hand, then rub it into their mane and tail. How much you use varies by how much hair your horse has. Use the mane and tail brush to brush it in. But be gentle! You don’t want to pull those precious hairs out!

You should run the conditioner all through their hair, but make sure to put extra focus on the ends. When you’re done, let it sit for a while. I usually go back inside to write a little bit or I go play with my ducks. After about 15 minutes, go back to your horse, brush through their mane and tail one more time, then rinse the conditioner out with the water hose.

Once this is done, you should use a sweat scraper or towel to help dry off your horse. Even if you use these tools, your horse is still going to be wet. So go do something else for 30-60 minutes, or however long it takes for your horse to completely dry. Then you can untie and release them, whether that be into a stall or into a pasture. The reason you need to wait before your horse is dry is that if you release them wet, then they’ll just go roll. Even if your horse doesn’t roll often, it’s a horse’s instinct to roll when they’re wet. You certainly don’t want that. All of the hard work put into washing them just vanishes.

Depending on where you live, you should wash your horse more or less often. If you live in a rather dry environment like me, then you should wash them about 1-3 times a month. If you live in a wet environment, they don’t need to be washed as much, maybe once a month.

Now, we’ve covered how to wash your horse, but why is it important? Well, it all leads back to that natural oil. While washing your horse strips that oil, not washing your horse does too. Dirt that gets caught up in their coat, mane, and tail can stick there and soak up oil. That’s why you need to wash them! Getting rid of that dirt is quite important. While grooming does this, it doesn’t do it as well as washing. However, you should still groom your horse on a weekly, if not daily, basis. This helps to keep the dirt away.

So, that’s that. You now know how to properly wash your horse, how often you should do so, and why it’s important. Comment below on how often YOU wash them! Sam out!

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