Welcome to my series on horse grooming challenges. In each post, I cover one of the most common challenges I hear from my customers. In this post, I’m going to cover bath-time battles because sometimes ornery horses just don’t want to get a bath. Even professional groomers struggle with bath-time battles sometimes, so don’t worry. It’s definitely something that can be overcome with patience.
Create a sense of relaxation
If you’re facing bath time battles regularly, the first step is to create a place where your horse can feel safe. Start by soothing the horse. I personally love to use gentle massage to promote a sense of calm.
Keep the bathing area safe
Next, you’ll want to make sure the bathing area is safe in case they do react negatively. Start by laying a non-slip mat, and clearing all buckets, shampoo bottles or anything else they may bump into or trip over. If the horse reacts in a cluttered space, this may intensify their fear and ruin the sense of calm you have created.
Next, go very slowly. Start by introducing a gentle spray of the hose on their front legs and hooves. Speak to them in pleasant tones and massage their back. If possible use warm water. Keep the spray low and work up the body. Stay in vision and keep encouraging them with positivity. Next you can apply the shampoo. Our Not So Sweet Itch Shampoo is great for bath-time battles, because its low suds formula makes it easier to control if your horse is feeling uncomfortable. Take your time with the shampoo application, massage it into their coat for an extra pleasant experience. Finally, gently rinse them down.
You can overcome bath time battles, it just takes some extra patience. If your horse really hates bath-time even after you’ve taken all these steps, you can also try using our Grapefruit Coat Refresh for maintenance to reduce the frequency of bathing. It gently cleans your horse, provides a layer of protection from dirt, and nourishes the skin and coat.
I hope you found this post helpful, please be sure to share using the icons above, and come back for the next edition of horse grooming challenges where we’ll be discussing tangled tails.