Many of us are rejoicing as warm weather is almost here; however sometimes during the cooler months, you have no choice but to give your horse a bath. Thinking of all that cold weather can make you cringe but there is an easier way to go about it for both you and your horse. As long as your horse is healthy and is not very old, young or sick, you should be able to safely bathe them in the winter.
We know that most barns do not have heated water so bathing can be challenging. Here are a few ways to help you bathe your horse without freezing:
Choose a warm day – Sometimes this can be hard in the winter time, but take a look at the weather and choose the warmest day of the week to bathe them. If there is a warm front coming through, wait for that! Your horse will appreciate it.
Bathe inside – Bathe your horse inside the barn, away from the wind. This could mean in their stall where the bedding can soak up the water to avoid ice patches. Be sure to replace the bedding after you are finished!
Use a bucket and sponge – Do not use a hose! Use a bucket and a sponge. You can get your water from in the house to make it a little warmer.
Only wash the necessary areas – If your horse only needs his rump washed, then only wash that area! Don’t waste your time or freeze your horse by washing his whole body if it is not necessary.
One section at a time – If you must wash your entire horse, do the first half of their body first, then the second. As you are finishing one-half, cover the horse with a cooler to keep him warm while you wash the other half.
Scrape off the excess water – As soon as you are finished, scrape of the excess water as quickly as possible, and then rub the area with a towel.
Cover the horse – After the bath is finished, cover your horse in a cooler to keep them warm while they dry. If you have two handy, use them both!
Winter time washing isn’t forbidden, but can be done if it must. Follow these tips to keep your horse warm and healthy!
What is Hydrotherapy? Hydrotherapy literally means water therapy and can refer to any therapeutic use of water to aid or improve health. Hydrotherapy started as a treatment for humans in ancient times and expanded to include animals when racehorses started benefiting from seawater.
All during August, National Wellness Month focuses on self-care, managing stress, and promoting healthy habits. Even a small change can impact your health in positive ways. Research has shown self-care helps promote happiness.
Dr. Carla Francheville graduated from vet school in 2003, then went on to study at the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine in 2004. She quickly noticed the surplus of general equine veterinarians as well as the need for more specialized services in SW Florida—particularly lameness and sports medicine.