In general, it is recommended to shower your horse when outside temperatures are above 20 ° C. If showering your horse in spring-summer in these conditions is no problem, what should be done in winter? To shower, not to shower? and if so, what precautions to take.
Should you wash your horse in winter?
In general, the less you wash a horse, the better it is! From an epidermic point of view, the washing weakens its skin by eliminating the layer of protective sebum. And in winter, it is the temperature that accentuates the harm of the animal: If it has little trouble to weather the rainy weather, the shower is a different problem: if you walk in the rain, your hair will be wet and the sensation will be unpleasant and cold but passing the head under water in cold shower will do you a whole other effect! It is exactly the same for the horse hence his reluctance to showers in general. If it is an outdoor animal, it does not bathe naturally in winter! It is therefore more than important to differentiate between mooring and showering.
If your horse lives in the meadow and is simply covered with mud, it is useless to shower it completely. In addition, the dry mud offers them additional protection against the cold. If you need to mount it, just brush it to remove the mud layer. The metallic curry comb is particularly effective in removing dry mud from the fleshiest parts (pay attention to the line of the back, the withers, the head and the point of the shoulder, the dandy brush is sufficient). If the mud is still wet, you can remove the excess with a towel or straw before brushing.
There is no need to shower your horse after a stroll or moderate work and your horse has not been perspiring: again, a good grooming and a towel to dry wet areas are more than enough.
On the other hand, you can shower the legs starting from the bottom and progressively up the canons to the knee. Do not go higher. This will remove dirt, improve blood flow to the limbs and control the absence of sore and mud mange. Caution: be sure to dry the limbs with a clean, dry cloth after rinsing them.
For a horse that has just done intense, sweaty and still wet work:
If it is sweaty (and only in this case), it is best to shower, because its hair will dry faster than a hair soaked in perspiration. But be careful, there are rules to respect:
• The ideal is of course to have an inlet of warm water and a heated room, sheltered from drafts or a solarium to prevent your horse from getting cold.
• If you only have cold water and an outdoor shower, it is best to shower your horse using a bucket of warm water and a sponge: heat water with a kettle (There is always a catch in the stables!) and add it in your bucket of half-filled cold water. Make sure that the water is lukewarm before applying it on your horse.
• Use the hose only for showering the legs, taking care not to spray cold water directly on the stomach.
• Use a shampoo adapted to the skin of the horse
• Rinse methodically so as not to leave foam in the hair.
• Be very careful not to put water in your horse's ears so as not to cause a loss of balance.
• Clean and rinse the horse's head with a sponge, paying careful attention to the eyes.
• Once rinsed, pass the sweat scrapper. It removes excess water and allows for faster drying.
• Dry your horse by rubbing with a towel and put a drying blanket. Once dry, and only if necessary, cover it with your usual blanket.