SPOIL YOUR HORSE WITH A FUN SPA DAY!
If you have found yourself on my website and over to my blog. I'd be willing to bet that you love your horse!
I want you to stop for a minute and close your eyes and imagine the absolute best day with your horse. Does it include waking up early to head to a jackpot and get to work and ride all day, hanging out with your horse and friends? Does it look like taking advantage of a warm sunny day, and go on a wonderful trail ride? Or maybe it's just spending the day cleaning the barn and taking in the smells, and atmosphere of just being with your horse and in the barn. Whatever your day looks like, the best way to end the day is to finish it with a relaxing bath for your horse! (and lets be honest, its just as therapeutic and relaxing for the people as it is for the horses!) Now we know that you do not need to get your horse show ready everyday. But this "Spa Day" is a nice way to bond with and spoil your horse!
First you want to try to get all the dirt, loose hair and sweat off your horse by using a curry comb to loosen all that up, then use a hard brush to remove all the debris.
Now is the time to do the basic clipping. Clip the bridal path and the whiskers (it's kind of a controversial topic, clipping the whiskers. Just do what you feel is best for your horse)
Next is to completely soak your horse with water (you just want to make sure that you really get your horse wet) and shampoo the body and mane and tail (leave shampoo in for a few minutes)
While that shampoo is soaking, now is the chance to gently scrub your horses face and get it nice and clean.
When you are done with the face, rinse all that shampoo off as best as you can!
Next is to add the conditioner and leave that in to soak for a few minutes! While that is soaking, you can clean out the sheath for your studs and geldings!
Rinse out the conditioner very very well, then squeegee all that excess water off your horses body. Add any leave in conditioner for the mane and tail, and also add hoof moisturizer aa well. Then towel dry to try to get as much water off your horses body as best as you can. Using a soft brush to help get the hair flow in a natural direction. (side note: This was my favorite part in the bath when I was young, because I would just brush my horse for what seemed like hours until he was completely dry! but it was so calming and therapeutic!)
The last thing to do is put in a detangler/leave in conditioner in the mane and tail, brush it out and braid it however you prefer!
Then the only thing left to do is turn out your freshly cleaned horse and watch them completely throw all your hard work out the window and roll in the right amount of dirt and manure. (But let's be honest, its pretty fun to watch your horse enjoy themselves by running, bucking and rolling!)
A FEW GROOMING AND HORSE CARE TIPS!
Daily grooming routine
Weather your horse is a high-performance horse that shows regularly, a ranch horse that puts miles and miles working in the fields, or a kids pony that lives in your backyard. Its crucial to have a great daily grooming routine. One of the biggest benefits is that you are able to keep up on any changes that happen with your horse and will be able to find any problems happening with your horse.
This list is just a few suggestions of things that you might want to add to your daily grooming routine.
- Check vitals
- Full body inspection
- Clean hooves
- Curry comb really well
- Body brush and wipe with a (warm) damp cloth to get all the loose dirt and hair
- Brush face
- Check eyes, ears, nose. Wipe away dirt and boogies
Full body inspection
Now we know that it's not necessary to get your horse show ready every single day. But one very important thing that you need do every day is check your horses' body for any signs of potential problems.
Things to look for that may indicate a problem:
- Is something different from yesterday. Is your horse acting differently, or do you notice something that is different from yesterday.
- Taking your horses' vital signs, are they normal?
- Gage reactions to being touched, squished and moved around. Does your horse seem sensitive or sore to these touches or movements?
- Is there any heat or swelling on your horses' body?
- Tensing up when being touched in a certain muscle group. Does your horse like that or does it hurt?
- Inputs and outputs. Is your horse eating, drinking, peeing and pooping normally?
Check your horses' vitals
It's important to note that you should talk with your vet with any and all questions!
If you would like more info on how to check your horses vitals. Click on the link below to access more info.
- Take digital thermometer. use water-based lubricant.
- Stand next to horse's butt (not behind, please remember to be safe), and move tail to the side and insert the thermometer.
- Normal temps are about 99-101.5 degrees
Check Respiratory Rates
- watch your horses flank, as it expands and contracts, that is 1 breath. Count the breaths for 1 minute.
Normal horses respiratory rate is 10-24 breaths per minute.
Also be aware that if your horses respiration is higher than normal. Take a step back and ask your self if their respiratory rates are higher because your horse was acting like a wild crazy mustang running around, or was your horse being quiet and chill in their stall?
24-40 beats per minute
- You can put your fingers across the lingual artery which runs at the bottom of the jaw across the bone to count your horse’s pulse.
- you want your horses gums to be a pale-pink color
- Feel your horses gums, if they feel slippery or slick, your horse is nice and hydrated.
- If they feel dry, tacky or sticky, they are dehydrated.
Capillary refill time
- When you press your thumb into the gum, you want the color to come back within 2 seconds
Check Digital Pulse
The digital pulse is often really hard to find – and this is a good thing! When the soft tissue structures in the hoof are inflamed, perhaps due to an abscess or laminitis, the digital pulse becomes stronger and may approach bounding. A bounding digital pulse is easy to detect, very strong, and a big red flag. Call the veterinarian.
Clean your horses' ears
There are lots of benefits to handling and wiping ears daily, one being that bridling and clipping is made much easier! The other benefit is that you are able to better lookout for changes in your horse’s ears, such as ticks, chiggers, aural plaques, etc. Don’t forget to inspect around the ears – prime locations for bridle and tack rubs.
To “clean” the ears, use a slightly damp, soft towel to rub inside the ears to check for lumps, bugs, ticks, etc.