The main reason to bath your horse is to get him or her clean but how many other benefits can you think of?
There are actually benefits not only for your horse but also for you!
Here’s a few of the benefits for your horse…
Your horse is clean of dirt, sweat, bugs, and burs
Your horse is cooler on a hot day
Bathing can reduce tension and anxiety, thereby relaxing and calming your horse
Your horse is happier because he gets to spend time with you
Your horse will get used to your touch and will feel more secure with you being close
Your horse will also be more trusting of your touch
You can massage your horse and help relieve any sore muscles
You can scratch your horse and not only get a deeper clean, but you can also relieve any itchiness he may have
You can keep your horse healthier by using this time to check for any cuts, scrapes, bites, injuries, bruises, pain, or swelling
Your horse will enjoy spending this time with you and doing what herds do together
You can use this time to allow your horse to get to know you, and your habits, better which will help with any trust issues he has with you
You are removing the dead skin and hair in areas that are hard for your horse to reach
By massaging and scratching your horse while bathing, you are increasing the blood flow to the skin surface, as well as the natural oils. Thereby, helping them get a nice shiny, healthy coat.
By washing your horse, especially in the spring and summer, you are getting rid of any infestations of botfly larvae that may be in your horse’s coat thereby helping his health. If your horse scratches and ingests these it could cause internal issues
How you bathe your horse, why you bathe your horse, and your attitude and thoughts while you bathe your horse are all important.
You can make the whole procedure very simple and just bathe your horse to get him clean and do it quickly and efficiently. However, you will miss out on so much more that can happen during this exchange.
I love to take advantage of every moment I am with my horse to get to know him better and learn more about him, as well as teach him more about me. I love to make every encounter fun and enjoyable for both of us so we can continue to build on our great relationship.
Every relationship, whether human or horse, needs constant attention and work. I want to build on our foundation of trust, on our bond, and on our connection. I truly enjoy our two-way conversations. He is my best friend and I treat our relationship as such.
But bath time isn’t just for my horse, it also is good for me. Here are a few ways bathing your horse can also help you.
You get to spend quality time with your horse bonding and working on a deeper connection together
You can use this time to talk to your horse, and listen, in order to build a stronger foundation of trust
You get to relax with your horse while helping him at the same time
The physical labor of washing your horse will also help tone your arms
You get to work on any of your horse’s trust or fear issues, which will help you feel more confident when you are around your horse
You will know if your horse is in good condition after checking him out, which will help you feel more secure about your horse’s health
Because your horse will be more trusting of your touch, it will be easier to get a halter on or other tack, pick up his feet, or to hold him for the farrier or vet visits
You get to know your horse better by observing him while cleaning and watching to see if he is anxious or fearful and why
So, bath time isn’t just work now, it’s an enjoyable time that you both get to spend with each other that benefits both of you.
During my “bath time” with Jazz, we enjoy each other’s company, talk to each other, and work on any physical or emotional issues together as a herd.
I’ve added a quick video of my bath time with Jazz yesterday so you can see how we interact a bit.
The longer version with all the details of how and why to do certain things while bathing your horse is a part of my Beginning the Connection program which now has a page with full details here.
Just remember to enjoy every moment you have to be with each other and make it count!
Until next time and Happy Horses.
Got any stories of bath time with your horse? Let us know in the Comments below!