how to clean a filthy, matted horsegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
This question pertains to the colt rescued from the auction in my other recent post. He is caked with mud and manure, under his belly, on his flanks, and the whole length of his legs. It is so thick and hard, none of my grooming tools are making a dent in the stuff. It is freezing cold out, so I don't think a water bath is an option. Any suggestions out there? Do I have to just leave it and let it grow out?
-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (email@example.com), January 12, 2002
I don't believe his coat, in it's present condition, is a good insulator. You need a locker room shower or something (local dog groomer?).
-- Kevin (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 12, 2002.
You need to get him cleaned up. Get a bucket of hot water and some rags and start by cleaning a small area at a time. If he will let you, and if he is spooky he probably won't, use a hairdryer to dry each area as you go. If you cannot use the dryer you will have to use clean dry rags and dry him as you go, as best you can. Or, maybe you could get some heat lamps to stand him under till he dries. You could also ask at your feed store if they have a dry shampoo, or a foam shampoo that you could use instead of water. Hydrogen peroxide would help to break up the crusted on material, but I think it might also bleach the hair- not sure, maybe you could do a "spot test" in a small area.
-- Elizabeth (email@example.com), January 12, 2002.
Shannon, I have bathed horses badly in need of it in weather like this, it is at least 43 outside here in Ohio today, get all your buckets of warm water ready in a sunny area out of the wind and have at it! Work quickly and have plenty of pre-warmed (out of the dryer works well) towels to dry him off.
Use a human shampoo for oily hair and plenty of warm water to soak the crud off, I wouldn't use any other type cleaners on him being this young yet. Very little else will shift that caked manure off him other than warm water and shampoo.
Keep him moving about till his coat is dry, by leading him or frisking with him to play if he doen't lead.
-- Annie Miller in SE OH (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 12, 2002.
I've done this with lots of warm water, a good equine shampoo, and a polar fleece cooler. Wash and rinse him with the warm water and immediately cover the wet area with a cooler (folding the cooler over itself to leave the dirty areas exposed) The cooler wicks the water from his coat and allows him to dry underneath and still be warm.
Good luck to you, he may to like it if he hasn't been handled much.
Stacy in NY
-- Stacy (KincoraFarm@aol.com), January 12, 2002.
We got lucky when we had a similar problem with a rescue horse -- another horse owner in the area had a heated truck garage with warm water. We were able to take the horse inside and wash him there.
Polar fleece cooler is absolutely an excellent tool after the bath -- I use Snuggys on my horses, and it pulls the water out of the coat and transfers it to the outside of the fleece in a half hour or so . I found out about that when a geriatric horse was down and got completely soaked in snowmelt and had to be dried out quickly. You can actually shed the water right off the fleece with your hand, and the horse is dry and toasty inside. If you have a second fleece Snuggy (or something to simulate it), you can wrap the horse up in that afterward if you think he needs it.
If you can't do the entire horse at once, start by doing sections and washing. Our temperatures have bounced high enough for me to do spot cleaning on one of the greys to remove manure/urine stains with warm water. I don't do enough area to let the horse get chilled, then do some more later on. If your horse hasn't been handled much, that may be all that you want to do at a time.
I have sometimes had to use pliers to break up frozen or dried mud on horse's manes and tails, cracking it so that it can be worked off. If you can do the same with the hair coat on the body, you might be able to work it loose from there.
-- julie f. (email@example.com), January 12, 2002.
Might try baby/mineral oil to untangle the less caked on stuff.
-- BC (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 12, 2002.
i would not expect to do a perfect job the first time ,try wetting and working a leg at a time mix a shampoo water solutinn and wet it best as you can then wrap with a wet rag the leg you are working on let the water do the work it will take quite a while in some cases then when it has softened use a curry comb to gently work the mud/manure mess off then you can wash the area let him dry and get another leg later i think that would be much easyer on him and you than wetting and scrubbing the whole horse ,horsers are such babys and the slow time spent and letting him relax in between should help tame him down too,
-- george darby (email@example.com), January 13, 2002.
At most fed stores they carry a palm sized soft rubber "massager". They have longish cones sticking out of them. They are GREAT for breaking up caked mud. One of my mares loves to roll in the mud and she has a long winter coat. The horses love being groomed with it too.
One of my mares also got kicked and had dried blooed all down her back legs. It was 5 degrees out. I cleaned with warm water and dry towels a little bit at a time. Just make sure he's out of the wind and that he has plenty of feed. Blow driers work great if he will allow it. But as long as you don't get to much wet at once it shouldn't be a problem. Heck horses walk through belly deep water to get drinks when its cold out.
-- Stacia in OK (OneClassyCowgirl@aol.com), January 13, 2002.
Shannon, after seeing his picture, just bucket wash with a sopping washcloth his lower half, his top half looks clean enough, that will be alot less hard on him in this weather. Dry well with plenty of towels.
-- Annie Miller in SE OH (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 13, 2002.
Great tip about the pliers, they work well for breaking up ice balls too. I don't clip fetlocks in the winter- I figure that they're for protection but the ice and snow will build up in them. Star's mane is down past his shoulder and he loves to roll so I have to break the ice balls out of there too.
Stacy in NY
-- Stacy (KincoraFarm@aol.com), January 13, 2002.