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In November, I was preparing to body clip my horse. and he had not had a bath in months.
If you haven’t found the great resource ProEquine Grooms, you will want to check them out. I discovered ProEquine Grooms on Pinterest and have used their techniques multiples, including this hot toweling technique. inspiration
Hot Water In Barn & Bathing
I do have hot water available in my barn, with a propane instant water heater. The specific model I own is the Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater. I bought this originally to use as a cowboy shower in my horse trailer and have repurposed it for use in the barn.
Why I needed an alternative to a full bath
While it was above freezing on the evening I wanted to body clip, I still wasn’t sure that I really wanted to deal with a soaking wet horse, and the water in the barn – I should mention, I don’t have a wash stall, or a drain system in my barn. When I’ve used my propane water heater in the past, I’ve done so outside of the barn.
The evening was windy, and I was losing daylight fast, so I needed another solution. I knew I had Cowboy Magic Green Spot spray on hand, and my typical horse shampoo, as well as buckets. I had recalled hearing about hot towelling in the past, but had never tried it.
How I found a Solution
I turned to Pinterest and found Pro Equine Grooms’ post on this topic and I gained some great tips for the supplies that I would need.
- Small Coolers
- Small Microfiber Towels
- Cowboy Magic Green Spot Remover
- Hot water
- Fleece Horse Cooler
- (optional) Terry Cloth Towels
Most Helpful Tips
The most helpful tips from Pro Equine Grooms was using two coolers, and using small, washcloth sized towels/rags.
Step 1: Grooming
As a result of the blanketing, and less the full blown winter coat, I don’t think my horse was THAT dirty. An alternative l method for getting rid of dust, dander, and loose hair is a grooming vacuum . While this is one of my wish list items, I do not own one.
In the past, I’ve attempted to use a shop vac, but it only produced OK results for me. However, I did not have any specific animal attachments. I might try this again in the future.
Next: Readying Supplies
After grooming my gelding, I put a cooler on while I went into the house to get my hot water. I filled two coolers with hot water from my kitchen sink – just let the water run for a few minutes to ensure it was warm and filled the coolers almost all the way full.
I have a few small Igloo coolers. I used two of them for my hot towelling – One for clean water, and one for rinse water that would get dirty.
Towels: I gathered a grocery bag of my horse show grooming towels.The reason I liked the the small microfiber rags was due – #1, their size #2. ability to squeeze out the water. I also grabbed a few terry cloth towels from my stash, as extras in case I went through all the microfiber towels. I could also use these for drying my horse, in case he got wetter than I wanted.
- #1, their size
- #2. ability to squeeze out the water
I opened the first cooler, put one microfiber towel inside, closed the cooler, and waited for a minute for the towel to get hot and wet.
Then I opened the cooler, removed the rag, and closed the cooler again to keep the water hot.
I was actually a little surprised at how hot the water actually was. It wasn’t too hot that I couldn’t handle the hot towel, but it was steaming.
Cleaning My Horse
I squeezed out the water into a grain bin and sprayed a few quick squirts of cowboy magic into the rag, and went to work on my horse. Starting with his croup area and I worked down, and then forward over his body. I used a currying motion, with my fingers spread out and curved in, resembling a rubber curry comb as much as possible. I worked in a small area until the rag was dirty, and or cool/cold.
I returned the used rag to the second “rinse” cooler. The purpose of using two coolers with two sets of hot water was to preserve the clean water as long as possible, and keep the dirty rags separated.
I let the rag soak for a short time, and repeated the process of wringing out the excess water, and again currying my horse.
Repeat & Work on Legs
I repeated the above process until I had fully cleaned my horse. As I mentioned above, I started at the back, and worked my way forward. Once I finished with both sides of a body section, I covered the wet/cleaned area with a cooler to ensure my horse didn’t get a chill.
My gelding didn’t really get wet in the sense that he was soaked to the skin, but his slightly shaggy hair was a little damp from the steaming.
Last, I cleaned each leg, – thinking they would be dirtier that the rest of his body, since he is turned out daily, and ridden regularly inside my indoor sand/limestone and salted arena.
What I liked about this process
My horse did NOT get soaking wet. I was in the barn, with the doors closed, and out of the wind, the air temperature was 37 degrees
Supplies – Buy On Amazon!
Terry Cloth Towels
Cowboy Magic Green Spot Remover
Fleece Horse Cooler
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