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Selecting the Right Shampoo For Your Horse

Selecting the Right Shampoo For Your Horse

Selecting the right shampooIn a lather over equine cleaning products? Follow these expert tips.

Adapted from articles in EQUUS by Eliza R.L. McGraw and in Practical Horseman by Sarah Dodds

Beyond basic bubbles, shampoos for horses offer many of the same cosmetic and health benefits that shampoos formulated for people do. How do you choose? Begin by sizing up your horse’s specific needs.

Shampoo for Skin Challenges

Horses have notoriously sensitive skin, and some are more susceptible to irritation than others. If your horse has ever broken out in hives, you’ll want to be particularly careful when choosing his shampoo.

When introducing any new product, however, it’s wise to make sure your horse isn’t allergic to it. Cleanse a small area, such as a leg, with the new shampoo. If there’s no sign of a reaction after 24 hours, go ahead and give your horse a full-blown bath.

It’s not unusual for a horse’s skin to become a little dry for a time after he has been shampooed. It can, however, make the coat look dull and leave a horse itchy, which could cause him to rub his skin and tail. Using a shampoo that contains conditioners can help minimize dryness, as can a variety of “after-bath” products. It will also help if you bathe your horse as quickly and efficiently as possible. One method calls for soaping and then rinsing one side of your horse at a time, rather than simply cleansing from front to back or top to bottom.

Color Your Horse Clean

If you are interested in a cosmetic—rather than a therapeutic—effect, consider one of the many colorenhancing shampoos on the market. Most of these products work in one of two ways. Some contain dyes to match and enhance a horse’s natural coat color. Others contain optical brighteners; they are absorbed by the hair and increase the coat’s ability to reflect light, making it appear brighter or shinier. Many whitening shampoos work by adding a bluing agent to the coat.

In natural light, this blue becomes neutral, making the white seem even whiter.

Tough Stains

To help prevent spots from appearing in the first place, spray your horses with a detangler after each bath, as soon as they are finished drip-drying. The silicone in the spray coats the hairs and makes it more difficult for stains to set.

After you have selected your favorite horse shampoo, here are some basic bathing tips.

Read more:
Simple step-by-step guide
Grooming tips and techniques
Selecting the right shampoo
Basic bathing tips: Shampooing
Basic bathing tips: Rinsing
Keep Your Gray Horse Gleaming
Braiding Basics
Horse Hoof Care Tips
Equine Massage Therapy
Winter Horse Grooming Tips
Grooming for Show Day

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