I believe that I saw a recipe for a
body wash in one of your books, but now I'm not certain of the recipe and don't
remember which book it was in. I do remember that it included liniment,
baby oil, Calgon water softener, alcohol, and water, but I don't remember the
proportions. I mixed up a gallon of it last summer and my horse seemed to
really like it. The amazing thing was that she didn't roll in the dirt like
she does when she is sweaty or rinsed with the hose. Was this your recipe
and could you send it to me?
Yes, the body
wash you are referring to is on page 171 of Becoming
an Effective Rider. I like to use it to clean a sweaty horse after working
instead of just letting the sweat dry and then grooming him. And its better
than hosing the horse every day.
Using water to hose down your horse every day is not a good long-term management
practice. It results in more problems than benefits. Cold water can
actually stiffen your horse's muscles. Also, the daily wet/dry situation
can be extremely damaging to the structure of the hooves. Horses' hooves
are healthiest when they are kept at a relatively constant dry moisture level.
Also, fungus and skin problems can occur when horses are frequently wet and aren't
allowed to thoroughly dry.
My solution (pun intended!) to cleaning a sweaty horse without hosing him down
is to use a body wipe in specific areas such as the head, saddle area, the underside
of the neck, and between the hind legs. Body braces are available commercially,
or you can make your own by filling a gallon plastic milk container with water,
adding 2 tablespoons of Calgon water softener, 2 tablespoons of baby oil, and
one ounce of your favorite liniment. This mixture lifts dirt and sweat off
the horse's hair, conditions it, and stimulates the skin. If your horse is very
sensitive, you may need to decrease or eliminate the liniment from the formula.
For any horse, do not use liniment near the eyes, nostrils, or on the anus.
Note: Calgon water softener is not the same as Calgonite automatic dishwasher
detergent. Don't let the names confuse you when you are shopping.