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 but my concoction doesn’t contain alcohol. I like to use a brace to clean areas of a wet, 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. You can spray it on or sponge it on. Give a shake before you apply either way.
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.