Now that the weather is warming up in my neck of the woods, I am likely to see sweat marks on my horse after we ride. Even if you aren’t riding at length or at speed, your horse most likely gets sweaty under their tack too. My horse, Shiloh, can especially get sweaty on a hot/humid day so I like to do something to clean him up post-ride.
As much as I like riding, I also really enjoy grooming before and after the ride. I especially like to figure out what grooming tools/products a particular horse seems to find relaxing and where on their bodies they like to be groomed with which tool. This can be challenging with a horse who has unfortunately developed negative associations with grooming, but I think it is worth the effort to try. Fortunately, Shiloh seems to really enjoy being groomed.
While I do sometimes hose an entire horse down with water to cool them off post-ride, I often choose instead to spot treat them. Certainly a small bucket of plain water applied with a sponge can do the trick. But sometimes their coat is so sticky and grimy post-ride that I prefer to use a cleaning/cooling product to help get them cleaner than I can with water alone.
Depending upon my budget at the time of purchase, I may opt to buy ingredients to make a home-made product or purchase a ready-made one. I actually think both work equally well, but I usually like how the commercial products are scented better than my home-made concoctions.
My favorite commercial product used to be Absorbine Refreshmint, but for some reason, Absorbine discontinued it. For the last few years, my favorite commercial product is Cooldown, also by Absorbine. It comes in a quart size bottle. It works really well in restoring the hair to a clean finish that dries quickly and it has a wonderful scent. I am going on my third Summer of using this same quart so I feel I am getting my money’s worth here (I think the original price was about $21 and knowing me, I most likely bought it on sale, with a coupon and/or with a discount via a credit card cash back offer!).
As far as homemade recipes, I have used a few ones I found on the internet, but basically all I do is combine half and half of Listerine-type mouth wash and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. This combo also works well to get that grey, sweaty grime off the edges of western saddle pads. It may not have the wonderful fragrance of a commercial product, but I find my homemade recipe works just as well and costs less money.
I would like to add some words of caution here. Some cooling rinse products are stronger than others. Some contain ingredients that my cause skin irritation. Some may create a tingling sensation that may worry your horse. While I have personally not experienced those reactions in my own herd, I know of horses who have. Every horse is an individual so always best to be aware that your particular horse(s) may not appreciate the use of a cooling rinse like mine do.
So, do you have any pre or post ride routines that you employ? Do you prefer to hose/sponge with water, give a good curry, use a spray/rinse, turn your horse straight out to roll or something else?
***Please note that this post was not solicited by nor compensated by Absorbine or Listerine 🙂 .***