California Drought: New Barn Rule of Bucket Bathing Only Allowed

There have to be other people on this BB who are boarding at ranches in the southern California (Los Angeles) area that are facing the same thing - massive water use restrictions.

Yesterday the ranch had a sign posted that we are not to use the hose to bathe our horses…as in at all. We were instructed literally use a bucket and a sponge.

The boarders are quite upset by this as how the heck to you rinse soap out of a horse using only a sponge and a bucket (no running the hose to rinse allowed at all)?

I know how to use a curry - but after months of not bathing there is dirt imbedded in the fur/tail/mane that just won’t come out.

It gets super hot in the San Fernando Valley and the thought of not being able to use soap to bathe a horse to remove all the accumulated dirt after weeks of not bathing is bothersome. What do others do?

Anyone have solutions they are willing to share that work to get a horse clean without using soap or a hose to rinse them?

[QUOTE=INoMrEd;8175131]There have to be other people on this BB who are boarding at ranches in the southern California (Los Angeles) area that are facing the same thing - massive water use restrictions.

Yesterday the ranch had a sign posted that we are not to use the hose to bathe our horses…as in at all. We were instructed literally use a bucket and a sponge.

The boarders are quite upset by this as how the heck to you rinse soap out of a horse using only a sponge and a bucket (no running the hose to rinse allowed at all)?

I know how to use a curry - but after months of not bathing there is dirt imbedded in the fur/tail/mane that just won’t come out.

It gets super hot in the San Fernando Valley and the thought of not being able to use soap to bathe a horse to remove all the accumulated dirt after weeks of not bathing is bothersome. What do others do?

Anyone have solutions they are willing to share that work to get a horse clean without using soap or a hose to rinse them?[/QUOTE]

Just add apple cider vinegar to your literal bucket of water, and sponge the horse off that way. No soap or rinsing needed, and the ACV cuts the grime.

Put some water + vetrolin/absorbine/liniment of choice in a bucket.

Sponge horse

Scrape excess water

Done.

You get the accumulated dirt off the same way all those people in areas with long winters do (and they often have to cope with winter coats, too!) Elbow grease.

Seriously, with summer coats a wet rag and elbow grease can make a healthy horse a mirror.

These are great! Thank you so much!!!

Hey there! Fellow Californian… Even before this “mega drought” I grew up on the Nor Cal coast - with private water systems, and extreme conservation.

Yep, curry curry curry, and curry some more to get that grime out of the base of the coat.

My favorite way to get my horse “clean” sans a shampoo bath is do a really deep curry - and then go on a long, sweat producing ride. The sweating action seems to help bring all of that “gunk” to the surface of the coat.

After the ride, I will do a bucket rinse with MENTHOL ALCOHOL added to the water. The stuff is cheap - and added to my rinsing bucket it helps cut the grease and grime.

A really good scraping down after is important too to get the residue sweat etc off.

Baby wipes are great for getting the head and face clean. And to remove urine and manure stains.

When grooming, after currying I will use alcohol on a rag to rub down deep on the top of the croup, and other areas where grease can accumulate.

At this point, my horse has had 1.5 shampoo bathes in the last year. And she is about 90% white. Once in the winter before clipping, and more recently I shampoo’ed her hindquarters to remove build up.

As for shampoo’ing and bucket rinsing - I wouldn’t recommend it.

Diluted Vetrolin liniment really works on sweaty grime and does not need rinsing. Apple cider vinegar in a bucket of water is also a good idea. If you don’t have a gray horse going to a show, then I would also skip shampoo at all costs while you have the water issue. The middle of the country wishes we could send you some of our extra!

My (grey) horse went all last year with only Vetrolin bucket baths and looked great. (Disclaimer: Including occasional applications of green spot remover) And at least in a drought area you won’t have to deal much with mud.

P.S. Ya’ll are going to have very toned arms from all the old fashioned brushin’ :winkgrin:

You guys are the bomb. I have an older large bay horse “Louie” that is an absolute pig (uses manure as a pillow and mattress) and a younger grey almost white horse “Vinnie” who is the cleanest horse I have ever owned - go figure…

Wow. The things you don’t even think about in other parts of the country and you take for granted …

We have a deep dug well and this area is known for its incredible water source 24/7/365. We can literally run every hose and turn on every faucet here all day every day without stopping and the water just keeps on coming …

What a tough problem to face and what terrific suggestions are being offered

Good luck :slight_smile:

There are some great tips on this thread.

[QUOTE=SmartAlex;8175287]
P.S. Ya’ll are going to have very toned arms from all the old fashioned brushin’ :winkgrin:[/QUOTE]

Seriously!! I have been wearing my self out grooming lately. Decided my (not so easy to get shiny leopard appaloosa) was going to be clean and shiny! I found my self huffing and switching arms! - luckily my mare LOOOVES a good currying.

The baby wipes are GREAT for manure and urine marks - I curry them, then stiff brush - then baby wipes -and that will remove the “manure pillow” stain from my white horse.

I also tend to keep a sheet on her any time she is in a stall -a thin cotton one when its not too hot - and a Kool coat airflow mid summer - acts as a buffer between her and the crap! Helps keep the staining down (although I do have lots of horse laundry!)

If you google around you can probably find videos of horses at the truck being bucket/sponge washed. I know I saw a video last year of California Chrome having a post work bath. 2 buckets and done! One for suds, one for rinse. Good enough for him, probably good enough for the rest of us in California :wink:

I do remember as an eventing kid in the early 80’s, a very dry year in N Cal, one 5 gallon bucket per wash/clean up, and I had a few spot leopard with no spots! And was in Pony Club, with Rallies to go to! We managed :slight_smile:

I think before a show I might have brought some extra water from home though.

It does irritate the heck out of me that many of the very wealthy neighbors are still irrigating acres and acres of landscaping, because they can pay the extra $$$ no sweat… However, they are sucking up the water supply for the rest of us - that and the damn fracking!

I had already been very water conservation minded for years and am worried if they go by % to cut back, I just don’t have that much wiggle room. Next step is riding in a bone dry arena which won’t be good for the horses’ joints nor their lungs. Have already tried several additives, but they just don’t do much without any humidity…

Originally Posted by SmartAlex
P.S. Ya’ll are going to have very toned arms from all the old fashioned brushin’ IMO - This is not a bad thing…

Candico our arena is also bone dry!!! It has not really been watered since the last rain we had a few weeks ago. At least some new sand is being added as the lack of being able to water quickly makes it really hard in places. The new drag works great but the lack of being able to water is a huge issue.

I too have been a water conserver forever. I bought one of the first water weenies (attaches to a hose, has a shut off valve and is shaped to easily get the dirt out of horses) about 20 years ago. Doing any sort of bathing without it is going to be new for me and about 25 other fellow boarders here in Chatsworth who are used to using the hose.

We’ll get through this and hopefully get a large amount of snowpack from the predicted El Nino in the Sierra’s this winter to raise the water table and end the drought.

[QUOTE=candico;8175450]It does irritate the heck out of me that many of the very wealthy neighbors are still irrigating acres and acres of landscaping, because they can pay the extra $$$ no sweat… However, they are sucking up the water supply for the rest of us - that and the damn fracking!
[/QUOTE]

80+% of the water use in California is actually agricultural (cattle/crops).

In a quart spray bottle, 1:1 ratio of alcohol and witch hazel and then add an ounce or two of baby oil. (someone here on COTH’s recipe)

Curry, spray, curry, wipe with a rag, curry, spray, curry, wipe with a rag.

The alcohol cuts the grime, the witch hazel soothes the skin and the baby oil seems to help the grime and scurf to come to the surface so that the towel can wipe it away.

If you feel like it makes your horse to greasy, because you added to much baby oil, just add more alcohol and witch hazel to the mix.

I have used off brand brown mouth wash (listerine) as well with baby oil and it works a charm.

If you feel like you need to use soap/shampoo. Do a dilute mixture in your 5 gallon bucket and then use another 5 gallons with ACV to do the rinse…with a good curry in between.

My horse had one shampoo bath–last year. We have no such water restrictions and I am plenty mad about it. Even with the cooler weather lately, you see the grooms hosing off every horse. Such a waste. The guys who groom for me are under orders not to bathe my horse. A sponge works just fine.

I love some of the other suggestions here and will try them.

I am very thankful I have a dark bay with minimal chrome.

No running the hose, that’s rough.

I second (or third) the baby wipe suggestion. I load up on baby wipes and rags at the $99 cents store. Dampened rags can clean the horse or your boots! They do make waterless shampoo for dogs and I’ve been told that can work on horses too but I’ve never tried it.

I rarely give my horse a bath. In the summer after riding, I put some Vetrolin in some water and sponge off dirty/sweaty areas. My friend’s horse is 17h and my horse is 15.2 and we can get them cleaned/cooled off with less than a full bucket for two.