Cleaning a messy mare over winter

I have a mare that gets “messy” during heat cycles. This was all fine and dandy in the summer, but we only have access to outdoor water sources which makes cleaning her very challenging now that temps have dropped significantly. I live in a cold climate and overnight her spray turns almost to a plastic like coating on her legs that can’t be brushed off. Any suggestions on how to best clean/maintain her legs without a warm water source or wash rack?

Following even though I don’t have a mare. Instead I have a goofy gelding that chooses to lay in his pee spot every single night (in his 31 ft pen…) And it dries and is almost like tree sap! So hopefully we both can get some advice.

One thing I’ve used before was a little bit of white vinegar. And right now I’m trying to make sure to put a coat conditioner on him so hopefully it doesn’t stick quite as much.

Something like show sheen might help.


I used a big (1/2gal)cheap plastic thermos to haul hot water to the barn when I was treating an injury that needed a soak & cleaning.
I’d fill with near-boiling water & it cooled enough for use by the time I walked the 250’ from house to barn & got things setup to treat the horse.
You could also soak towels in hot water & transport in a Ziploc bag.

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I’d get your vet involved if she’s still cycling so much over the Winter to need to be regularly cleaned.

But yes, liberally applying Showsheen or similar, after a washing, will help a lot. And then what 2Dogs said - bring hot water down to so some actual cleaning if you need to, even if it’s just with hot rags


Could you get an electric tea kettle to heat water? I use that for quick hot water. Otherwise a thermos and carry hot water to the barn. Apply some oil or anything that makes her legs slick to make it easier to clean.

Then get a visit with the vet.


Hot water is the only thing that takes it off. Get a electric track kettle and use a rag, scrub until it comes off. If she starts getting irritation from the pee you can coat the area in Vaseline.

Bring some warm water in a thermos.

I use waterless dog shampoo to keep my horse clean in the winter. It works well!

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Not particularly environmentally friendly, but unscented baby wipes (kept in a warm house/car) have been useful for me when wiping my mare down. Bonus: they don’t shred like paper towel does. I really like the Huggies Naturals ones.

I use Miracle Groom all winter for my mare in this situation. I also use an electric tea kettle to warm a bit of water if needed.