How often do you wash (with soap) your horse?

In a controversial video we’ve all been discussing about a typical day for her horses, one of the typcial things is the horse getting a bath after the workout. Which isn’t a big deal, except that it appears they are shampooing the horse. I hose my horse off all the time, but other than scrubbing the white socks before a show, I don’t think i have ever actually shampood (did I spell that right??) my whole horse, even when I had a gray. I know it strips the protective oil from their coats, so I was shocked that this would be a daily occurence?

Genuinely curious how many people wash their horses with some type of soap or cleanser on a regular basis?


When I had a (sensitive skinned) OTTB that got very itchy in the summers (hot humid summers and she lived out 24/7), she did significantly better if I bathed her once a week. I would dilute Equiderma shampoo in a bucket of water, sponge her, and then make sure I rinsed all the shampoo off thoroughly. Her coat was softer and she significantly decreased her rubbing/scratching.

When I was a kid I worked as a hot walker at a SB barn. Horses were washed with warm water and soap after every workout. They came in hot, sweaty, covered in track crud. After cooling out, they were washed --and rinsed, of course. I THINK the soap may have been Orvis. As far as conditioner for the coat --we used none (that I recall). This was early 1970s.

I wash my horses a couple of times a month --always before a competition and once or twice in between because I like to ride a well-turned out horse. I use Cowboy Magic products (Orvis is a pain to rinse out --takes forever --and I use conditioner and PEPE coat shine before we go out. I really like Carr and Daily products --but hard to find around here. And kind of costly for my boys who show where turn out means nothing —

I have heard the “soap washes out oils” before. Not sure I agree. I showed with some pretty high up (World/Congress) QH people --I was never at that level --but their kids were friends with my kids and we held our own at local shows --they washed their horses same as I did. I am sure that over use of harsh soaps will damage a coat, but I don’t think that’s true of the products designed for horses --if it were, no one would use them.

I have two bays --one true bay and one roan. They are slick looking --coats like seals. I don’t think it is washing/not washing that makes a difference; I think it’s what I feed them —good quality alfalfa hay and good feed. And I brush each one about 15-20 minutes each day. I was working as a ring steward at a small local show. It was a youth class in Showmanship. The judge said , " I can always tell which kid brushes his horse every day." He was right.



My mare likes a warm water bath when she sweats in summer. I almost never find I need to use soap. She has no dandruff and a sleek summer coat. The water beads off it.

I would use soap on a horse with deeply ground in dirt, with poop in its tail, or on a white horse going to a show. Sometimes I use Johnson baby wash on her underpants. I will wash her tail with dollar store conditioner.

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I have dark horses and don’t wash. As above a daily groomed horse shines.

I don’t wash for competitions. They shine and we do dressage.


I bathe with shampoo (vetroline) maybe 5 times a year. Water rinse after rides if they got hot. More bathing in summer to remove nasty southern crud.

I love that autocorrect made it “underpants.”


Once a week in the horrible hot summer months with a gentle diluted with water shampoo. Have a grey who is nearly white. Condition afterwards. In the colder months I will just sponge and use a green spot remover for really bad stains.

I give a bath after a rainy spell once I’m sure he’ll stop getting coated in mud every time he lays down. If he’s gunky from sweating during the day in the summer, sometimes I will bathe then… I use the green vetrolin shampoo diluted in a bucket of water and sponge on. Most of the time I just rinse his body and shampoo his tail if needed. Maybe will scrub legs if it’s been muddy

I bathe with EQyss MicroTek whenever they seem particularly itchy (usually one after shedding/spring) and once every 6 weeks through September (SE heat and humidity). I use Vetrolin before shows (few and far between these days) and before body clipping (October).

I have not found shampoos to strip natural oils. Perhaps shampoos have been more advanced? (I have heard the “strips natural oils” for a long time now) I also use Healthy Haircare nearly daily as a conditioner and try to balance his diet as best I can. YMMV

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Once a year unless I’m using a medicated shampoo for rainrot. I do use Cowboy Magic for stains once in a while.

I never bath my horse just wash the sweat off with warm water and clean the private parts for crud. Yes never wash them with soap.
My mare does love to have her eyes washed with clean towel and also between her tits where the crud builds up. I don’t even have tie her she just loves it. They all love to be hosed on a hot day and run in from the pasrture to get a rinse then head out for a good roll in the grass. Nice life.


They get hosed off almost every day (sometimes multiple times if it’s very hot and humid) but unless I have a gray or paint I almost never use soap. Maybe once or twice a year before a big show if they are filthy. Right now I have a liver chestnut with no white and I’m not sure he’s ever had a soap bath.

I bath about once a month max in the summer months or before a show. I only use a splash of soap and dilute it, except for his tail. I wash and condition his tail 2x a month.

Depends on how much pee mine has slept in (which he does just about daily). I don’t enjoy eau de pee on a hot sweaty horse when I’m riding. But mostly when they are itchy and grimy. Some horses seem to have more naturally repellent coats than others. And then you’ve got ones with skin sensitivities where sometimes bathing more is worse and sometimes it helps, depending on the triggers.


My horse has allergies. The vet doing the dermal allergy testing and I believe was a dermatologist said rinsing ever day is fine, but not to bath with shampoo more than 3x per week. I live near the gulf coast so it is hot and humid.

I am owned by a gray mare getting whiter every year. I never bathe her in winter, but she gets an antiseptic bath with either hibitane or betadine in spring and fall to deal with any lurking skin crud. During the summer, she gets an occasional bath with a splash of shampoo in a bucket of water sponged in then well rinsed, and she is hosed off when hot or filthy. I do fuss over her tail with blue shampoos, conditioners and various “products” tho!

I only bathe mine with shampoo before a show or before being clipped. She almost always rolls immediately after she is turned out, and will certainly do so if she’s been hosed off or bathed, so there’s not much point in giving her a bath more frequently. Luckily she is dark brown so the dirt doesn’t show much.

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The first summer I had my pinto pony I shampooed his mane and tail. Just the once…it wasn’t worth the effort when he rolled immediately afterwards. So I won’t bother bathing his body, just a hosing off when sweaty. He gets flax regularly and I swear his white parts just repel dirt. Maybe I’ll shampoo his tail one day just so it’s swishy again.

I have a chestnut overo Paint who is about 75% chestnut with those typical complicated white spots on her barrel. Today she had obviously slept in some poop in her paddock, but I was able to wipe off all the stains with a wet sponge.