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Using Orvus on a regular basis?

I always wash my horse’s legs (not always with soap, sometimes I just rinse his legs with water) after we go for a ride for general cleanliness and to avoid fungus. I ride pretty often, probably around four times a week, so I wash my horse’s legs often. I went to tractor supply the other day after my friend suggested I use orvus on my horse’s legs as she also does. I grabbed a tub of it but wondered if it was really safe to use on a regular basis. The tub said, “for industrial use only” so I was a little skeptical. I have a chestnut-solid paint warmblood who has very high white stockings that get manure stains easily. I’m worried that using orvus often would cause dryness and irritation. Any thoughts?

Edit: I don’t normally bathe my horse’s legs daily. Probably only around 2-3 times a week.

Horses at the track get bathed daily with Orvus… or Pantene… or Dawn… or whatever magic concoction the trainer prefers to use. And race horses have some of the most beautiful coats you will ever see on an animal.


I’ve used orvus on gray horses for years without problems. That said, I’ve never washed any animal daily with any soap or shampoo. The most I ever used orvus was on a black and white dog with fleas and skin problems who was bathed twice a week in the bathtub with warm water and turned out beautiful and fluffy. If anyone was going to react to anything, it would be her.

I love Orvus, but do not wash horses daily with any shampoo. Doing baths, I have warm water, which rinses the Orvus off hair well. I find Orvus does not rinse off hair well using cold water. Mine get a lovely shine after Orvus baths.

Is there some protective spray, Cowboy Magic type stuff, you can use to keep white legs clean without needing daily shampoo washing? I would worry about stripping all oil out of hair, causing skin issues, scratches, with daily shampoo washing. Just hosing legs off with plain water daily is not the same as shampooing.


In Florida, I only soap my horse’s legs maybe 1-2x per week with a microtek type shampoo to take care of any fungus/crud type issues. Also I do not boot/wrap his legs - dont like the heat/sand/sweat that gets in there in this climate. Fortunately he never interferes with himself. I brush his legs well, and rinse w/ water after work. Actually his whole body gets rinsed, but I rarely soap ex legs as above and the endless white tail issue…

I give my horse’s a soap bath every other day. Don’t use orvus though. I use ultra cruz foaming shampoo have foaming tool, that hooks to garden hose. Horse’s hair coats are nice shiny soft. Been doing the bath thing since beginning of may. I see no ill effects from the frequent soap baths.

Also use conditioner on them after baths. I’ve never have seen orvus in local feed/ tack store. Only ever seen it in horse supply catalogs.

We have it locally in feed stores and I see it at Dover (NH store).

I use the ivory dish soap on legs. I don’t think orvus would be a problem.

Also +1 for the ultracruz foamer. So handy to not have to do the soap/sponge/bucket and the horses look great. that said my bay and white pinto gets the orvus treatment to keep all that white, white. Nothing gets stains like orvus.

Orvus is just the base generic shampoo/soap, sodium lauryl sulfate. It’s a very fine and useful product and it’s my basic shampoo of choice. Every other shampoo is basically Orvus + water + color + scent + conditioners or medications.

That said, I generally would not bathe with soap daily. The soap strips oils out of the skin and the water can also be hard on the hooves. I always like to do my after-workout rinse with a bucket of vetrolin. I’d suggest if you’re worried about fungus that you want to keep the skin oils happy and the legs dry.


I loved Orvus when we had multiple horses and I had a snowcap Appaloosa with a huge blanket to keep white. Now that I only have one, and do a shampoo bath <5x/year, one of those big containers would last me forever. I kind of wish this was available in a smaller jar.

Years back my mother came home from her favorite quilt store with this tiny (like 4 FL OZ) bottle of the “most amazing quilt cleaner”. It was Orvus. It looked like someone had repackaged it into these little bottles to sell to the quilting ladies.
It did work well on the quilts and it was gentle enough that it seemed to do them no harm.
I use it on my horse (and shared some of my big container with my mother when her little bottle was empty), but I do not wash with soap anything on my horse every day or every other day so I can not say how it will work for that.

Orvus, Ivory, the blue Dawn, all the same, Basic soap with no additives which washes out completely with cold water leaving no residue. Been using it since 1970. Sometimes getting seduced by fancy ads and claims into paying more but always came back because nothing worked better and some of the others leave a residue. It’s an if it ain’t broke don’t fix it situation. Plus it’s very economical in that big tub,

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