Summer is coming to a close and if you haven’t been on top of your mare’s personal hygiene, she might be rubbing at her tail dock…
Now… there are several reasons why a horse could rub at their tail dock. Click here if you’d like to look into that further.
But today, we’re going to talk about udders and sheaths.
UDDERS AND SHEATHS.
A while back, I found myself using every kind of sweet itch formula, dandruff formula, wormer, lice spotter… you name it, I was trying it – in an effort to figure out why my mare’s were rubbing out their tails.
Back then, my Old Tymey vet told me to “clean the udders”.
?? Wha? Udders? Why?
He told me that mares get gunk and perspiration up between their udders – especially in the Summer when they are playing outside and it is hot and dusty.
So, I checked up in there (be careful if you have a maiden mare), and sure enough, MT was full of cakey-gunky black stuff between her udders.
As soon as I cleaned it out, she quit rubbing.
Cleaning an udder isn’t as easy as it may sound. It depends, really. On a mare who is familiar with having her udders handled, it is easy.
On a maiden mare, not so much… So, be gentle, easy and careful. I’m no expert so I’m not going to tell you how to do it, but for sure keep your body out of the kicking range and go very slowly and gently. No tickling.
As far as a gelding and his sheath, same deal. That area can get very grody and full of ‘beans’ which are crusty pellets that sit in there, can get huge and are irritating. You might see your gelding kick at his stomach when there are no flies… or even when there are flies… so do have his sheath cleaned regularly.
I don’t personally clean any of my geldings’ sheaths now that Aladdin has passed. He let me do it but he was the only one. The rest are not comfortable with it so… whenever I have their teeth done, I have the vet also do their sheaths.
*Many trainers teach a baby colt to ‘drop’ for cleaning. I didn’t hence my grown-up geldings do not ‘drop’ on command.
HOW TO CLEAN AN UDDER/SHEATH
I wrote about this long ago. You can read that link here. I have excerpted the most important parts here:
WHAT TO USE – (NO AFFILIATIONS)
So, previous to today, I used warm water, mild soap and a soft cloth. This was fine; or so I thought…
But this year, I had some Udder/Sheath cleaner, so I decided to try it. Now, I know what you are thinking. Why not use something you already have around the house. Why buy a specialty item? Yup. That’s what I thought, too.
I brought out my bucket of warm water, my soft cloth and my udder cleaner. (It is made by Equi-Spa who also makes THE BALM that I love!) Anyway, I was all prepared to not notice any difference between homemade cleaners and this Equi-Spa Sheath and Udder Cleaner. I dunked my cloth in the warm water and squeezed out the excess (hate it when water runs down my arm) and squirted on the cleaner. The fragrance was clean and flowery.
Anyway, I started with Tess because she is easier. And, a strange thing happened. It glided! I don’t know how to otherwise describe it, but the cloth glided so smoothly against her udders that I thought I was using oil. And, the yuk broke up so quickly and smoothly that it made me realize my usual homemade formula wasn’t so good… I swear it made the whole area shiny and squeaky-clean in a matter of moments! (The bottle says to leave it on for 10-15 mins for hardened debris – but I think that is more for sheaths. Dunno. It came right off for me.)
And, the best part, I didn’t have to worry about rinsing the cleaner off. What I mean to say is that you need to rinse to get rid of the yuk up there, but you don’t have to make sure all the cleaner is gone. With soap, you do. I used to get her legs wet, my pants wet, my arms soaked as I rinsed the beejeezus out of that area to make sure her skin wouldn’t be irritated. But this stuff is E-A-S-Y.
GOOD TO LEAVE ON!
OMG! The bottle says to “Reapply as needed to protect and moisturize the area”. Wow.
So, I’m sold.
I ASKED WHY IT WORKED SO WELL…
I emailed the company and asked what ingredients made this cleaner work so well. Here is the reply:
The Udder cleaner is based in vegetable glycerin and organic Aloe vera gel. The glycerin is slick, hydrophilic and helps soften and loosen smegma…easy rinse and pulls the dissolving “dirt and debris” with it. It also contains a small amount of witch hazel along with the Aloe is very very soothing and helps leave a healthy “environment” . Horses like it because it feels soothing and yes a bit cooling to them from the Aloe. The cool smell is Tea Tree…there is no camphor or menthol to make it feel “icy” to the horse. It is very clinical smelling. There is also other essential oils that are beneficial for discouraging yeast and bacteria growth but are in very small amounts as to not cause any irritation…in fact just the opposite. I also use it to detangle tails, (it dries fluffy) great for cleaning out dogs ears, and for applying over scratches to soften the scabs and accelerates the healing process.
IF YOU WANT SOME, TOO (no affiliation)
If you would like some Sheath and Udder Cleaner, here is the link. It is only $17 and it goes a long way.
Remember, if you order from her, she will give you a free sample of THE BALM just by asking for it. I love THE BALM. I just used it to heal Shiva (Hubby’s dog) after he was attacked by a coyote. He had staples and open wounds… the poor guy was a mess. I kept rubbing THE BALM on him and he didn’t lick it and all of his wounds are healing beautifully.