By Terry Golson

It’s now officially spring. But we horse people already knew that. The shedding!


Here in the north our horses’ manes are waxy with gunk, their bodies remain dusty and grimy no matter how much grooming we do, and their white hocks (for those of us “lucky” enough to have horses with chrome) have turned a dull mustard yellow.

Tonka maintains his shine all winter (I obsessively groom and he gets flax) but I so look forward to the first day when the temperature is above 60 degrees F (15.5 C) and I can rid him of the winter funk and start fresh. Yesterday was the day! It was sunny and warm.


Into the wash stall Tonka went. He actually liked having his mane scrubbed.


The plan was to hand-graze in the sun while he dried off. Shiny!


But Tonka was oddly jumpy. I knew what he needed. And because I listen to my horse and put aside my own desires, I let him do it.

Bounce around and have a roll in the sand.


At least the mane remained white!


This is how thoroughly he did his own “grooming.” I didn’t have a perfectly clean horse for even 5 minutes! Sigh.


When sand dries it’s easy to knock off with a stiff body brush. Although a fine dust remains at least Tonka is deep-down clean.

Now to get rid of those stains on his legs. I swear that Tonka looks for fresh manure piles to ease his hocks into when he lays down to sleep. Does he do this for heat therapy? Comfy pillows? It’s too consistent to not be on purpose. I’ve tried every brand of purple whitening shampoo. Any suggestions?

7 thoughts on “Bathtime

  • Lizzie in Cornwall

    Such joy in all that bouncing! He looks like a happy toddler! And I know he’s well past that age…!

  • Rebecca Stedman

    Love the video pure joy! Spring is in the air and he is going to make the best of it. You looked mighty happy also!

  • Tracy

    The only way I know to get manure and urine stains out of white legs for sure is to make a paste (a slurry, really) of corn starch, and a scant half teaspoon of Mrs. Stewart’s laundry blueing dissolved in enough water to make the slurry. Slap it all over their legs, really rub it in and leave it in as long as they’ll let you. Until dry if you can get away with it. The corn starch sort of opens up the hair cuticle and pulls out the stain and the blueing does, well, what blueing does. It’s harmless and does work as long as all the dirt is off and you’re just left with a ‘clean stain’, if that makes any sense. Years ago, one of my boarders was a white Lusitano cross and this was a weekly event. Also helps with yellow-ish white tails.

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