Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Shampoo Horse or Affected Area

Being able to shampoo your entire horse or an affected area is an important skill.

Widespread skin conditions or allergies may require repeated whole body shampooing with specific therapeutic shampoos.


Before washing, brush your horse to remove all loose hair and debris, being careful when working around a painful or affected area.

Wet the horse or affected area thoroughly with a hose. Apply a liberal amount of shampoo to your palm and lather up the affected area. Rinse it well with the hose. Use a sweat scraper to remove the excess dirty water from the coat. This first application will remove lots of hair and larger debris.

Wash and rinse a second time if necessary. Now do another thorough lathering of the area, working the lather into the hair and skin with your fingertips. Let it stand 10-15 minutes. Rinse well. Dry your horse with a large clean towel.

Tips for safety & Success

For therapeutic shampoos to work, you must allow the lather to sit on the skin for at least 10 minutes, then rinse really well. It takes that long for antiseptics to have a killing effect on bacteria or other agents on the skin. Be sure to rinse well. Leaving shampoo residue on the coat can cause skin irritation.

Horses need to be taught to accept a hose before shampoo is applied.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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