Washing Advice for the Nomad Horse Shower

By nature horses are flight animals who, when faced with a new or unexpected situation, may instinctively wish to run from it. They are also beautiful, trusting animals and our role, when introducing them to anything new, is to build on that trust.
 
The quiet operation of the Nomad make it perfect for use around horses but, if your horse isnít used to being hosed down or is young or spooky you may wish to-
 
  • Have a second person hold the horse while you wash him. 
  • Your horse will be most at ease in familiar surroundings but make sure the area around the horse is clear of hazards. 
  • Fill your Nomad with luke-warm water. That way the horse finds being washed down a pleasant experience. 
  • Position the Nomad washer safely in front of the horse so that you can approach your horse without the hose being too close to his legs. 
  • Adjust the Nomad to a spray rather than jet setting.  
     
     
  • Start by directing the spray low down and away from the horse so he can get used to the sight and sound of it.
  • When he is accustomed to it, gently bring the spray onto the horseís fore leg. 
  • Remember to calm, reassure and reward your horse while you wash him. 
  • Work the spray up the horseís leg to his shoulder, then chest and body. 
  • Only wash as high up the neck as your horse is happy with. Take care not to spray sensitive areas like the ears, eyes and head. 
  • Work the spray over the remainder of the horseís body, taking care when washing the horseís hind legs to stand in a safe position. 
  • After washing, remove excess water from the coat with a sweat scraper. 
  • Rug up your horse appropriately and walk him until dry to prevent chills. 
  • Remember that horses learn through calm repetition and reward so, by praising him, you will quickly gain his trust when he is being washed down.


Cooling Event and Endurance Horses

When horses are competing in very warm conditions or are hot as a result of strenuous exercise (eg a temperature of above 40 degrees C / 104 degrees F) they often need to be cooled quickly. 

To achieve this the Nomad's tank can be part filled with ice to provide a flow of cooled water over the horses body, especially the large muscles masses of the horses quarters. Short periods of cooling with iced water should be alternated with short periods walking to promote circulation. Remember to use shade where it is available!

In his work prior to the Atlanta Olympics, Dr David Marlin of the Animal Health Trust found that horses cooled quickly in this way are less likely to suffer heat stress, recover more quickly and don't become as dehydrated . He found no evidence that this technique causes any muscle problems such as 'tying up'.

Cooling should stop if the horses temperature has dropped to 38 to 39 degrees or he shivers, if his skin is cool to the touch after walking or if his respiratory rate has slowed to 30 breaths per limit or less.

For further information on Dr Marlin's research click here.

For further advice and information please feel free to contact Iain at Friday Fox

 
 




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