That is the question.
And after a little background story, we will discuss the answer.
Yesterday morning was earmarked for a visit from our farrier.
Hoof trimming is done every eight weeks.
By that time all of the equines have grown enough new hoof that a pedicure is in order.
I always find that this is a good time to get grooming chores done as well.
Usually the farrier and I tag-team the horses...
him on hooves,
me on clippers and brushes.
While brushing, yesterday, it occurred to me that it was about time a few of the horses had baths.
Moonbeam loves a bath on a hot day, and the Littles each needed their tails washed and de-tangled.
And so, after the farrier left we began the task of bathing.
I am happy to report that each of them behaved like gentlemen...
both during their pedicures and during their baths.
If only you could have seen this fellow's tail before his bath....
a little diarrhea had really caused a mess!
After his bath.... beautiful!
Now for the question...
If you have horses then you know all about sheath cleaning.
For those of you who don't have horses and have no idea about what I am talking...
I will give you a brief explanation.
First of all, let me tell you...
all of my male equines are neutered.
That's right, their duffle bag is empty.
Secondly, you might notice when looking at a male horse,
that their male part is either not visible, or perhaps it is hanging free and easy.
This is because males have the ability to retract said part deep into a recess in their duffle bag....
and by the way, this entrance is always open to the outside.
Which means that these parts tend to bring all manner of dirt (gunk mixed with bodily oils)
inside when they retract.
This special hiding place is called their sheath.
Now there are two schools of thought with regards to sheath cleaning.
Some advocate cleaning it regularly.
Some advise not cleaning at all....after all, horses in the wild never clean it.
I tend to fall somewhere in the middle.
Once a summer we clean house... a deep cleaning if you will.
(more than you cared to know?)
A special sponge, some special pH balanced cleaner, and the hose (on warm)
is all that is needed.
And believe it or not....
they all stand still for this little procedure.
By the end of the morning everyone was squeaky clean...inside and out...
with lovely hooves, manes and tails.
(Warning...if you are squeamish, you may want to stop right here...
if not, you may proceed. You have been warned.)
During all of that fuss, however, I noticed that Red had a big boo-boo
on his shoulder.
Apparently he had developed an abscess that had opened and drained.
From what? Perhaps a bug bite, or some injury.
Dr. Becky came to look at it and clean it up.
Daily cleansing by me should help this to heal in the next couple of weeks.
And by the way, there was no charge for the new hairstyle she gave Red.
No surprise...Ollie spent the rest of the day trying to un-do that braid!