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by Downunder Horsemanship

Training Guide: Safely Introduce Your Horse to Being Bathed

Building a horse’s confidence about standing quietly while you bath him requires a step-by-step approach and patience. Water is scary to horses because not only does it move, but it also makes a noise when it’s sprayed on the horse’s body. Add to that the sensation the horse feels when the water hits his body, and water can be a pretty scary object to horses if it isn’t introduced to them in the correct way.

In the training guide, “Bundy’s First Bath,” Clinton explains in detail how he baths a horse for the first time. Throughout the article, he works with Bundy, a 10-year-old brumby captured a few days earlier from the Outback.

“One of the reasons I love to work with horses like Bundy is because they’re like blank slates, and as long as everything is introduced to them in the correct way (using Approach and Retreat and always rewarding the slightest try) they learn the correct habits very quickly. However, they can also learn the wrong habits just as fast if they’re allowed to. Remember, every time you’re around your horse you’re either teaching him to do the right thing or teaching him to do the wrong thing. You’re always training your horse,” Clinton says.

Read the training article now on the Downunder Horsemanship website.