HORSE HOLIDAY CONNECTIONS 

Soft Touch Horsemanship The Mind Body Connection  

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Cleaning the sheath of a male horse.  

--A dirty job that has to be done at least yearly!

Use water soluble product that will melt the gunk off the horse’s penis, and out of that 'pouch, that the penis rests behind.  Preferably, use something that is healing, so if the horse gets scratched with the finger nails, the scratch is protected.

NOTE:  I used Furizon, [a water soluble antibiotic --so we were told, years ago] but have lately heard that it could eventually cause cancer, especially if overused, which we would not do, so we must search for a product that will do a much safer job, something like KY Jelly, that can be bought at a pharmacy.

It is a good idea to use rubber gloves for this job. 

Take about 3 heaping tablespoons of a gel, and push it into the horse’s sheath slowly with your finger-tips, smearing it all around the inside.  You will notice that the horse, [--if you are very gentle] will begin to drop the penis.  Take your thumb and index finger, and make a 'victory sign --the 'V' to get behind the head of the penis, as it is beginning to drop.  Hold your fingers behind the head [bulbous end] of the penis, until it drops far enough that you can work on the slots in the front end, or the ‘head of that penis’. 

Gentleness, can make this a safe job.  be very careful of a horse that is very sensitive or non-trusting. 

Perhaps a veterinarian could tranquilize/sedate the horse for this job, or simply pay the vet to clean the sheath.  This might be a better option for you and your horse.  You do not want to get kicked or hurt in any way!

If the horse does NOT drop, then, your 'V' for victory, becomes the CLAMPING together of the 'V' to hold the head still, until the horse knows, you will not unclamp. This does not always work, they can wiggle our from your fingers.  Using the clamp, behind the head of the penis, take your thumb, and press the flesh at the front of the penis, to the side, while the clamp 'behind' the head presses forward.  You will try to open the slots, one at a time (I think there are three of them), so you can actually 'press out' a BEAN, that is in that slot.  That bean is just accumulated junk, that should be eliminated.  It does not always happen naturally, and we must check at least twice yearly to see that beans are not growing to a size of discomfort.  The bean can be the size of a pea, or a lima bean (small or large).  Try to get all three slots cleared, by simply pressing a finger behind that bean, one at a time.  They will often just pop out, and be a relief to and for your horse.  You don't have to work at this, it should just happen. 

Do NOT get obsessed with this process.  It is not healthy for the horse, OR for you!

The gel will work to loosen the junk on the inner walls of the sheath, and you will find that the junk will loosen, so you can begin to 'peal' it away, falling to the ground.  IF the junk is really crusty and dry, tightly stuck to the inner wall, just stop for about 10-15 minutes, and let the natural process take place, so the gel has a chance to loosen or soften that gunk.

Try again to loosen the junk from the walls.  Allow the [safe] gel to stay in over night if necessary, then use a hose with warm water to flush the junk out,  on the next day.

DO NOT USE ANY SOAP!!  NO CHEMICAL!  Not even ivory Soap!  JUST the gel or another really safe product.   Ask your Pharmacist!

Take notice to see how clean your horse is when they drop to urinate.

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I have actually seen woman who 'worked' at the cleaning of the sheath, in a way that was abusive to the horse.  She really over-did it!  And I didn't think it was normal!  Just do the job, period, and do it quickly and gently!  Let the antibiotic [if you can find it] gel do it's JOB.  Flush, with fresh water, then leave it alone!  The simpler the job, the better. 

The junk is easily cleaned from the legs with a hose or warm soapy water, on the legs ONLY!  

Unfortunately, not enough people know this process, or they think it is dirty to do, so they ignore the job.

I saw a poor horse that had THREE HUGE BEANS, that when finally loosened and eliminated, equaled the size of a golf ball!  I was horrified!  The skin over these beans was so stretched, I felt like it was almost necessary to cut the skin (of course I wouldn't have done that but it looked like it was necessary) to get them out!   Gel made the skin slippery enough, that I could press from behind to ease them out.  It was extremely uncomfortable for the horse, who tolerated the job.  I was as kind as I could be.

We need to educate people, and to also get any discomfort or obsession with this job --gone forever! 

 It's just a simple task, that gets a dirty job done!

Your horse will be much happier with the simplicity of cleanliness!   At least --once a year, make this a priority, just like spring cleaning.

Also be sure to clean between the teats of your mares.  There can accumulate a type of crust that could become uncomfortable.  That will just peel away --most of the time.  It is interesting to watch nature --by allowing the mare to 'smell' that crust.  It brings back memories of when they were a foal, and nursing.

'Rose at the Barn'

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