I hope you have all been enjoying the fab weather we have been getting the last few days! I’ve got a slightly different blog post from myself this week. It may be a bit graphic for some people so consider yourself warned!
Recently I came across what I had thought was a hilarious picture of someone talking about ‘willy washing’ for their gelding. To be honest I was very unaware of this process! Discreetly, I had a look at Dante’s ‘Bits’ and noticed they were not exactly sparkling clean. So with a little research, and a lot of really weird Whats-app group conversations I decided to go for the plunge (literally) and give him a clean.
(Please Note: Steer clear of too many YouTube video’s on this topic, it is not pleasant!)
How To Prepare your Horse:
Dante had never been cleaned before, so I did not really know what to expect or how he would react, so we took everything nice and slow. With Heather as my helping hand, we decided it would be best that she would start of the process first while I held him. This way I could watch and listen and she explained what she was doing as she was doing it. One tip I learned, make sure you rub and pat the horse on the behind first, let him know you are there, as if you are giving him a slight warning. So with a patch of grass & a hay-net to keep him occupied we began!
Equipment Needed / The Process:
- Rubber Gloves (plenty of pairs!) I even had a pair of marigolds!
- A bucket with Luke warm water, not too cold as you don’t want to freeze the balls off of your horse!!
- A tiny bit of hibiscrub to dilute the water (acts as a disinfectant)
- Loads of towels
Getting your bucket, pour a small amount of the hibiscrub in and dilute with warm water, making sure its not too cold but not boiling hot either. Prepare your towels, leaving them in hands reach and put on your rubber gloves! I held Dante outside of his stable, and had a hay-net there for him to keep him distracted, so this was the perfect setting.
As mentioned above give your horse a pat on the hind end, let him know you are there, the last thing you want is a hoof in the head if they are not comfortable with being fondled! So, starting off grab your towel and dip it into the diluted water, and start cleaning!
OMG, this part is literally insane/gross, I am so glad I did not have my nails done!! I don’t often clean horses bits, so I had no idea what to expect, as you can see from the photo’s, you really have to get elbow deep. Most horses or horses that are used to getting cleaned will drop there sheath down for you to clean the Smegma but Dante didn’t, he just stood there eating. This meant I had to put my hand up his bits and gently work away at removing the crusty bits the hard way. I will never underestimate a pair of gloves again!! It surprised me how far my hand could go up there but Jesus it was never ending!
Getting into the swing of things, it actually was not too bad, slightly smelly but once you got over the shock of doing what you were doing, its just a continuous process, towel, water, clean and repeat.
When the towel gets ‘soiled’, grab a new one and keep working away until the towel comes out clean. After doing this for approx 20 minutes, Dante was still not dropping, but you could noticeably see the difference from the towels.
Once you’ve cleaning as above, you then have to check for The Bean. This is an accumulation of smegma, a natural lubricating substance produced by the horse. It is located in the head of the horses penis, just above the opening of the urethra (which is where the horse’s Wee comes out of)
It is v.important to remove the bean, , if not removed it can cause difficulties for the horse when going to the toilet. In some cases it can even be as big of a golf ball!!
After all of the above is completed, give the outside if the penis area a quick clean and a rub down to get rid of any access grime. The outcome should be that it is as clean as it was before you started.
Talk to someone With Previous Knowledge:
Its all well and good reading every book on the topic and looking at every video, but at the end of the day the best people to have around are people with previous experiences with the situation. They have been there and through the process plenty of times before, and in my opinion knowledge based on experience over-rides knowledge based on book reading every time!
- Cleaning only needs to be done 2/3 times a year (every 6 months) it is cleaned for hygiene purposes, or if you notice any problems with your horse urinating.
- Be Gentle, do remember what you are cleaning!!
- Don’t go overboard on soaps that you use, using luke warm water by itself is fine.
- Be prepared for the smell, and for how deep your hand can go up, the smell takes a few days to disappear so don’t go cleaning your horse the day before a big event!
- Wear Gloves, the smell is overwhelming, and its the last thing you want lingering on your hands!
- If you notice anything unusual, contact your Vet
- If your horse is not comfortable with you cleaning him, don’t proceed.
- Tell people what your doing, so you don’t look like a freak!
If you have any tips of your own for cleaning let me know, I was a total beginner as you can probably gather, any information is good information!!
Now go get that D Sparkling!!!