Thursday, September 28, 2017

Bathtime Tips and Tricks: Zoebird Edition

Do you want your horse to have luscious locks like Zoebird?
O HAI
Then you should have gotten a horse with better genetics. JOKE'S ON YOU.

Giggle. I'm hilarious.

In all seriousness though, I live in a very challenging climate for hair--very dry, very, VERY dusty, sun that relentlessly sucks moisture out of skin and hair, and lots of fun static electricity. If you're like "wow that sounds like hair hell", well yes. It is.

Things that people with things like "humidity" and "clouds" can get away with don't fly here. Silicone-based products dry out hair, attract dust, and increase hair breakage. Goopy shampoos (I'm looking at you, Mane and Tail) and other similar options leave hair worse than you found it. (Also full disclosure: I am an unapologetic horse-hair-product snob who uses $2 shampoo on myself.)
can't argue with results tho

I think I've talked about Equifuse products before, but they are 100% the gold standard for primo equine hair care. You can order some of their line through Riding Warehouse (but not the things I like the best, which annoys me) or if you're local to me, you can contact the fabulous ladies at The Debonaire Mare for the full line up of products.

Anyways. Your next question is obviously "But SB! What products do I need??"

Here's what I do.

FULL BATH PROTOCOL

Step One: put a glob of the CFS coat shampoo in a bucket and dilute it with water. After wetting down horse, thoroughly sponge this in all over the horse's body, but ignore the mane and tail. We'll do those later.
photo by Equifuse

Noted: I treat the mane like the tail with the full conditioning treatment. If you are planning on braiding your horse's mane within a week of the bath, JUST USE CFS shampoo on it and NO CONDITIONER AT ALL.

Step Two: Rinse horse, bucket, and sponge.

Step Three: Take your Citrafoam Sulfate-Free shampoo and work up a lather in the mane and tail. I love this shampoo. It deep cleans without totally stripping the natural oils out and it rinses out so easily. None of that "spray the tail for 10 minutes straight and HOPE you got all the GODDAMN SOAP OUT to keep them from rubbing their tail". Nope. Lather in. Rinse out. Easy peasy.
photo by Equifuse
Step Four: rinse mane and tail

Step Five: Thoroughly work your CitraCreme conditioner into the mane and tail. This stuff is brilliant--it's lightweight and creamy and smells AMAZING and best part(!) moisturizes while leaving no residue. I try to use it about once a week in the heat of summer and it's freaking magical at preventing breakage from hair drying out. 
photo by Equifuse
Now the conditioner needs to soak in for a bit to get the full effect. I like to take this opportunity to do the next step.

Noted: if you're doing a bluing shampoo on white leg markings, this is also when I put it on so it can set up at the same time as the conditioner. 

Step Six: dilute Rehydrinse in 1-2 gallons of water in that bucket you already rinsed out. Apply to the horse's whole body (less the mane and tail) with the sponge you also rinsed out. 
photo by Equifuse
I'll be the first to admit that I looked sideways at "rinse" products. Like WTF rinsing is water taking the product off, not putting more products on? 

So don't think of it as a rinse if that's off-putting to you. It's like a super lightweight leave-in conditioner for the whole body that leaves the hair teddy-bear-soft without the gross slickness you get from things like Show Sheen. 

In the summer, I just put it on and let the horse drip dry while I do other things. Now that I'm contending with more hair, I scrape it off and still get that nice softening effect in the hair. 

Step Seven: rinse out the conditioner in the mane and tail (and any whitening products you left in). 

Hang in there. You're almost done. 

Step Eighth and Last: Put Gleam on your fingers pretty generously and run it through the mane (if you're conditioning the mane) and tail (no excuses). 
photo by Equifuse
Think of it this way--the CitraCreme conditioner does the deep conditioning. Gleam just kinda seals up the moisture and protects the hair. 

It's pretty fabulous. 

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but I go from grabbing my wash bucket in the tack room to putting it back in under 30 minutes and the difference in Zoe's mane, tail, and coat is AMAZING. In the dry, hot summer I try to make time for a quick bath every weekend. September-May, it's just kinda on an as-needed, as-weather-allows basis.  
fall baths are a lot wetter

However. We're working ammies here so here are some short cuts for the days you can't just go full-on spa treatment. 

1) I can stretch time between baths if I spray the mane and tail with conditioner as part of my grooming routine. I use Tarra's recipe: put a glob of Gleam and a glob of CitraCreme conditioner in a spray bottle and mix with water. Shake well. Spritz daily. 

If you're a person who likes spraying shit on things, you can also buy the Shine Spray. I'm told it's more of a body-spray like Show Sheen or what have you. I call it $20 I don't need to spend. 

2) If you're on a REALLY TIGHT time frame and need to just get in and get out, you can totally get away with just spraying your horse down and throwing a little gleam in her tail. 
unrelated riding pic

NOTED: I am neurotic about not leaving sweat on a horse. It bleaches the coat, dries out the hair, and creates that nasty "brown panda" summer look that makes me gag. Wear helmet and rinse sweat: every time, every ride. 

Who else has a bathtime routine? (And if you now think I'm crazy, blame T who apparently thought I hadn't written enough bathing posts.) 

43 comments:

  1. I wish i bathed my horse more. he smells so nice post bath. but with the fair headed TBs water is the enemy so i try to do it really sparingly.

    i also never use like... nice products. i use baby shampoo and suave shampoo and conditioner and if they're a delicate flower the cowboy magic rosewater shampoo.

    but yeah. mostly no baths. she looks amazing though!!

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    1. Hey, if it works for you, I don't knock it.

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  2. Love me some Equifuse! RW needs to get things back in stock.

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    1. Back in stock implied they ever had them in the first place. 🙄

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  3. I wish RW would carry the full line because paying shipping when I buy directly from Equifuse has stopped me from trying about half of these products haha. But I do love the gleam and rehydrinse! I am just not nearly as disciplined as you about bathing 😂

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    1. Yeah I emailed about that and they were not helpful. Eh well.

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  4. I think that Zoe gets more hair care from you then I do from my hairdresser! I too rinse sweat off every ride. Carmen has a beautiful tail that is turning white so I need to investigate some products.

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  5. L Williams always swears by equifuse stuff and tried to get me to buy some when i was out west a few weeks ago (bummer about carry only liquid regulations tho!). it sounds like great stuff! i don't do a ton of bathing but try to be similarly diligent about taking sweat off the horse. tho my goes out at night so he hasn't had any bleaching anyway

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    Replies
    1. I dunno how it would do in your climate vs ours. Definitely keep me posted if you try it.

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    2. oh, hm. i hadn't even considered that by being so great in your climate it might not be the best for ours.... winters here can be pretty dry tho? idk. charlie's basically only getting spa days and nothing else for a while tho so hey, maybe worth a try!

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    3. Obviously, I don't have humidity to test it out in. This is a puzzlement!

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  6. We're big into apple cider vinegar rinses to take sweat marks off. I'd never heard of it before this barn, but I'm a total believer.
    Lucy lives in a similar type climate (New Mexico), but the combination of genetics + Platinum Performance means she gets very few baths. She does get her tail done about once a week and I love the Mane-ly Detangler/Leave In Conditioner.

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    1. I never remember to actually buy vinegar at the store is my problem. ;-)

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  7. Lolz. I use Walmart's Suave shampoo and conditioner. I only ever condition the tail.

    I am lazy. Mort only gets a handful of baths each year (about 10).

    I fully agree with rinsing after every ride in the summer! Salty, crusty coats are gross and hard to brush clean.

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  8. So my vet told me once to never let a horse drip dry because the water seals in heat and makes them hotter. But maybe that only matters if you're hosing as part of the cool down process in East Coast humidity? I can see where scraping would remove part of the product.

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    1. Susan--this is really critical if you are using water to cool down and are dealing with a hot horse and ESPECIALLY if you are contending with humidity.

      In a dry desert with a summer length coat, my horse is bone dry in 10 minutes tops. ;-)

      I appreciate your CYA though--I don't deal with humidity and that's a very important factor in the drying/cooling process.

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    2. Some of us just can't fathom life without humidity :) But it sounds so nice!

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  9. Love love love Gleam. Favorite product, hands down.

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  10. Huh. I love spending $$$$ on grooming products and I DO own a grey sooooo.......I should probably bathe her more often then I currently do (3x a year if that). I'll have to check them out and see if they have whitening products!

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    1. They don't that I know of. They should add one. I'd (obviously) buy it.

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  11. Eh, I don't bathe my horse's often. Don't mind them getting sun-bleached since it is rarely sunny here, lol. I do clean off sweat marks tho.

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    1. To each their own. I really enjoy the bathing process and have access to a wash rack with hot water, so I'm all crazy go nuts with the hose.

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  12. Thanks for the recommendations! I may have to try some of that stuff out :)

    That said, rinse every ride? Bathe every week? Hahaha that's funny hahaha =-P . When your wash rack consists of an outdoor pump that produces freezing cold well water and your barn doesn't have heating, baths are relegated to only the hottest days and pre-shows. On the bright side, one set of that stuff would last me forever so may be a good investment

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yeah ice cold well water would definitely change things.

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  13. It rained pretty much every day this summer and I honestly didn't bathe my horse once. Not the last two weeks we have had a crazy what wave and my horses are dried out and they never are! I use Vetrolin shampoo and spray and it solved the problem. They all had a bath like every day lol I also love the cowboy magic detangler and shine - magic stuff.

    Haven't tried Equifuse but always has rave reviews so would love to try it.

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    1. Rain in the summer??? What is this madness.

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  14. I love the rehydrinse stuff. They seriously feel like teddy bears afterwards. Sadly, we're not allowed to bathe or spray off our horses at home except for special occasions (like prior to shaving) so they spend most of their lives covered in sweat and not very clean.

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    1. I don't know how you deal with that. Yikes.

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  15. Considering bathing my horses generally means that I, too, am taking a bath... I don't bathe them as often as I could. lol Granted, they're not doing much of anything right now.

    When I do bathe, I've got "ugh, fine, you're nasty and need a bath," "regular bath," and "show bath." Which roughly corresponds to "spray wash, scrape dry, get rid of dreadlocks," "spray wash, scrape dry, work over hair properly," and "actual proper shampooing/conditioning, scrape dry, work over hair properly."

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  16. So helpful! Thank you! I've been wanting to get new product but not sure what. NV is bone dry too and my curly girl had a weird coat. But I think these products sound amazing. It was 75 degrees & 16% humidity here today. Ugh!

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    1. I am in love with these products for this climate. Nothing compares.

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  17. New thing for you to try. After washing the tail like normal (don't have to condition though) add some Gleam and some Rehydrinse into a bucket of water (amount depends on thickness of tail) and soak the tail in it for 5-10 min. Don't rinse out. MAGIC.

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    1. OH GOODY I LOVE YOUR TRICKS.

      Sooooooo doing that this weekend.

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  18. I have the prince and LOVE it but I've been looking for an excuse to get more Equifuse products and I think I've just found it :) If you had to chose one of these items as the "top" one what would it be?

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    1. If you can only get one, I'd get two: Citracreme conditioner and gleam. Those two work REALLY well together.

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  19. I wish I could pay you to come give my horses a weekly spa treatment because that is way more work than I would have time to do but the results speak for themselves! Although it's like 200% humidity here so we have all the opposite problems that you have.

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    Replies
    1. Now there's a dream job--spa treatments for nice horses.

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