How to Get a Horse Used to Baths

Showing a horse that the water hose is not a "horse eating monster", can be a very difficult process. However, after plenty of gentle handling and a little bit of patience, your horse will soon be relaxed and accepting towards their summer time baths.


  1. Image titled Get a Horse Used to Baths Step 1
    Before beginning the usual bath process, take a moment to gently calm down your horse. Talk to them softly, while you pet them. This should calm down your horse, making them much more relaxed and less flighty.
  2. Image titled Get a Horse Used to Baths Step 2
    Instead of tying them to a tree and blasting them with water, get a friend/relative to hold the horse. This will be a much better choice then tying them to a post or tree. Therefore if the horse panics, or something worse happens, they can break loose without breaking their neck.
  3. Image titled Get a Horse Used to Baths Step 3
    Once you have someone holding the horse firmly (but calmly) slowly turn on the water hose. Turn it on so that there is very little water coming out.
  4. Image titled Get a Horse Used to Baths Step 4
    Now, slowly and gently raise the hose for the horse to see (don't spray its face, just let it see the water). You never want to spring something unexpected on a flighty horse!
  5. Image titled Get a Horse Used to Baths Step 5
    Once the horse has accepted the water coming from the hose, carefully let the water run down the horse's shoulder. If he jumps or tries to get free, take the water away and reassure him that everything is safe. Now start the process all over again.
  6. Image titled Get a Horse Used to Baths Step 6
    When the horse finally gets where you can run water down their shoulder, continue to move up their body, towards their back. Continue to do this until your horse has allowed you to wet down their entire body.
  7. Image titled Get a Horse Used to Baths Step 7
    Talk to your horse gently, allowing it to know that it's okay.


  • When your horse stands still and allows you to run water on them, make sure that you reward them. If you praise them every time they stand still, they will soon get the idea that that is what is expected.


  • Always be gentle when handling your horse. Getting angry or frustrated will not help. This will only make your horse more confused and agitated.
  • Always keep the water pressure down when introducing a hose to a flighty horse. They will accept their baths much easier if they are not being startled by blasting water.
  • Make sure that your friend/relative (whoever is holding your horse) is standing to the side of the horse and NOT IN FRONT of him. If the horse were to suddenly spook, they could easily injure the person holding them.
  • Remember that this process takes time. If your horse is not ready to accept the water on his body, take time introducing the hose without spraying them. Rushing the process will not help.
  • NEVER allow a child to help you when first bathing a horse. Not only can this add to the stress of the horse, but the child could be seriously injured as well.

Article Info

Categories: Horse Grooming