How to Keep a Horse Clean on a Budget

Three Methods:Saving MoneyLowering CostsGrooming Your Horse Regularly

Horses can make excellent companions and be very rewarding to care for. A big part of caring for a horse is regularly grooming and cleaning your horse. However, constant cleaning, upkeep, and grooming can get rather costly. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do in order to save money and keep your horse clean and healthy.

Method 1
Saving Money

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    Use baby shampoo. You can buy shampoo or soap that is specifically made for horses. However, these shampoos can be expensive. Using baby shampoo is a safe and effective replacement that can help save you money. Whenever you need to wash your horse, use baby shampoo to cut down on cost. You can also make your own baby shampoo or soap with this recipe:[1][2]
    • 1 oz of liquid castile soap
    • 4 oz of water
    • Add lavender oil or orange essential oil for aroma
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    Make your own fly repellents. Fly repellents are a good idea to use on your horse, helping to keep flies away from your horse's eyes, face, and body. However, these fly repellents can cost a lot of money when buying them pre-made. To save money, try making your own fly repellents at home. The following recipe can be just as effective as a store bought fly repellent: [3]
    • Mix 1 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil, 1 teaspoon lavender oil, 1 teaspoon sandalwood oil and 1 teaspoon tea tree oil
    • Put this mixture into a 1 liter spray bottle
    • Add 250ml of white wine vinegar
    • Fill the rest up with water
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    Use baby oil as mud guard. Keeping mud off your horse can require a lot of energy. You could try applying a mud guard product to help keep the mud from sticking. However, you can save money by using baby oil instead of a store bought mud guard. Baby oil will help keep your horse clean and looking great, while saving you money.[4]
    • Baby oil can also be used as a mane and tail detangler. Apply the baby oil after bathing or brushing.
    • To make your own mud guard, mix 1 part mineral oil with eight parts water.[5]
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    Use vegetable oil as hoof guard. Your horses hooves can get dirty quickly, especially if it has been raining. Cleaning them often using commercially bought cleaners can get expensive quickly. If you want to save some money, try using vegetable oil as a safe and affordable alternative. The vegetable oil will help keep the hooves clean and healthy.[6]
    • You can also use coconut oil.[7]
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    Talk with your farrier. Farrier's services can be very valuable and worthwhile investments. However, they can sometimes drive up the costs of caring for your horse. If you want to cut down on the cost of farrier services, try asking them for other options. They may be able to work with you to reduce cost and still upkeep your horse's cleanliness and health.[8]
    • Some farriers might be more affordable than others.
    • Your farrier may not need to replace your horse's shoes as often.
    • Your horse may not need a full set of shoes.
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    Think about bedding. Bedding is a necessary part of caring for your horse when it's in the stable. In order to keep your horse and its stall clean, you will need to replace the bedding often. For this reason, bedding can often become very costly. There are two main options you have when providing bedding: rubber bedding and straw bedding. Each will come with their own pros and cons. For example:[9]
    • Rubber bedding costs more upfront, but it will last much longer and won't need to be replaced often.
    • Straw bedding is cheaper, but you'll have to keep buying it and replacing it.
    • Turning your horse out can help lower the cost of bedding.[10]
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    Find the best deals. Whatever supplies you need, try shopping around for the best deals. Make a list of all the items you need and looking around for offers with the lowest prices. Even small items can add up, so take a close look at everything you need to save you the most money on supplies and equipment.[11]
    • Look at “dollar” stores for things like sponges or storage boxes.
    • Check online for any deals on brushes or other grooming necessities.
    • Always keep an eye out for sales or coupons.
    • Try negotiating with local businesses or contacts.

Method 2
Lowering Costs

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    Groom before and after riding. A simple way you can help keep your horse clean for less money is to keep up with grooming. Regular grooming both before and after riding or exercise can help cut down on the amount of dirt, sweat, or dust that might otherwise build up. Groom your horse often to cut down on cleaning costs.[12]
    • Regular grooming can also allow you to catch any signs of illness or sickness early. This can save you bigger medical bills later on.
    • Regular grooming includes brushing your horse and cleaning its hooves.
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    Look at your livery options. You might have your horse being cared for at a livery. Liveries may offer many different services, with cleaning being one of them. Take a look at which cleaning services you are paying for and consider doing them yourself. [13]
    • Doing more to care for your horse yourself can help save money.
    • Try to handle all areas of cleaning yourself. Stop in for daily, general upkeep like brushing or hoof picking.
    • Using or making your own cleaning supplies can help reduce cost.
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    Maintain equipment. Maintaining your equipment is a step that you can take to cut down on costs. Improperly maintained equipment will wear out much faster and require you to replace it more often. By properly keeping up your grooming gear, you can help make it last longer and save money in the long term.
    • Always clean your brushes when you are done using them.
    • Wash equipment whenever your are done using it.
    • Properly store your tools when they are not in use.

Method 3
Grooming Your Horse Regularly

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    Start with a curry comb. Keeping up with daily cleaning and maintenance can save you money by preventing health issues or serious hygiene problems from arising. To start the cleaning, you'll use a curry comb. A curry comb is a small brush that is designed to remove dirt and dust from your horse's coat. Curry comb's can reach deeply into your horse's coat to knock loose anything that might be stuck or tangled. Brush your horse using the curry comb using these steps:[14][15]
    • Always use a curry comb gently. Your horse may be sensitive and not like how it feels.
    • Never use the curry comb on bony areas to avoid causing discomfort.
    • Use the curry comb in small swirls for the best effect.
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    Use a body brush. Part of any good grooming practice is the removal of dirt or sweat from your horse. This can help lower or avoid costs associated with intensive cleaning or health problems that come from poor hygiene. Once you've knocked dirt lose with the curry comb, you'll use a body brush. A body brush is a larger brush that can remove most of the dirt or sweat from your horse's coat. The body brush can be used on most every area of the horse's body. Regular brushing can help prevent a build up of dirt and reduce the amount of cleaning you'll need to do overall. Use the body brush in the following way:[16]
    • Work from the head, to the neck, then down front legs.
    • Move down the horse's back, sides, and then down the rear legs.
    • Be careful of sensitivity. If your horse doesn't like how the brush feels, stop brushing that area.
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    Finish grooming with a soft brush. A soft brush is used to remove surface level dirt and dust. This brush should used after using the curry comb or body brush. Using this brush will remove the dirt and dust from your horse's coat, avoiding more intensive grooming services or expensive medical bills caused by low levels of hygiene.[17]
    • It's best to use this brush in a flicking or sweeping motion.
    • This brush will fully remove dirt from your horse's coat.


  • Use baby shampoo instead of horse shampoo.
  • Vegetable oil can help keep hooves clean and mud free.
  • Baby oil can help keep mud off of your horse.
  • Always look for good deals on equipment.
  • Keep up regular grooming habits.
  • Try to keep your horse turned out to avoid expensive bedding costs.

Article Info

Categories: Horse Grooming