Due for some sheath cleaning to help relieve your boys (and mares too!) of the itch that comes with weeks of wet mud and dirt flying up and combining with the natural excretions in the undercarriages of our equine partners? This causes itch, irritation, and discomfort and can lead to tail rubbing. It is our job to help our friends out in this department.
Although this task is often described as one of the most undesirable parts of our grooming regimen, be it because of shy or un-cooperative geldings, testy mares, or the daunting chore of removing what seems like a ton of smelly smegma, nothing rings more true than the old saying: “It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.”
That somebody is you and there are many things you can do to make the process more pleasant for you and your horse:
• First, examine the product you are using and their ingredient label. Traditional sheath cleaners contain chemicals such as sodium lauryl /laureth sulfatesand artifical colors and fragrances, which are known to be toxic to fish and wildlife. Why are we using this yucky stuff on our guys? Instead, try EcoLicious “Smeg-U-Later” which has all natural ingredients such as coconut-derived cleansers and Honeysuckle extract. An added benefit is the addition of lavender oil, which smells great and helps to calm our horses during this process. Just let them sniff the bottle. You can also use Smeg-U-Later as many times as needed because it’s so gentle and natural, and no need to rinse! Did you know that some of our customers use it as an eye makeup remover? Yes, it’s that gentle.
• Next, make sure you have a hose on low pressure with a temperature that is neither too hot nor too cold, and have clean rubber gloves and sponges on hand to use.
• The process of cleaning a sheath is quite simple, but sometimes lengthy if it is not looked after regularly. Ideally, a thorough cleaning every six months for geldings and more frequently (every 3 months or so) for stallions is all it takes to stay on top of this task.
• Use latex gloves. Start with cleansing and wetting the inside of the sheath with the hose if your horse will allow (remember, low pressure!) or by soaking a sponge and inserting it into the cavity to loosen the bits of smegma.
• Next, pour a dollop of “Smeg-U-Later” into the palm of your hand and insert it into the sheath to work up a lather and further loosen any junk up there. Use your fingers to dislodge and peel away any stubborn, stuck on smegma and hopefully (fingers crossed) your guy will relax and drop his penis, making it easy to finish your mission.
• The ultimate goal is to find “the bean” which is a build up of smegma that hardens into a bean shape and gets lodged in the tip of the urethra. Finding and removing this bean is substantially harder if your horse doesn’t drop and allow you to grab it out, and you’ll be elbow-deep in sheath fishing around for it. This bean can cause significant discomfort though and even behavior problems, and must be removed. If you have troubles, consult your veterinarian.
• Finally, rinse out the sheath again, either by inserting the hose again, or using a clean sponge soaked in water.
Let’s not forget about our mares! A build-up of wax can accumulate between the teats which can be removed with EcoLicious’s Smeg-U-Later. Equally important is the mares’ vulvas which can get dirty during days when they are in heat.
Check out our full line of delicious, green horse care & grooming products at www.ecoliciousequestrian.com