Summer is at last here and as the temperature steadily rises and the competition season gets into full swing, you have the bright idea of bathing your horse. What four-legged animal with a mind of its own doesn’t appreciate a nice bubble bath?

1. Where do you start when there is so much choice of cleaning products on the market? There are shampoos for bays, greys and everything in between, promising your pampered pony is going to come out with a shine like Valegro.

2. Armed with your shampoo and scrubbing brush you tie up your well-behaved horse and turn on the hose — the hose your horse has seen all year round putting water into the feed or rinsing their feet — and suddenly this hose has become a horse-eating serpent and they can’t possibly stand still.

3. As you both engage in a dance for the next 10 minutes your horse sneakily works out that if they stand on the hose it stops — and just as you peer at the nozzle questioning why the water has stopped your horse will move off exactly at this moment… Cue a face full of water.

4. You’ve finally got into the swing of things, your horse is standing covered in bubbles (you’re wishing you had worn a wetsuit and goggles) and of course the sun decides to take a nap. Standby for a shivering, very sorry looking horse.

5. As you reach for the 10th bucket of water you begin to regret the endless bubbles that keep coming out of your horse’s coat as you frantically rinse…

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6. Sparkling clean and (finally) dry you stand back to admire your handy work and it’s time to put your horse back in the field. You lead them straight past the last remaining muddy patch and plead with them (by way of a carrot) to avoid it for the rest of the day. As you reach the gate and take a look back you see your beloved, formerly sparkling pony marching enthusiastically to the danger zone — and before you know it you’re the proud owner of a skewbald