Wednesday 18 April 2018


The weather on Sunday was beautiful. It was actually nicer in the sun outside than it was in the barn. So I groomed the horses outside. Which meant I didn't have to sweep the hair after grooming. Wins all around!
Cisco's first time at the hitching post. He was fantastic (until I walked back to the barn).
I had another fairly short and easy ride on Phantom. Nothing exciting to write about.

I had hoped to ride Cisco. I anticipated that there would be lots of people out since it was a lesson day. Except it wasn't a lesson day. So there was no one around. And I'm still not comfortable riding him with no one around. I'm getting closer to trusting him, but I'm not there yet. 

No matter. I had a couple of things to work on. 

When I dewormed him last fall he was a bit of a twit. I got it done, but it took way more work than it should have to stick a syringe in his mouth. A taller person probably could have gotten it done pretty easily, but I'm not that person. So I had to teach him what the expectation was.

I loaded up a big syringe with apple sauce. And brought it up to his face. And he flipped his head everywhere. I could kind of sneak it against his cheek, but as soon as I changed the angle towards his mouth he moved his head all over the place.
Apple sauce muzzle.

But I stuck with it and eventually got the syringe into his mouth so that I could squirt some apple sauce in there. And he kind of went hmmmm and smacked his lips. It took another 10 or so times before I could get the syringe in on the first attempt. By which point the side of his face and my left hand were covered in apple sauce. We'll need a few more practice sessions before I spring the dewormer on him in the next short period.

The other thing that I needed to work on was one of those horse owner tasks that no one likes. 

Sheath cleaning. 

Well, more so "will he let me fondle his manbits without kicking me in the head so that I can clean them someday soon".

He had his sheath cleaned for the first time when he had his teeth done last spring. Since he was sedated I figured I might as well get the job done. The vet said something at the time about the smegma being kind of yucky, but I can't remember the specifics.

Over the winter, I have detected a certain aroma when I have been in the vicinity of Cisco's nether region. A distinctive aroma. Eau de smegma. (More like ew the smegma.)

I have been waiting for the weather to warm up a bit before attempting to de-smegma him. I wouldn't want to risk the manbits getting frostbite.
Your hand is going where?
The time has (almost) come. I needed to find out if he would let me do it, or if I was going to have to pay someone to administer some happy juice before fondling his private area.

I gloved up, grabbed the baby wipes, and assumed the position. I started off by just scratching around that area - he seemed to enjoy that. Then gingerly inserted a couple of fingers. My head didn't get bashed in. So I continued.

He lifted a leg at point when I scraped maybe a bit too hard. And there was one bonafide kick attempt which he got whacked for. Otherwise he was very good.
And because I know horse people like gross things - the smegma was quite black - is that normal?
I just used some baby wipes to get some of the gunk out, but it will need a better cleaning with actual water. I think I'm going to try to goop the sheath up with KY jelly, then use a squirty bottle of some sort with water to rinse it out the next day. I don't think he'll drop down, so I don't think I'll manage to find a bean.

Sheath cleaning is one of those things that I forgot comes with owning a gelding. Probably intentionally.


  1. I giggled at Eau de Smegma haha. Sheath cleaning is my least favorite part about owning geldings, so I happily pay my vets to clean it when my boys are "drunk" for their dentals. If you don't have a squirty bottle to get water up there, I've seen people use large syringes (probably similar to your applesauce syringe) to rinse it out?

    Kudos to you for working through the dewormer issue though -- one of my horses came to me with some aggressive behavioral issues regarding dewormer and it's been a royal PITA to work him through it as a horse in his late teens. If someone had done what you're doing when he was younger, would have been a lot easier!

    1. My last gelding had nasty smegma that the vet figured was almost like a yeast infection. I had to take smegma from another horse and transplant it into my horse's sheath to hopefully change the ph. It would work for about 6-8 months and then I would have to do it again. The fun part was asking everyone if I could have some smegma from their horse.
      I'm too short to have to deal with a horse who turns into a giraffe when I want to stick something down their throat. So I will happily put in some time to teach them.

  2. clever idea about the apple sauce!!! and i feel ya on not loving some of the... sanitary tasks of horse ownership. usually if my gelding happens to drop while grooming or something i'll take a quick peek around and see if anything is sticking out that can be picked off before the horse suspects anything haha #sneaky

    1. Yesterday was the first say I've seen Cisco drop down, and I wasn't prepared - I'm not touching that thing without gloves on!

  3. It is quite interesting what some horse people will actually do. I know it needs to be done and not looking forward to doing Neo in a few weeks. We do what needs to be done to keep them healthy.

  4. I've used Dr Bronner's unscented castille soap to clean the sheath before instead of KY, worked pretty well.