Bathing a horse is not exactly the easiest chore to tackle. It seems like no sooner than it gets done, they romp off to find the nearest mud puddle to roll through. This is actually a healthy activity that proves helpful on many levels.
It Just Feels Great
After a long day of competition or trail riding, taking a long roll in the dirt might feel good. It can help stretch muscles and joints that might feel overtaxed. It is similar to a human standing up and having a good stretch after a long period of sitting. You will notice they seem to suddenly feel a great burst of energy.
Getting a good layer of dirt or mud on the coat of a horse can do wonders in saving them the aggravation of biting insects. It provides a healthy barrier that is all-natural and pesticide-free. It helps protect areas of the skin that the tail cannot swat at comfortably. Biting flies can cause serious skin conditions, so taking a good roll in the mud is a great preventative.
Protection from Sunlight
Lighter colored horses can get sunburned as easily as a light-sensitive human. Sunburns can be as painful to a horse as you might experience after a full day at the beach minus sunblock. They will purposefully roll around in dirt or mud on sunny days to help guard their skin against painful burns.
Dries Up Sweat and Water
You might actually see a horse seeking out a dry patch of grass after a brief rain shower and rolling in an attempt to dry off. This is also something that seems to frustrate horse owners. It seems it never fails that the horse will find a nice patch of dirt and roll in it directly after getting bathed. They are really not doing this to make you mad. It is simply a way to easily fluff out and dry.
Helps Relieve Shedding
The transition from a heavy winter coat to a lighter summer one means a ton of shedding. Getting down and dirty and rolling on the ground is one way that helps in getting rid of the heavy winter hair. Relief from the itch can be immediate and feel exquisite.
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