Some pony haaaaaates baths.
I did a brief inventory of my bathing tools last night. Big sponge, check. Sweat scraper, check. Small bucket, check.
One of my favorite scrubbing tools is a basic jelly scrubber. I have small hands, so when I can find a child size I buy that. I think it does the best job of scrubbing in the shampoo and massaging the skin.
I also have two bottles of conditioner. I am of the camp that believes in conditioning every time I bathe; shampooing removes natural oils and can leave the skin dry. Tristan isn't nearly as sensitive as many other horses, but I love the soft shine he gets after a good conditioning. Part of my bathing routine is also to work conditioner fully into his mane and tail and let them set for quite a while, then rinse out, picking out snarls. It makes a huge difference.
Here's the big gaping hole in my kit: shampoo. Last year, I ran out of the most recent bottle I'd bought: Cowboy Magic Rosewater Shampoo.
It's on the expensive side - usually around $8 a bottle - and while I'm perfectly happy to spend money on things that make a difference, I'm not really sure that this did. In the past I've used whatever's on sale at Walmart or the grocery store: Suave, V05, whatever's around $1 a bottle. I've noticed a difference in quality of conditioner - both for him and for me! - but never in quality of shampoo.
Before I buy a new bottle of something, I thought I'd put the question out there. What do you use? Do you think it really makes a difference? Do you go cheap & generic, or do you have a particular brand you swear by that costs more? Do you have a multi-step system? Seeking all opinions!