Most horsemen groom their horses by brushing, washing, and clipping the body, mane, and tail. They also carry out the cleaning of hooves. However, they often forget that the horse's ears may also need attention. In most cases, a horse's ears take care of themselves. However, sometimes it is necessary to clean your horse's ears. Proper cleaning keeps your horse healthy. Improper cleaning of the ears can lead to injury. For this reason, it is important to always carry out safety measures when cleaning a horse's ears. It is likely that you will notice the need to clean your horse's ears more often in the summer months than the winter.
To clean the horse's ear, you will need a soft cloth. Water is sufficient for cleaning. When dipping the cloth into the water, be careful to ring out the cloth so that there is no dripping water, which could fall into the horse's inner ear.
- Begin cleaning by cupping your hand around the ear. Carefully wipe the ear out to remove dirt, grime, and crust. You will need to begin at the lowest part of the ear and work your way to the tip. Always make sure that you are wiping in an upward direction to pull the dirt out of the ear instead of pushing or dropping it down into the horse's ear.
- If you are afraid of dripping water or debris inside the inner portion of your horse's ear, you can carefully place a cotton ball into the ear to prevent anything from falling into it. However, be careful about pushing the cotton ball too far inside the horse's ear. Also be certain to completely remove the cotton ball when the ear cleaning is complete.
- Some horse owners consider clipping as part of their horse ear cleaning routine. However unless the hair in your horse's ear is matted together or extremely tangled, it s best to leave it alone. The hair in a horse's ear acts as a filter for catching dirt and debris. Your horse's ear will actually become dirtier over time from removing the hair. Light clipping of the hair is acceptable.
- If it appears that flies and gnats annoy your horse's ears, use a cloth and careful wipe fly repellent around the horse's ears.
If your horse is seen shaking its head, rubbing its ears against objects, or if there is blood coming from the horse's ears, contact your veterinarian.