What is Sheath Cleaning and Why is it Important?

A horse's sheath is the natural cover of skin that covers a horse's penis.  The environment of a sheath is warm and houses bacteria, oils and dirt also known as smegma. 

The accumulation of dirt and excretions builds up in the sheath (area "B" in the diagram) and on the horse's penis. This smegma must be removed. 

The second part to cleaning a sheath is bean removal, a pearl type build up of wax-like smegma (area "A" in the diagram). It collects in a pouch at the head of the penis.  Over time this bean will restrict the flow of urine causing great discomfort and possible trauma to your horse.  While sheath cleaning is not a medical procedure, it is possible that underlying conditions or areas of discomfort may be discovered throughout the cleaning process. The overall health of the sheath will be examined and any other findings will be brought to the owners attention for further evaluation. to ensure the best experience possible.

Ann Marie Charette is available for group demonstrations and as a lecturer with her comprehensive equine knowledge.

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