There are a few things I do with every new horse I get in. They get their feet done, their teeth done, they get wormed and on the boys I check for a bean. “What is a bean?” you might ask. A bean is one of the most disgusting parts of horse ownership, but only for male horses. Here is a fun lesson in horse anatomy with the help of Google Images. A horse’s urethra is surrounded by the head of the penis, but in horses there is a small opening that collects dirt over time. The dirt is called “smegma.” That’s a fun word- smegma! Use it to impress your friends at parties.
Smegma has to be cleaned out. The grime collects into a waxy ball with a texture similar to Play-Doh. If it isn’t removed, it will continue to grow and will eventually become painful and press on the urethra while the horse pees. When King first arrived, I noticed that when he peed, instead of making a straight line of urine, it sprayed everywhere. That’s not normal. I knew he must have one heck of a bean and I needed to get it out.
Easier said than done, though! Believe it or not, most horses won’t let you grab their weiner and pop out their beans. You have to ease into it. King loves to be groomed. I used that to my advantage. When I groom him, he “lets down,” meaning that he lets his weiner dangle. Horses do that when they’re relaxed.
Every time he dangled, I would start peeling back the skin around the bean and trying to pop it out until he tucked his Jim George back inside the sheath. The bean was so big I had to work it out in a couple pieces. At first he was like, “What in the actual hell are you trying to do to me???” He would lift a hind leg and let me know he didn’t like it. I would go back to grooming until he let down again and then make another smegma removal attempt.
It got to be kind of a little game. He knew what I wanted to do, and he would let me get a little more of it out every time. When he realized I wasn’t going to hurt him, he relaxed and in just one grooming session, I was able to pop out one of the biggest beans I’ve ever seen. It had to be painful and it must have been pressing on the urethra.
Yes, I had bare hands. Yes, it’s disgusting. I don’t wear latex gloves because it’s harder to feel what I’m doing. Now that nasty thing is gone and King can pee normally!