|There was this almost proverbial moment.|
Basically, my evenings become long because I drive 40 min to the barn after work, tack up, ride, hose down horse. By this point evening feed has started and they're starting to turnout for the night, so I need to make sure Penn eats and gets all his stuff on for turnout. Oh yea, and put away all my stuff that probably got spread all over the place because that's apparently how I roll at the barn. And after all of this, I still need to drive 40 min home.
This includes letting him eat his 4lb of grain and then drying his legs so his boots can go on.
I try to do things while other things are happening- hose down horse, put in stall to eat dinner (at least he's finally not the slowest eater ever!), then put everything away while he's eating. Then I grab a towel and fan and rub Penn's legs down after he's done eating.
I'm sure this is something I should be doing anyway, but I don't. Ever since I started spraying Mikey down with generic versions of the original yellow Listerine, all that skin fungus/crud/nastiness that develops on legs/ears/under the jaw cleared up. It stays away as long as I am religious about my Listerine spray. Seriously, give it a try! It makes them sleek and shiny too. I'm going to be trying a new mix of the original yellow with one of the mint flavors as a fly spray (I originally started Listerine as a tick repellent), because I've found the yellow version is about as effective as most fly sprays if not more effective. (Not against the pterodactyls that fly around, but I don't know anything effective against those!)
I found a post on Chronical of the Horse by Lauren Sprieser. Some backstory here: I started casually searching for an upper level dressage trainer (Trainer knows and even told me to go find someone who knows the FEI stuff because Trainer won't be able to help me with that stuff) a few months ago. I forget how I found Lauren, but I ended up liking her program and website so I liked her page on Facebook and so I get all her updates. For the record, I've never met her but I'd really like to ride with her to see if she might be a match for Penn and I once we're looking at 3rd/4th and above. She rides Grand Prix herself, just won the Maestro Cup at Dressage at Lexington on a 78.9% (the class was NOT a freestyle class, it was the regular GP test). She has a group of students (ahem, 5 of them), who are working on the FEI levels. She seems to have a lot of experience bringing along her own horses to the FEI level as well as keeping students moving along. BO was asking for names of people we'd be interested in having in to clinic, so I put her on the list.
Anyway, I saw she wrote something new for COTH, so I read it. It's a neat little piece about grooming for shows (as well as product endorsement, but whatever- I want to know what people use!). She mentions that all of her horses' white markings are shaved year round.
I hate hairy legs. I can't stand feathers, unless it's full feathers because the horse is full Friesian/Shire/Clydesdale/Gypsy Vanner/breed-that-has-full-feathers. I've never shaved my own horse's legs. Mikey never had enough white to try it out, and I always left the legs hairy for winter even if the rest of the horse got clipped.
Since I'm towel drying Penn's legs every week night, he has a ton of white, and I'm not showing again for another month, I decided to give it a try and then some- I shaved the white and up to the knee/hock so there's even less hair to keep dry under the boots.
|Look who's shaved, sleek, and shiny now, sans bath!|
Penn was a total rock star about clipping. I approached it a little differently this time: Cords freak him out when they're dragged across the ground and they're associated with clippers. This time, I pulled out all the clipping supplies before I took him out of his stall. I borrowed the super long extension cord that lives with the leaf blower and got everything plugged in and made sure it hugged the wall. I got Penn out, hooked him into cross ties like normal and brushed down his legs. I opted to put the chain over his nose, just to be sure, and then unhooked him from the crossties and ground tied him instead. I stood to his left first (he's not good about them in front of him or on his right...), and turned them on. He was not sure about them, but I was easily able to shut down any efforts he made to leave. I rubbed the clippers on his neck and shoulder while they were running, then moved on to his legs and started clipping.
The worst thing he did was stomp his feet (I assume the clippers tickled), but squeezing his fetlock joint with my free hand took care of that. He wanted to hug the wall on his right when I was on his left, and vice versa, and I decided that it wasn't an inappropriate action because he's still standing and not leaving and it makes him feel better. When he has more experience I can insist he stand in the middle of the aisle.
Since things were going well, I tackled his overgrown bridle path, ears, and whiskers. He was worried but stood like a perfect gentleman.
I turned off the clippers and made a huge fuss over him, telling him he was a good boy and stuffed him with cookies. His expression change was hilarious. So while we're clipping, he's unsure and worried looking, and as soon as I told him "Good boy!!" and started patting him after I turned off the clippers, his expression did a complete 180: "Was I a good boy? I was? OMG YES I WAS A GOOD BOY!" And he all of a sudden looked all proud of himself. I loved that- and I wasn't the only one to see the expression change. That's the exact right feeling I want him to have when we're done clipping (or done doing anything). He had zero jumpyness after we were done, which has never happened before. He stood quietly as I shuffled things around to get him tacked up for a trail ride. I did not put away any clipping stuff while he was out though- I wanted the good feelings to continue and barely moving the cord worked well to start and I didn't want to mess it up.
|I manged to get him ready for turnout BEFORE they were done turning out! Wahoo!|
I'm not saying I did a perfect job- I didn't. I found some lines that need to be taken care of before they grow out. Whatever, my horse was very good for clipping!
I've thought about shaving the white on Stinker's legs but I didn't think it was an actual thing and it was just one of my ideas...ReplyDelete
What blade length did you use? I'm seriously considering it now.
Nope, it is an actual thing! One that I've known for years and have just never done. I used my regular clipping blade- a T-84.Delete
I love Lauren's blogs! I just love the looked of clipped legs, even though I'm typically too lazy to do it. Annnnnd now this reminded me what a hairy yak my horse is. I better take my clippers to the barn tonight haha.ReplyDelete
I'm new to her blogs, but I really like them too! I want to give her hoof shine trick a whirl- I use regular hoof oil and it, of course, gets covered in warm up dirt. Having someone apply it right before going in isn't an option- once we warm up there's no milling around/rest/standing that happens until the final salute!Delete
I kept Rico's legs shaved up to the knee/hock all year round (well, in the winter he had a full body clip) when he was competing. It's just easier with boots, and when he was wearing standing wraps overnight, the hair on his legs would get all matted if he wasn't clipped. Makes it so much easier to take care of and I feel like less fungus just because the legs dry so quickly.ReplyDelete
Absolutely to all of the above. I noticed when I was rubbing Penn's legs down before I clipped them that I was pulling all the hairs the wrong way and they were starting to lay funny. Not anymore! It's not something I would have done with Mikey- when you shave chestnut at all, the color changes. Penn's black hair stayed dark where I shaved it. For now, there wasn't much to shave on his legs since it's summer. I'll have to do the whole leg in winter and he'll just have to be ok with 10 degrees and shaved legs. Though, his blankets are a bit big and hang down his leg and cover the gaskin and forearm.Delete
Really cool! I might need to do this as well. Of course my whole pony is white but I might just do what you did and clip to the knee. she's looking a little shaggy right now!ReplyDelete
Oh boy, I don't think I could do an all white or gray horse again. Trainer starting keeping her flea bit gray 4* horse body clipped year round and it looked fabulous on him. She didn't want a chance of him overheating, and it really helped keep him clean.Delete
I spray mine down with isopropyl alcohol after rides anywhere that they're sweaty. Speeds evaporation and kills fungus.ReplyDelete
Interesting! I can see how that would work well. I still like Listerine better- it repels ticks (which are a big problem near me).Delete
Yup definitely do this on all the white-legged horses I groom for. :-)ReplyDelete
Ha! You could still do it to C for no other reason than you can. ;-)Delete
Clipped hair is SO MUCH EASIER to deal with!! Glad Penn had such a positive clipping experience too!ReplyDelete
I wish I had known just how much easier! I love it. I also love his very positive clipping experience. I hope it makes next time a little less worrying.Delete