Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bath Brigade Continues

The bath brigade has continued the last couple of days. I really like giving baths, the whole process just works for me, and I especially like giving spring baths. I like scrubbing the horses clean and watching the dirt and grime rinsing out of their coats. I like conditioning tails and feeling the soft hair after it has dried. I told Amy today that after I've scrubbed them and then washed and conditioned their tails they smell like freshly bathed babies who are ready for a clean pair of pajamas and to be tucked into bed.

I like to use Orvus for my spring baths. It is really good for a deep cleaning, get the grime out kind of bath. It does produce crazy amounts of soap bubbles so I never put it directly on the horses because it would take forever (and that might not be long enough) to rinse it out. I always put some in a bucket and dilute with water. I usually just use something like Suave shampoo and conditioner on the tails although I do find that Orvus is good at getting white tails white again. As much as I enjoy bathing a horse I am not one that likes to give horses frequent baths as I feel this is something where you can have too much of a good thing. After the initial Orvus bath I usually use a Tea Tree oil shampoo.

Faune had a good scrubby courtesy of Amy and he was soft, clean and shiny when she was done. He rewarded that by literally rolling on a pile of manure afterwards. Clearly this whole bathing thing is strictly a human desire given the typical horse reaction to it all! Missy and MyLight both had good scrubby baths as well, and I must give them credit for rolling in the grass and not the dirt!

B-Rad and Ogie both needed some good scrubbing as well. They are certainly an odd couple. B-Rad is extremely attached to Ogie and he is content as long he is with Ogie, be that in the barn or the pasture. I don't really think that Ogie reciprocates those feelings but he doesn't really seem to have much choice in the matter most of the time. Occasionally B-Rad is paired off with another horse but not often. Ogie is they type that simply wants to go and do whatever he feels like doing regardless of what the other horses are doing. He does not mind being his own company. He also does not mind being right in the middle of the group either if it so happens that the group is where he wants to be.

Levendi and Thomas both let me know that they had no desire to be in the barn or to have a bath. With both of them it was constant motion the entire time. Of course this meant that I end up being far more wet than I needed to be, and I looked like I had also had a bath! When they went back outside (together) afterwards they both went CRAZY! Of course they rolled in the dirt right away but then they were off, galloping, bucking, rearing, leaping, spinning and more galloping. They not only got the rest of the boys running, they had the horses in the two adjoining pastures running as well.

Amy bathed Homer and Elfin and they were both pros. I have learned with Elfin that every single time I give him a bath he pees in the cross ties and today was no exception. I have absolutely no idea why he does that after a bath but he always has every time he's been bathed here. Norman was next and he was a perfect gentleman while Amy scrubbed away. Norman hates to be separated from his mates but even when he calls to them he always stands quietly.

I wrapped up today's bath brigade with Trigger, O'Reilly and Teddy. All three of them were perfect, they stood like statues and barely moved an inch while they were scrubbed. When it comes to things like baths Teddy can be a bit like a box of chocolates, you sometimes never know what you are going to get. Today I got the perfect horse and a had an exceedingly pleasant time giving him a good scrubbie.

Tomorrow will probably bring more baths (surprise, surprise!). Then I think we are supposed to get some rain and the temperatures will be a little cooler with highs in the 60's and low 70's. We could definitely use some rain right now. It is kind of amazing to see dry soil in the pastures after having such a wet winter. The grass is thirsty and soaking up moisture like crazy and now I actually want it to rain. Happy bathing to everyone!

Traveller, Bonnie, Norman, Sky, Cinnamon and Lexi on the run through the pasture. I love how at first you can't see Norman, and suddenly there he is in the front (he was hidden behind Traveller). Traveller is a large pony and retired from the pony hunters. Cinnamon is also a large pony and retired from the pony jumpers. Norman is a medium pony and retired pony hunter as well. Bonnie and Sky are both Swedish Warmbloods and Lexi is a Hanoverian/TB cross.

Ivan and Tony; Ivan is a Thoroughbred and showed in the jumpers through Grand Prix. Tony is a Dutch Warmblood and was one of the top ranked Amateur Owner hunters in the country.

Lucky, Clay and Chili, all three are Quarter Horses. Lucky is a retired trail partner, Clay raced on the Quarter Horse circuit and then became a trail horse, and Chili worked cattle.

Missy enjoying a nice roll. Missy is a large pony and worked for many years in a string on a dude ranch. When she was no longer able to handle the workload at the dude ranch she narrowly avoided a trip to a slaughter facility when she was taken in by a wonderful family. She taught their youngest daughter how to ride and now enjoys a well deserved retirement.

Snappy and Lucky. Snappy evented through the four star level with the famous eventer Mark Todd. An injury ended his eventing days and he finished his career as a show hunter and won many championships at prestigious shows including Indoors.

Chili, O'Reilly and Teddy. O'Reilly is an Irish bred gelding who showed in the jumpers. Teddy is a Quarter Horse and retired from dressage.

Apollo enjoying an afternoon siesta (note the drooping lower lip). Apollos is a Hanoverian and retired dressage horse.

Thomas and Homer were next to Apollo and they were also taking an afternoon siesta. The big boys do a lot of running and playing so they definitely need their rest! Thomas is a Holsteiner and retired dressage horse. Homer is an Irish bred gelding and retired show hunter.

Sebastian drying in the sun after his bath (hand grazing courtesy of Jason!). Sebastian is a Connemara/Irish Draught cross and was one of those horses that you could do just about anything with him. He foxhunted, showed in the hunters and jumpers and did some eventing.

Jason watching Jo play with the SmartPak box she had drug into the paddock. The World's Cutest Fainting goats love boxes.

B-Rad, Alex and Ogie grazing. B-Rad is a Belgian Warmblood (son of the famous show jumper Darco) and retired jumper. Ogie is a Thoroughbred and retired eventer. Alex is a Quarter Horse and retired show hunter.


IsobelleGoLightly said...

If I was a horse I'd want to retire at your farm! Don't you want to start up a goatie retirement farm? hee hee

Anonymous said...

Missy is one of my favorite stories - big kudos to the people who took her in and have made sure she is taken care of.

Norm looks happy - I love how when he whinnies his whole little body shakes!

Baths are fun (as long as you don't get too wet) - well, even if you do!

ZionFarm said...

Is there a certain brand of the tea tree oil shampoo that you use?

I cant even imagine giving that many horses baths! I do good just to get all of ours done! :)

Your farm is looking beautiful with all of the Spring growth. Im so glad to look out and see GREEN! :)

lytha said...

you have inspired me. now the weather has to cooperate. it's 40 F at 10 AM. i can hope!

baasha is shedding so much, on our trail ride he was leaving a trail of white hairs behind him, blowing in the wind.

actually as i fed him his breakfast, hairs were flying off of him just from the act of chewing, hehe.

my husband has been covered in horse hair all day, and always comments on how much hair is coming off the horse as he strokes him. it seems like half the year, hair is coming off the horse. geez!


Funder said...

I wish I could hire you to come wash my horse! I have never enjoyed them - I keep thinking about how the horse is just patiently waiting for me to turn my back so she can roll.