Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lucky 13

My life continues to be an exploration of horse hair and dirt. Thanks to Kate's help thirteen of the horses have been body clipped. I've clipped 9 and she's graciously clipped four so we've made serious progress. I'm hoping to clip two more tomorrow. Then I'll go in a holding pattern for a week or two with body clipping. I might be done, or there might be 2 or 3 more horses that need to be clipped. The horses in question are teetering on the line of maybe they need to be clipped and maybe they don't, we'll see if they finish shedding or not over the next ten days.

We're also marching through the spring baths. Sometimes it is better described as an excavation of dirt and hair rather than as a bath. Often the same horse gets bathed more than once, along with extensive currying, to get to the bottom of the dirt and hair. Over the last couple of days we've body clipped four more horses and bathed eight.

I woke up last night because I was sure I heard clippers running. Thankfully no one was standing in the bedroom with clippers, so undoubtedly my mind was just replaying the humming noise it has heard for far too many hours over the last two weeks. Here's to reaching the end of the body clipping marathon very soon.


After all these years I finally found the most obvious way to keep Lily occupied during a bath, let her eat. Lily is a gem about being clipped, she's not so fond of baths. 

Lily had plenty of hair but I've clipped much more off of her in other years

Lily in progress

a clipped Lily checking out some of her hair

Maisie had lots of hair

bathing Maisie

the first few strokes

clipped Maisie; there was lots of shine underneath that old winter hair

Lily and Maisie having a post-clip grooming session

Norman and Cuffie having a pre-clip grooming session

Cuffie in progress

Cuffie being very polite for Kate

Clipped Norman; it's a real shame I forgot to take any before or during pictures as Norman won this year for the most hair.

Gus having a bath

Grand having a bath

Miss Lyle and Mina having a very lazy morning

Silver and Flyer

Lofty and Faune

Asterik and George


Rubrico, Toledo and River


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Successes and Failures

The horses have found themselves in the unusual situation of having many things penciled in on their calendars lately. Many of them have had their teeth floated recently. I'm in the throes of spring body clipping and general spring grooming. We also had our second and final Vaccination Day of the spring on Friday. 

Yet again Jason and I used the electric tape method to trap contain against their will conveniently locate the horses at the front of their pastures by the gates. While they are eating breakfast Jason runs around like a maniac with step-in posts and electric tape and cuts off their escape routes.  This makes the runners, and for that matter all of the horses, markedly unhappy.  They pace along their new boundary, back and forth and back and forth. They stand and stare, they glare at us, they generally look displeased. 

Walon and River waiting for the tape to disappear

Donovan, Toledo, Johnny and Kennedy all crowding their new boundary

Elfin and Grand went with the every popular walking choice. "Just keep walking, we'll find an opening."

Calimba and MyLight gave up and groomed each other while Lily gazed longingly out in the pasture

Hemi, Apollo and Thomas; all of the horses always had to stand right by their temporary "walls"

Convey and Chance decided to take a nap. "Maybe when we wake up this blasted electric fence will be gone and we'll realize it was only a nightmare."

Despite all of the pacing, staring and glaring all of the horses were very good on Friday. No one tried to run since they knew they could not go very far. As Vaccination Days go it was quite pleasant. Jason and I are glad to have yet another round of vaccinations behind us and crossed off the to-do list. Both Vaccination Days were a success this year with no runners. 

Lots of progress has been made on the spring body clipping marathon. Thanks to the highly appreciated help of my friend Kate we've bathed (as in deep cleaned) 10 horses and body clipped 5 horses in the last two days. Kate kindly clipped Bruno and Sebastian and gave a pile of dirty horses baths. I can say my evening showers have felt particularly glorious the last couple of days. All of the baths and clips were successes with the exception of one failure.   

Baner post bath, ready for clipping

Baner after a few strokes with the clippers

Baner clipped

Bruno drip drying before his turn with the clippers

Baner and Bruno exchanging a few words, trying to figure out what was going on

Bruno was a good boy for Kate

Remmy thoroughly enjoying the soapy curry scrub on his chest. He was telling Kate to curry harder.

Sebastian being clipped by Kate

Sebastian had a lot of hair

 Sebastian looked great after Kate clipped him

Taco soaped up and looking for an escape route

Taco also had lots of hair that needed to go

Taco post-clipping

Blu drying after his bath

a pretty terrible picture of Blu and of his clipping job

Murphy getting the spa treatment from Kate

Our last horse of the day was Happy. He stood like a perfect gentleman for his bath . . . 

. . . and then immediately found the dirt patch to roll in when he was done. He was the only horse that did this. I had barely had time to unclip the leadrope and turn my back on him before he was down. The one failure out of the last two spa days. Happy said, "somebody had to do it."

Sebastian after his bath and body clip saying "I would really like to be returned to my pasture now. I want to be on the other side of this gate."

Taco (pre-clip) grazing with B-Rad

Calimba, Dolly and Charlotte

Johnny and Lighty