Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Braiding Fairy

It was the first 70+ degree day of the year. In fact, it was the first day above 35 degrees in nearly a month. (Welcome to the Midwest)

This means that the wash rack is in constant use. My horses live in “dry lots”, which translates to “quagmire” this time of year. As I knocked the chunks of mud from my first horse (including her feet), I commented “I see a bath in this horse’s near future.” Another boarder coming in right then with her own horse replied, “I see a bath in my horse’s future, too. Like right now!” Thirty minutes later, she’s still applying shampoo and suds, while I continued to wait for an opportunity to just hose the deep dirt from my horse’s coat. After all, I wanted her to be nearly dry when I turned her out again! I finally gave up waiting. I had brushed her down with a bucket of water and she was drying from that, so I turned her out and got my gelding.

He was in worse need of a bath than the other one. He also has a coat like a woolly mammoth! My plan was to rinse him before I rode and just ride him dry. This way, he would have plenty of time to dry before the sun set and temperatures dropped again.

Upon returning from my hike to trade out horses, the same horse was in the wash bay… I removed the majority of mud from my second horse. With no end to the other horse’s bath in sight, I hooked up a hose outside and merely blasted my horse with plain old cold water until he began to resemble bay instead of chestnut. I scraped the water off. I replaced the hose. I tacked up to ride. And the same horse was still being bathed!!

After my ride (I rode my mammoth about half way dry), I was untacking and commenting that I truly needed a minion who could bathe my horses during the heat of the day when I couldn’t be at the barn due to my 40 hour grind. Little did I know that my words fell upon the ears of the angels.

Last night, I found my old man looking rather chipper as he sported about 10 or 12 long braids down his neck! And his tail was braided, too!!

It turns out that a volunteer minion bathed both horses while I was absent. As soon as I started brushing the old man, it became clear that he was a much cleaner animal. There was mud on the outside, but his coat lies flatter without all the extra dirt and dust crammed down next to his skin.

Thank you, Braiding Fairy, for making my day!!

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