Saturday, March 22, 2014

Him With the Mane

The day started out freezing cold , about 16 degrees but there was promise since the sun was predicted to come out. I got up early and ran my car into town to get the tires rotated. Apparently I was a little overdue. I was supposed to get them rotated about 5000 miles ago. Ooops...

 I got a mild scolding from the nice tire man about getting more wear out of my tires and I was only going to be able to do that if I was better about getting them rotated more often..Fine.. point taken.. I really had no ideas I had driven it so many miles.. seems like just yesterday I had them put on but now that I think about it, It was last March and we did  drive it to British Columbia and back last May..

Once that irritating little chore was done, I  hurried home, changed clothes and skedaddled out to the barn where Brego is now at for the next several weeks ( my hunter /jumper trainers facility) He is the only horse on the place that looks like he just came off the range with his shaggy coat and wild exploding mane. I had to get something done with him, if for no other reason so as to avoid  the teasing that my trainer was barely holding back. We don't exactly keep our horses show ready around here.

So, I set off  to the barn with a new shedding blade, my pulling combs, a thinning blade and clippers. Taking the clippers was probably overly optimistic . Brego can't even handle being sprayed with fly spray. I had no idea how I was going to get him to be ok with clippers. Nonetheless, they got tossed in the truck.

 I wasn't up for riding since I wanted to spend my time working on cleaning him up so I spent about a half hour revisiting a lesson in lunging. He had only been introduced to it last fall a couple times. He snorted around , skeptical and nervous for the first few minutes.  He's not exactly a horse that takes everything in without it being a big deal. He tends to be on the spookier side. He eventually settled in and lungeing eventually became boring to him. He quietly trotted around at the end of the line like a champ. I didn't push my luck with asking for a canter.. preferring to keep things on a positive note. Walk and trot were good for today.

Once he was satisfactorily bored to death, I ended to the lungeing and  got to work.  I started out with scissors and gettings some sort of bridle path established. That was about 4 handfuls of mane and foretop and I barely made a dent in ALL that HAIR.. MY gawd!! Morgans!!!.

Next came the trimming the unruly  super thick  and wavy mane. I had to trim it first with a pair of scissors in order to get it to a length that I could at least  work with it.  It started out pretty good but then the more I cut , the bushier it seemed to become. It like it had a life of its own.

Brego now looked completely ridiculous , like some sort of horse version of a Dutch boy..

At this point,  I was half afraid that I was going to make such a mess of it that I would have to roach the whole damn thing.. So I got really tricky... I pulled out my handy dandy thinning blade. It's just a cheapy plastic thing covering a razor blade.  It sliced through beautifully and was thinning nicely . I was thinking this was going to take no time at all and I would have a horse who looked nearly show ready. Well, that lasted all of about 5 minutes. The whole thing broke  apart in my hands and the razor blade went flying through the air. I am lucky it didn't slice off Brego's ear. Apparently. the explosive mane was just a little bigger job than it was designed for.


That meant I was going to have to actually do this the hard way.. so I got the pulling comb out and started. Brego was not impressed with the idea of me ripping hair out of his mane by the follicle. They say horses can't feel it.. I beg to differ. So I made a few healthy yanks and called it good. It would have to be a process. There was no way I was going to get through all that in a day. Further more, I wanted to make it a good experience for Brego. I finished up by trimming his tail and his goat like beard with scissors.

He was fine with all that.. the last thing I wanted to do was atleast introduce him to the sound of the clippers. As I suspected.. he didn't really want much to do with them but he did put his nose on them as they were running two times, all on his own. I made sure not to even reach for him with them at this point. I gave him lots of pets and good boys for being so brave. Hopefully next time, he will be less worried about them. I can see this is going to be a process as well. Sigh..

Here is what he ended up looking like..(forgot to take before photos but I trimmed off about 6-8 9 inches of mane). He's not impressed... good thing I never wanted to be a beautician.
"It makes my head look bigger yet"...

does it make my neck look longer if I do this???

After about two hours, I figured I had done enough damage with Brego. It was time to head home and work on Maggie. That was a chore I wasn't looking forward to..She is the mud queen. 

Herd of deer on the drive home

I am not that bad.. 
Your going to do what to my what???

and 10 minutes later..... that was just her neck and shoulders. Anyone needs a horse hair quilt made?

 She's been standing at the gate alot and every time I walk out the door she calls to me, as if she is wanting to go do something.. The poor thing is terribly bored so since  I had her as clean as she has been in weeks, I threw the saddle on. We only did some walking and bending..the arena footing was pretty mushy still and since it was the first time I had been on her since January I did not want to get into a battle with her , especially in mud. Some days you choose your battles.She was relatively good and it was nice to be back on my girl for a ride.

I finished up early enough , got water tanks filled, refilled loose salt feeders  and even raked the aisle-way of the corrals. A winters worth of winds and snows left a fine mess of hay and misc debris. I love a tidy barn yard but this time of year,  everything is such a mess. The corrals are filled with layers of manure, ice and  mud  and there just isn't much that can be done about it. but  I could  rake this aisle way and make it look a little better.

all clean and ready for green to start springing forth..

Thanks for reading


Funder said...

Dixie still doesn't approve of the clippers when they're first turned on, but she loves them as soon as they hit her skin. Try just touching them to his neck? Backwards, so they're not actually cutting his coat - you know how the noise changes when the blades dig in. Something about the warm vibration just puts Dixie to sleep.

Your farm is beautiful! I love the wood-rail paddocks :)

Jonna said...

Thanks Funder.. those rails are in dire need of restaining!! and Maggie has chewed through several of them this winter ..
Brego is such a skeptic.. I attempted to approach him in the neck/shoulder area but he was having none of it.. but you are correct, some horses are afraid until the contact is made..then is't fine.. I am not that lucky in this case!! Sigh.. guess I will continue to introduce, reward, introduce, reward.. and hope he gets over himself..
thanks for stopping by!