Saturday, October 31, 2009

A two horse day

We went to the ranch and I groomed Tiger, my favorite girl.  Best news is, her owner commented on how pretty her tail looked last week.  I was happy to hear it because I think it took me a full half hour to comb it out.  It was in sort of long, spiral dreadlocks.  I groomed a new horse today too, Pinta.  She's new to me, but she's not new.  She's about 26 years old.  She's the one that got gored in the thigh by a crazy cow a couple weeks ago.  Did I mention that incident?  I'm not sure if I did.  She's infected now.  She needs a shot of penicillin.

She's the fussiest of all the horses they have, plus she's got a hurt leg on top of it.  I curried her, brushed her, combed out her mane and tail.  She gave me a start though!

To get hold of the horse's tail to brush it you stand very, very close to their side, not behind them.  I stood very, very close, like glued to her, because that way if they get spooked and kick, you're so close the kick hasn't got enough space to hurt you.  That's what I'm told anyways.  Seems logical.  I got hold of Pinta's tail, gently pulled it aside and sprayed it with my new whoop-de-doo mane and tail conditioner that the Queen of England uses.  Pinta did fine.  I set down my spray a few feet away with my bucket and walk to her side again, reach for the tail, and she jumped up on all fours simultaneously.  Woo, got my attention! I went to her front and petted her and talked to her, but I was nervous then!  So I asked Mary Lou to please hold her (the rope and harness) whilst I try again.  I cain't be scared and quit, right?  I already bought my grooming kit.

I finally, softly, worked up my nerve, got hold of her tail and brushed it all out nice and purty.  It was much easier to comb out than Tiger's was the first time.  She didn't jump again. I picked her front hooves and she was quite good, but I tried to do one back hoof and she was jumpy so I left it alone.  The bad leg I didn't touch.  Tiger picks up all four feet like a princess.  Phil helped me with the back hooves.  I keep forgetting what my stance should be.  They are much harder to hold and pick up than the front.  After I do a back hoof I'm huffin' and puffin'.  I gotta do some cross training, I tell ya.  I need to get out for a jog or something. Groomed the two horses and I was toast. That's my equine story of the day.

Oh!  I learned to tie a hitch knot.  Phil taught me.  You make two or three of these hitch knots in the rope and the amazing thing about it is that it's a quick release knot.  If the horse is down or something (why a horse goes down I cannot say, but he said for example, if they're in a trailer) and you need to free them quickly, the beauty of the hitch knot is that it both holds and can be yanked hard for a quick release.  And you should never tie them with enough rope hanging that they can nibble the ground and possibly trip on the rope.  I didn't know that.  I had been leaving them with too long a rope.

Three people have shown me hoof picking and they each do it a little differently.

I thought my kit was complete, but it's not.  I need to buy three more things.  I need soft towels to wipe faces and bodies.  I'm using my husband's rags that he uses to clean the truck, but sometimes I can smell car stuff on the cloth even when they're clean and I don't like that.  Plus they're not as soft as I wish for.  Second, I want a net bag to hold hay so I can let the horses nibble whilst I groom.  And lastly, I need a metal curry comb.  Of all things, today someone wanted to borrow my metal curry and I had to say I didn't have one.  Bummer.

I thought I'd have to wait to buy any more stuff, but my husband said go ahead and get what I want now.  I love him so terribly much!

My hair has been holding exceedingly well in a brand new horse grooming bun braid style.  I will get a photo to go with some narrative for a blog post because words only are not as much fun.

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