On Tuesday, I brushed Lady and combed her lovely mane, trimmed her bridle path and rode. She looked quite nice when I left the barn.
Wednesday morning, she was turned out early by the stable owner, as usual, and I went over at 10:30. Looking out the barn door to her paddock, I saw her standing there waiting, not far from the door. One look and I let out a loud, “Oh Lady!” My husband, around the corner, heard me and asked, “Did she roll?”
Of course she had rolled. And the paddock was a muddy mess with puddles of standing water.
I opened the paddock door and stood clear. Lady walked in calmly, turned the corner and went right to her stall near the back door. She knows where she belongs. Her thick black winter coat was fully plastered with dried mud. Her halter was also plastered, including the snap. And there was a hunk of mud stuck to her face, just above one eye. I thought of how clean she had looked the day before. I thought how much work it would be to get her clean again.
I couldn’t help but feel that Lady had purposely given herself a thorough body mud pack, just like women do at an expensive spa. I couldn’t help but wonder why. Maybe she enjoys rolling and the mud was just there. Maybe she rolled because the mud was there. Does she like to get wet and muddy on these cold winter days? Doesn’t she care how she looks? Doesn’t she care about being dirty? Does she do it on purpose to make me work harder? To force me to give her more grooming time? Lady loves attention, and she enjoys being fussed over.
I decided to let her enjoy her mud pack one more day. I didn’t plan to ride today anyway.
After all, she put that mud on by herself—maybe she can take part of it off by herself. Well, really now—there are times I find her looking cleaner the next day when I haven’t done anything. And I know we don’t have barn elves to do that job! So she must be able to shake it off, or rub it off, or something!
I know I will have to use that metal curry to scrape it off, or the metal shedding blade works good, too. You have to loosen up that dried mud coating first, then scrape it off before brushing. I also love the plastic mane comb brush for that job! And here’s a hint I’ve learned about getting those balls of mud out of the mane: if long strands of mane are coated with dried mud, you can move it between your fingers back and forth and it breaks up pretty good and sometimes slides right off! If huge mud balls are stuck in the mane, they loosen up with water and come off with a paper towel. I use a plastic squeeze bottle (former soap container) filled with warm water to take to the barn when I work on that job. Oh, and to unclog that muddy halter snap, I just hit it against the stall wall a few times, if I can get it off first, that is.
I’ve got an idea! If anyone wants to practice on my Lady, come on over and I’ll show you how it’s done! I’ll even let you do it all, if you want! And if anyone has more ideas on the easiest ways to clean up a muddy horse, PLEASE SHARE!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
I was quite sick for several weeks and did not get out to the barn. My dear husband had total responsibility. Lady was fed and watered and turned out, but not much else. When I returned to "barn duty" finally, I expected Lady's eager welcome. Instead, when I reached to pet her, she turned away. Being the alpha-dominant lead mare that she is, I know she was mad at me for not being there when she wanted attention. With mares, you just have to understand their feelings. She got over it in a few days. You can maintain a relationship even when you don't ride. You can maintain leadership with basic daily handling. But distance doesn't build a good relationship, apparently! I wonder if a horse sees your absence as neglect or do they understand the concept of neglect? I'd love to hear some comments from other mare owners about how their mares act after you've been separated for awhile.
Friday, February 18, 2011
If anyone sees this blog, I just want to say that I'm hereby resolved to do better this year! I am going to post quite often this week, and maybe next, just to get going, and then I plan to post at least once or twice a week. I want this blog to help mare owners with their questions and problems. Let's talk about our mares. Let's share our mares. And if you have any suggestions as to this project, please let me know. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.