Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April showers

The boys don't generally get baths - I usually let Mother Nature take care of the whole shower deal.  But then, I don't generally show, either.  And between the last bits of winter fuzz, and all of the dust and dirt from the lot...  Let's just say, a bath wouldn't hurt either of them.

I was hoping to hear the weatherman say temps would hold in the 80's all week, and that I'd be able to get them clean on Friday - but it's supposed to start raining and get cold and windy for the next few days, so it was today or not at all.

I pulled the trailer up into the turnaround, armed myself with two in one shampoo/conditioner, detangler, a rubber curry and a scrub brush, two big tubs, two 20 qt buckets, 85' of hose, and an adjustable stream sprayer nozzle, and started setting up.

Unsuspecting victims

The boys were very excited to see the trailer - they whinnied at it almost as enthusiastically as they greeted their hay.  I left them in the lot to eat while I filled the two tubs up about a quarter of the way with hot, very hot, water.  Then ran them the rest of the way full with cold water from the hydrant.  With the hose hooked on, I could just comfortably reach the closest tie position on the trailer (where Sunny's tied).

Then I collected my victims.  I started with Sunny - soaked him down with the hose starting with his front feet and working my way up after he decided getting wet wasn't worth panicking over.  When he was fairly wet on one side, I switched to a bucket of lukewarm water, added shampoo, and used the curry to work the loose hair and dirt off.  He wasn't thrilled, but didn't fuss too much, considering.  Thankfully the sun was warm enough to take the chill off the water in the hose pretty quickly, and with the length of hose I had to work with, I had a few good minutes of warm-ish water for rinsing before it ran really cold and I'd switch back to bucket-water.

We are NOT amused.

Thunder snorted a bit at my occasional overspray, but I had the nozzle on the shower setting with the hose pressure set fairly low, so it wasn't as if he was getting soaked.  Once I had Sunny sluiced off, I spritzed him down with detangler and swapped their places.

Post-bath & trim
Surprisingly, Thunder was far calmer about the whole thing than Sunny - maybe because he had time to watch?  At any rate, he stood patiently with one hip cocked while I lathered, scrubbed and doused him with buckets of water until he didn't suds up any more and the water ran clear, then coated him in detangler.  While he air-dried, I took a clean body brush and went over the now-dry Sunny.

Clean and pristine
I hadn't done more than run my fingers through his mane and tail before applying the detangler, so I was really impressed to find that even with just the soft bristled brush his mane was sleek, silky, and completely snag free. Good stuff, whatever's in there!

When they were both dry, which didn't take long given the warm gusty breeze, I trimmed bridlepaths, the worst of the ear tufties, and neatened up their fetlocks.  I'm not going to clip legs, shave muzzles, or even trim ear hair much beyond what I've done - they live outside, and taking away nature's bug and sun protection for a one-day thing wouldn't be kind.

Depending on how my lesson tomorrow with Sunny goes, and how nasty the weather gets (they're predicting rain, wind and 30 degrees colder for the weekend), I may bag the show completely.  If I do end up going, Thunder and I will brave showmanship since they're not offering halter, and Sunny and I will do huntseat equitation on the flat, hunter under saddle, and possibly hunter hack.

My only goal with both of them is to expose them to the atmosphere of the thing.  Thunder certainly isn't groomed to the level of neatness required for showmanship - neither is Sunny, for that matter!  So I'd be stunned to place at all with Thunder.  And I've never shown Sunny under saddle, so there again....

Which really takes the pressure off - if we make it, it will be just for fun and edu-tainment - lol!

Are you sure we can't go out and eat more grass?
When I was done trimming, I let them both eat grass for a bit before I turned them back into the lot.  G's been working on getting the pasture fence all hooked up and zap-capable again, so it shouldn't be too long before they can go be out for the summer.  In the meantime, they're thrilled at the briefest opportunity to crop their way along the driveway.

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