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I???ll Take One Tube of Whatever???s Humiliating

By Cindy Hale

Monday, June 28, 2010

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Life Life with Horses - I’ll Take One Tube of Whatever’s Humiliating
You have to look closely, but the bald spot is there. And I'm going to cure it, in a matter of minutes!

What have you bought for your horse lately that has left you feeling a little… humiliated… at the checkout counter? For me it’s been an arsenal of hair care products. Wally has a bald patch on the side of his face, and it’s driving me crazy. My vet, Jennifer, has assured me that it’s nothing serious, merely the result of Wally rubbing his face. Nonetheless, I want that sorrel hair back where it belongs. Like today. So I not only bought the extra special veterinary product Jennifer recommended, but I picked through the medicinal hair care stuff at the local drugstore and bought some of that, too. Anyone who was standing in line behind me probably figured I had an uncontrollable case of dandruff because I bought the “cost cutter” sized bottle. You know, because my flaking and itching issue wasn’t going away anytime soon.

My obsession with finding an overnight cure for Wally’s bald spot got me to thinking about all the stuff I’ve bought at drug stores, grocery stores and big box warehouses for my horses. These are items that are designed and marketed for use on humans, but end up going in or on one of my four-legged beasties. One thing at a time isn’t so bad. But pile them all together in one shopping cart and it’d convey a certain image of me that is at the very least perplexing to a non-horsey stranger. Let’s see, inside that cart there’d be:

1. A boatload of disposable diapers. I bought them when Wally had a hoof abscess. They work great to cuddle a poultice and hold it in place overnight. But I’ve never put a diaper on a baby in my life, so buying a pack of 50 diapers was a mind bending experience for me.

2. Industrial sized jug of corn oil. Few things put a shine on a horse’s coat quicker than a cup of corn oil each day, drizzled over a scoop of pellets. Of course I want to save money, so I buy it in bulk. I know I’m getting a good deal when the plastic bottle is so heavy that it has a handle on the side and a pour spout on the top. With this in my shopping cart I look like I manage the local fry shack.

3. Yet another digital thermometer. I buy a lot of these, frequently in three-packs. No, there isn’t an outbreak of Typhoid Fever at my house. It’s just that I either forget where I set them down or I neglect to label them “horse” or “human.” And would you really want to put a thermometer in your mouth that had once been stuck up Wally’s butt? I didn’t think so.

4. Huge bag of carrots. As every horse lover knows, these aren’t the pretty carrots. These are the castaway carrots, the thick, gnarly ones, and they’re crammed into a huge plastic lug sack. Each time I buy them I get at least one strange look from a non-horsey shopper. Once I bought several bags to take back to the barn. As I was pushing the shopping cart out to my truck, a man caught my attention. With a smirk on his face he said flirtatiously, “Hey, do you know where I can buy some carrots?” Ha-ha.

5. The six-pack of enemas. When we were raising horses we kept enemas on hand just in case one of the newborn foals needed help passing the meconium stool. Since we sometimes foaled out a half-dozen mares each spring, we needed quite a few enemas. There’s nothing inherently wrong with buying a bunch of enemas. But you have to admit that slapping a couple of six-packs on the conveyor belt at the corner market could have a chilling effect on the small talk between you and the other customers in line.

See how a life with horses makes shopping excursion interesting? And all of this came to mind just because of Wally’s bald spot. Hopefully I’ll never have to buy him something originally designed to treat jock itch.

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Reader Comments

Carly    Harding, NJ

8/10/2010 3:33:49 PM

I had to buy a gallon bottle of Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo to my gelding's fungus. I'm short, and I caught to the guy behind me peeking at my scalp. Eek! Thank you, I am dandruff free!

Kelly    Valley City, ND

8/9/2010 12:52:43 PM

When I was a teenager I went to the drugstore with my neighbor and her daughter. The neighbor bought 2 home pregnancy tests to use on 2 recently bred mares. I still remember the cashier looking from me to the daughter and back again. More recently: I have my hair cut short. Went to the store and bought 2 boxes of black hair dye for my show geldings tail. Cashier gave me a strange look. :)

CINDY HALE    HORSE CHANNEL, CA

7/2/2010 9:06:32 AM

HOPEFULLY MY SEMI-FERAL BARN CAT WON'T BE GIVING WALLY RINGWORM, BECAUSE THE JOCK ITCH STUFF JUST WON'T LOOK RIGHT IN MY SHOPPING CART!

THE PURCHASE OF THE 'LUBE' STUFF MAKES ME LAUGH. YUP, THINGS CAN GET A LITTLE WILD DOWN AT THE FARM, LOL!

I FORGOT, THOUGH, ABOUT ALL THE TIMES MY SISTER AND I BOUGHT THE GIGANTIC SIZED TUBES OF DESITIN FOR DIAPER RASH... FOR FOALS THAT WERE GOING THROUGH 'FOAL HEAT' SCOURS. WE'D SHAMPOO THEIR LITTLE BUTTS AND THEN SLATHER ON THE DESITIN. AND YET AGAIN I MUST REVEAL THAT I'VE NEVER CHANGED A DIAPER OR GOOPED UP THE BEHIND OF A BABY HUMAN IN MY LIFE. BUT A BABY HORSE? THAT'S ANOTHER STORY!

Jennifer    Charlotte, NC

7/1/2010 12:17:55 PM

I have bought something for jock itch to use on my horse. When she got ringworm thanks to the barn cats. That cleared it up very well.
When I worked on horse staff at a camp at the beginning of the summers we would stock up on the Walmart brand of Gold Bond medicated powder. Check out with several of those bottles and you get some strange looks. But it was the best thing for the tick bites around their sheaths and udders.

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