Monday, November 28, 2011
You know it’s time to body clip your horse when he begins to look as if he’s wearing a faux fur coat. Such was the case with Danny. Though he was sleek and shiny from spring to summer, by Halloween he resembled a yak. In fact, the hair on his lower legs began to curl, to the point that I actually had someone on the trails ask me if he were part Bashkir Curly.
Out here, body clipping is pretty common, especially among any kind of competition horse in training and horses used for recreational riding on a regular basis. Even though we don’t get the frigid weather like many of you do in the colder regions, our horses still grow winter coats. Then we ride, they sweat furiously, and we’re forced to shower them off. That then leaves them chilled once the sun goes down and the temps plummet.
Grooming Danny gave me a sense of déjà vu. Years ago, my family went through a series of Old English Sheepdogs. They were all lovely, funny clowns in dog suits, but horrible to keep clean. And there I was, once again, towel-drying my Old English Sheepdog—I mean Paint gelding—with a bath towel after his post-exercise sponge bath.
Reticent to body clip him myself, since I’m not fond of horse hair wafting into every nook and cranny on my body, I called Casey, a local professional horse groomer. She makes a hefty second income body clipping horses, especially those on the breed show circuit. A veritable Wonder Woman, she can expertly body clip an entire horse in under an hour.
Me? It takes me two days, some disposable clothing and several Advil.
So I made the appointment and got Danny fully prepped for his hair appointment. Casey arrived, a suitcase of clippers in hand, and in a very short time I had a much sleeker horse. Of course this means I have to blanket Danny every night and toss a day sheet on him in cool weather, but that’s a small price to pay for having a horse that’s comfortable on sunny days. Plus, I don’t have so much hair to groom.
Now, if I could only figure out a way to make use of a small mountain of black and white horse hair…
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