Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mud Season

For horse people, there are three seasons -- Fall, Summer, and Mud.

This is post-four straight days of rain followed by a day and night of snow and sleet. Followed by two days of temps above freezing.

D'Artagnan (Dart) always wears his blanket, and always rolls while wearing it. Always.

Champ doesn't have a blanket, and he rolls, too. Filthy, filthy guy.

That shadow is nosy Dart, trying to get some of the snacks I was trying to give to Champ, who gets no love from the other geldings in that pasture. Poor guy even gets booted out of the run-in shed when it's raining!

It's Sunday, and that means an afternoon at the barn for Wren's lesson. Today was for vaulting, and the vaulting horse, Beau, was a dirty mess when he came in from the field.

Good thing he had a team of groomers to lavish him with a spa treatment. He even got baby oil for his tail when Wren decided his tail was entirely too tangly.

Here's how I know my daughter is over-the-edge horse crazy. She won't spend ANY time on her own hair, and barely lets me brush the tangles out of it, but she HAD to do something about the tangled mess of tail her lesson horse had!

And then there was the nitpicky hoof cleaning.

Beau is a very good sport about all of this, and enjoys the attention very much. I am all about Wren learning to do anything that involves cleaning, careful attention to detail, and hard work. Good life skills, those are. Also very necessary skills for Pony Club in the future.

And, a horse show secretary's work is never done, so while the girls had their vaulting lesson, I prepared ribbons and organized paperwork for the upcoming barn show.

Afterward, Wren and I tried to lavish some attention and grooming on Champ, but he was not all about it. I guess his previous owner did not really spend time with him, other than to ride, and he is not only not used to being groomed that much, but is also very very sensitive to brushing. He kicked out and left a big mark on the wall when I brushed his belly near his stifle. After he totally freaked out, and I got upset with him (for scaring the hell out of me), he was much calmer, but still not happy about being brushed. I hope I can help him overcome this somewhat. I really want to be able to love on him; it sounds like he just didn't get a lot of attention, or maybe the wrong kind of attention, over the past few years. I never understand why people don't want to love on their horses, nor spend time with them except for the work of riding. He's only been a resident of Hunter's Ridge for about two months, so I guess I need to be a little more patient while he relaxes and gets a grip on his new job. I'm really looking forward to seeing who he is in about six months, after he's been here a while and has been ridden by many people instead of just his previous owner. I'm really hoping to take him to a horse trials this year.

We finished up the evening with Happy Meals for the ride home, and then Wren and I watched some FEI World Cup vaulting, and the 2010 World Equestrian Games US Team's win in Kentucky. She loved it, and practiced some of her moves on the arm of the couch.

Poor Noah was ill tonight, and Travis took him to the pediatric urgent care center. He's got a double ear infection. I hope he's not going to need a third set of tubes. Good thing we have an ENT visit in a couple weeks.

Everyone's tucked in bed now, and I think I'm not far behind.

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