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Yeah Spring is Here!
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Yeah Spring is Here!

Yesterday was Cookie's first bath of the year. It was a muggy warm day, just perfect for a bath. I don't know if she had ever gotten a bath before, but she did pretty well. She wasn't about to let me wash her face, which was alright. We'll get to that sometime later. She humped up like a roach and danced with her hind feet under her when the water run over her haunches. 

At first she wasn't real keen on this whole water and soap stuff. She danced around, stomped her feet and even tried shaking off the water. Then came the shampoo. I tried some Citronella to hopefully help keep away some of the mosquitoes and flies. It worked for about 5 minutes, but man did she turn out pretty! Her white was so clean and bright I had to put sunglasses on because of the glare. Even her tail which is 3 colors came out glistening in the sunshine. At one point she even turned the shampoo bottle over. She's always into something and being nosy. 

She did great towards the end with the exception of her hind legs. She still wanted to stomp when the water ran down her legs. Of course when you give them a bath the first thing they want to do is roll, but I wasn't about to let her get dirty quite that fast. I allowed her to eat some hay and took her into her walk-in stall so I could brush out her mane and tail without her just plopping down in the dirt to roll. Using the shedding blade to remove much of the loosened hair and also to remove excess water that was dripping off of her belly. I used 2 different brushes and she was nearly dry so I took her back out to eat more hay and stand in the sun to finish drying. Her hair was so soft. It was like running your hand over chenille. 

When she had finally finished drying completely, I turned her loose and told her please don't roll for at least 5 minutes. I worked hard to get you clean so you can at least do me that favor. She actually waited about 10 minutes after I had gone back into the house and only rolled on one side. Amazingly enough she didn't get that dirty. 

I know I did things a bit backwards but today I clipped her a bridle path. I went slowly by showing her the pocket clippers then turning them on and showing her what the noise was. I then held it to her shoulder and neck. She did fantastic until I got closer to her ears and her head shot up like a giraffe. I asked her to put her head back down and began again. This time she decided she was going to back up and throw a fit. We went around in a circle a few times. She then said well, it's much easier to just stand here and get it over with. She lowered her head and let me finish clipping. A few times she threw her head up when I got closer to her ears, but settled right back down again. 

She likes to think she's in charge, often challenging me to make sure I'm still the boss mare out there. When I got done clipping her I put her fly mask on and went to get her some peppermints for being a good girl. She loves her treats. If I ever leave her and later think I've left on a bad note... she'll always come with her ears raised, nickers galore for a treat. As long as I don't repeat the mistakes I make, she'll forgive and we'll continue to learn together. 

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  1. Chestnut Mare
    Chestnut Mare
    Voted. Amusing blog! I can just IMAGINE what it must be like trying to bath a horse! I have a new blog out btw, Hobson's Choice for Horses, which you might find of interest :-)
    Log in to reply.
    1. Rene Wright
      Rene Wright
      Thank you. Yes she keeps me in stitches constantly. :) Just love my crazy mare! lol!
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  2. PonyGirl
    PonyGirl
    I enjoyed your blog Rene.
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    1. Rene Wright
      Rene Wright
      Thank you! :)
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  3. jst4horses
    When training baby racehorses by the dozen that came in to the main track, they have no choice, they have to have their faces washed. I usually get two days to get them ready for their handlers. I used to train the handlers for licensing, so we had standardized the procedures. It is easier on the horses and humans to be on the same page. I would take a nice warm pail of water, and a sponge. At the track skin disease is rampant, so I use a sponge for each horse separately and make sure it is sterilized and dried in the sun every day. I then just pet the horse with the warm damp sponge, and move along until the neck ears, and face are all happy to be washed. By day two, after hours of standing talking to the hot walkers and others and doing what I call "mommy tongue" washing with the sponge, I am able to start with soapy water, and the clear water rinse. By Day two, at the end of training, when I turn the horse over to their own new groom, I worked with the groom to get the process. Most race horses, coming in from morning work have less than two minutes to get sponged with soap, rinsed with high power jet hose attachments and have their faces sponged in clear water. Scrape down, cooling blanket or sheet and off with a hot walker to dry. We have been doing spring baths as well. The amount of hair, since our horses winter in pens and have really long hair.............our coolest night this year was 42, it was not abuse.................was amazing. We kept wishing we had figured out something to do with the hair. Then when we brush and shed them with a metal shedder, even more hair than was left on the washrack. I love this every year. I have no reason why, I just do. Hair all around in the breeze. I do not cross tie, I either have a live hotwalker, or just have the horse stand there for me. Grooming I do in the stall, usually while they are munching, with no ties, and it is just a good time between us. I used it as a big part of my seven games training for Parelli Naturalhorsemanship.
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    1. Rene Wright
      Rene Wright
      Thanks for the tip with the sponge. I'll have to try that the next time I give Cookie a bath. I also groom Cookie when she's eating. I spend most of the time with her without a halter or any kind of lead. A lot of times when it's raining I'll sit on a bench in her stall with her while she's eating to keep her company for a bit. I'm sure most of the horses you work with appreciate getting the sweat off even if the temps don't seem ideal to us to be giving them a bath. I'm sure too they appreciate getting rid of all the excess itchy hair too! lol
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