Saturday, April 5, 2008

Shavings and Clippings

My son and I mucked out the stalls and spread fresh shavings. Gabbrielle had to investigate.

I shaved everyone's muzzles...

and clipped their bridle paths. For those non-horsey folks, the bridle path is the area behind the ears where the bridle sits.

Each time I trim the bridle path, it gets a little longer. By late fall I am cursing myself for taking off half the mane. I let it grow back all winter, and start with a short path in the spring. While the mane is growing back in, it looks like a Mohawk. I like my horses to have thick forelocks, so I try to avoid cutting too high on the head. Each horse has very different hair. Bombay's mane is fairly thin, so I don't comb or brush it very often in order to avoid pulling out hair. Lostine's mane is thick and luxurious. It's very beautiful to look at, but a pain to maintain. She requires having her mane soaked in detangler before combing. Gabbrielle's mane is thick, kinky, and wild. It stands straight up in places and is not a consistent length.

Their tails are different too. Gabbrielle's tail is very thin. She has the highest tail carriage of all the horses, mostly likely because she has less weight to hold up when she lifts her tail. I have never needed to put detangler in her tail, because the hairs separate easily. Bombay's tail is a medium thickness with very straight hair. His tail is white, but always stained because he doesn't lift it high enough when he poops. So far I haven't found a product that can get the stains out in one washing. Lostine's tail is very thick and tangled. I usually have to spend a good half hour trying to get it brushed out.

I brushed all three of my dogs and the fur would not stop coming out, so I gave up. I curried and brushed all three horses, and their fur had no end as well. My biceps hurt as if I'd been bench-pressing one hundred pounds all day. Despite all the grooming and stall cleaning, I did make time to ride Lostine. That's what its all about.


BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I told my mom that after this next little bit of weather we are supposed to get - that riding goes to the top of the list and I will fit everything else in as I can. You are right-that is what it is all about!!

Twinville said...

Your weather looks gorgeous. We've still got this awful wind, though the weather is warmer. The gusts just about not me down!

I liked seeing all the grooming photos. You really do make a pretty wide bridle path, dont you?
I need to clip Baby Doll's bridle path soon, too. She has a little Mohawk now.

So why do you need to shave the whiskers around the nose? Is that for showing?

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I give Lostine a longer bridle path, because she has such a beautiful swan neck and tiny throat latch. I like to show it off. Shaving the whiskers is what people do with Arabain show horses. At first I didn't want to do it, because horses use their whiskers like any other animal -- to sense how close they are to things. However, the chance of them getting into a tight spot on my property are slim, and they look so much cleaner when shaven.

Anne said...

LOL about shaving half the mane off by end of summer. I know exactly how that happens. (I did that on an old boyfriend who wanted me to give him a haircut -- couldn't quite even it up in back so I kept getting higher and higher into his scalp.)

Your horses are beautiful.

Love the spreading shavings photo, too. Everything looks so fresh and wonderful.