Spring Cleaning

March 18, 2008 at 9:16 am Leave a comment

Saturday may have been the nicest March day on record in Maryland. Temperatures were supposed to be in the sixties, but it felt warmer than that, with sunshine and small flowers popping out everywhere.

Klondike agreed, and being as intelligent as he is, figured out how to get out of his blanket. Hello people! This is a HEAVY coat I’ve got going on here, and this blanket thing is totally unnecessary! Duh!

The blanket was found at the far end of the field, with no broken pieces. Trying to imagine exactly how this adorable and innocent looking little horse managed to do that is beyond me. Maybe he’s like a Disney character, who can sing all the little woodland creatures into helping with household chores and blanket removal.

In any case, I had to agree with him that the turnout blanket was not only unnecessary, but a torture device in such nice weather, and resolved to make him more comfortable via a good grooming. Those who know me know that I love nothing better than to shed horses out. Sheets of hair hitting the floor is a deeply satisfying thing to me, so I was thrilled at the opportunity to tackle that coat.

Only… he’s not really shedding yet. A little bit, enough for about five bright-orange hair waffles, but nothing like I expected. How could a horse with so much hair, on such a nice day, hardly shed? So I curried harder, much to his delight. Klondike treats a good curry much like one might treat going to a spa for a massage. He leaned into that currycomb with an expression of total bliss, like it was the greatest thing in the whole wide world. I discovered his most itchy spots (shoulderblade, edge of the tail, and pretty much his entire neck) and curried until my arm felt numb when I had to stop.

Klondike was not amused by this turn of events, and spend the next few minutes shooting me desperate, begging looks- the looks that horses usually reserve for carrots, except that he just wanted more currying. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a horse enjoy grooming that much. He’s basically a life sized My Little Pony who only wants to play Beauty Parlor.

In comparison to the delight of the grooming session, our actual ride was sort of boring. I know, an out of work racehorse is supposed to be exciting, but Klondike came installed with power steering, cruise control, and brakes. OK, so maybe he’s a little wiggly and needs to learn to go in straight lines a little better, but he needs some fitness first. Several months of sauntering around the fields and eating hay has left him just a little out of shape- about fifteen minutes (mostly walk and trot, a little cantering) of work had him quite sweaty and warm. But because most of the basics are already there, all you really have to do is climb on and enjoy him- which isn’t hard. In fact, it’s only hard not to smile as you go around- he just seems to bring that out in people. 🙂

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