Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How to NOT clip your horses: a tutorial

With temperatures soaring into the mid-70s this week and lows not any lower than the mid-40s for the long-range forecast, I decided to do the horsebeasts a favor and clip them. It seemed like the kind thing to do as they've still got yak coats! ...except of course, any time I have a sure plan, even if that plan is feeding horses and playing hair dresser, it goes awry.

Step 1: Arrive at barn. Notice horses are in far field across creek. Scowl and mutter under your breath and trudge across to get them - of course soaking feet and boots in process. Feel a little better about your cold wet feet when both horses look at you immediately and your usually-aloof mare nickers and rushes to you to beat your gelding.

Step 2: Take horses back to barn and knock the worst of the mud off the to-be-clipped area with a stiff brush. (Yes, I have the muddiest horses right now. No, I really don't care. I'd be fighting a very uphill battle if I wished them to be clean. They're turned out on 30 acres of pasture that changes with the weather. They're muddy. They're happy. I'm happy.)

Step 3: Use the shop vac to blast the dust off of the to-be-clipped area. (Something like the below video from a different day.)

Step 4: Rinse and wash the to-be-clipped area and then use a scraper to siphon as much water as possible off.

Step 5: Take a towel to the area and massage vigorously to further dry and remove water.

Step 6: Round 2 with the blower on both horses to really blast the water off.

Step 7: Drink an alcoholic beverage and give the ponies their "beverage" (grain) because that was a lot of things to happen in an hour's time.

Mud season is the ugliest season
"More food, human."

Step 8: Get clippers from car, check that batteries and everything are in order and running. Add a teensy drop of oil to metal workings remembering that it's been nearly a year since the clippers were last used.

Step 9: Attempt to begin clipping horse #1 (the priority because her coat is dark in color and shows ZERO signs of shedding whereas your other light colored horse has begun to shed a little) only to find that YOUR FUCKING CLIPPER BLADE IS TOO DULL TO DO A DAMN THING.

Step 10: Deny this fact. Fart around with the clippers trying to achieve success. Watch mare give the horse equivalent of rolled eyes of exasperation as she patiently waits for reality to sink in for the stupid human.

Step 11: Sigh. Turn out horses. Vow to buy another blade and try again in a day or two.

Step 12: Curse your horses who, until this time, have never gone out and rolled immediately unless they had been under saddle for a length of time that resulted in sweating.


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