Coming in from my ride last night with a damp horse and dropping temperatures, I was thinking that this week is when they get clipped. How convenient for this video to show up in my Facebook feed, just in time for some tips! Will need to try clipping Freedom and Zelda simultaneously . . .
The day I learned how to do button braids with rubber bands I threw away my braiding kit. This is so much easier — both to braid and to take out! And I love the way they look.
It’s shedding season. An unbelievable amount of hair is coming off both of my horses and I need help.
Last fall the folks at SleekEZ sent me a set of three of their grooming tools for me to review. Of course, last fall there was no real hair to remove. I used the tools occasionally to remove mud — they are very effective of that.
And I used the smallest one on my cats. They all seem pretty happy with it, and it has reduced the amount of errant cat hairs in the house. My short haired cat needs regular grooming and he tolerates it pretty well.
But it really comes into its own when used on the horses.
The SleekEZ tool is pretty simple. It’s essentially a fine hacksaw blade set into a wooden handle. But sometimes simple is good. The tools are very easy to hold which makes it easy to make broad sweeping strokes, removing large quantities of hair. It’s better than the traditional shedding blade and the long length gets more hair than the Furminator that I bought a few years ago. In the past I’ve used a Slick ‘n Easy grooming block (make sure, if you Google it, that you don’t spell it differently!) and that works well but the block breaks if you drop it and it’s a bit harder to clean the hair off the stone.
I’ve been using it on both horses and even Freedom, who is a sensitive red head, hasn’t had any problems with it. The grooming tool removes a ridiculous amount of hair — the birds in the neighborhood are going to have very soft nests this year.
So, this product gets a thumbs up from me.
Freedom’s a funny horse. He doesn’t really like being touched or groomed. He can put the fear of God into his massage therapist and don’t even think about sticking an acupuncture needle into him.
But he loves getting clipped.
This afternoon, after three days of temperatures in the high 60s, I decided to clip him. I parked him in the back paddock. He doesn’t need to be tied and I like to clip outside where the light is better and the hair blows away. He doesn’t even need hay. It’s one of the only times that he stands absolutely still.
I think the clippers tickle him because he will reach around and nudge me when I get to certain spots. My philosophy is always to start with just a low trace clip and then take more. Freedom is patient and when I stop, he starts to yawn, lick and chew. Exactly what I would hope to see after a massage.
It’s hard to imaging putting mascara on a pony, even if it is for the Model Class at Devon. But it looks like this pony is an old hand at the application of cosmetics. It turns out that dolling your horse up for show is pretty common on the Arabian circuit, where mascara and eye shadow are used to make the horses’ eyes look larger . . . and their muzzles look smaller.
Just don’t tell Zelda. She’ll probably want me to gussy her up!
Usually by the first week of April, I’ve already clipped my horses — eliminating that annoying shedding out period — they have shoes on, and I’m planning my first hunt.
This year, I’m behind. My horses are still hairy yaks and they are still barefoot.
Just as well! Because we had about 4 inches of snow yesterday. They were glad of their warm coats and I was glad the snow wasn’t balling up in their shoes. Sometimes it’s better to procrastinate.