Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Prince Gets a Shower

The Arabian Prince finally reached the point where he really needed a bath a couple of weeks before I decided to give it a try on Saturday. Naturally, I was as wet as he was when it was all over, and he was shaking like he'd come within an inch of his life of dying--or as if I had washed him when it was 34 degrees outside. The boy hates, hates, hates water unless it's meant to drink.

He also doesn't do well in cross-ties, but that's all we've got for the wash area. I'm not supposed to wash him on the dirt walks--we are supposed to stay on the cement, which is quite slippery. He did try to sit back at one point and did go up, but he couldn't get loose and quickly realized he might get hurt, so he stopped. I won't say he settled in, because that would be an over-optimistic description of things, but at least he didn't do anything stupid.

I know Ashley's been spraying him off after Gayle works with him, but it has been so hot that he almost always has a few chevrons of sweat on his chest. His white socks have gotten splashed by urine since his pee hole is out on the DG instead of a pile of shavings (they just blow away outside, and, fortunately, he won't urinate inside his stall where the shavings are. If he'd just poop outside all the time as well, he'd have a nice clean bed of shavings to sleep on every day.)

I like to use the Rio Vista grooming products. I use the HiO Silver to bring out the white in his mane, tail, and socks and I use the shampoo for chestnut colored horses for the rest. It gives him an amazing, iridescent shine when he dries. Positively blinding in the sun. I also use the Rio Vista conditioner and the detangling shine spray. It makes for one very pretty boy when all is done, but it sometimes takes a few days for him to forgive me.

He looked very pretty when it was all over, and he went prancing past his neighbors' stalls in his "look at me" trot. He got to spend the rest of the weekend recovering in his fan-cooled stall, and was treated with a bucket of carrots and apples for his troubles.

A full-blown bath is a twice or three times a year experience, but Gayle has now decreed he gets sprayed off every time he is ridden. He tolerates the water better the more he is exposed to it (rather like his feelings about his winter blanket), but it will never be a joy in his life. Foolish horse.

Now we're in another heat wave. It hit 107 in Chatsworth yesterday afternoon, so we canceled my lesson. Today, it promises to be even hotter. Welcome to the San Fernando Valley in the summer. Ace, get your galoshes on.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Poor Ace, what a mean mom giving him a bath to clean him and cool him off. Seriously, you would think they would like it, instead of thinking it's a form of torture. Most all of ours like it, they are so used to it from going to shows(except Donnie). I like the Rio Vista products too, when I had Erik(gray) we used Quicksilver and all his white looked great. You should have taken a picture so we could all see the brilliant shine! Ace sounds like a real character. You really are having some mean weather temps out there it was 72 and beautiful here today. I'm sure soon enough it will get too humid to stand though.

M. C. Valada said...
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M. C. Valada said...

I truly meant to photograph Ace, but I forgot. I've always got a camera with me. My Nikon Coolpix S1 may have too much shutter lag but it takes up no space in my purse.

As for the weather, our new record was Thursday's 109. I missed the 119 that happened two years ago in July because we were in San Diego. The paint horse show that was going on at the college that day was pretty much ruined because of the heat.

I had worked at a show May of the same year and the judge I was scribing for in the trail class ring and I nearly melted away in 100+ heat with no shade.