Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Spring cleaning

By the end of show season each year, I can go from not even considering going anywhere to out the door with show turnout in well under twenty mins.  Slightly longer if I have to braid, but generally fast.  Everything is clean, organized and ready.  And that includes the horse.

Right now however...

Oh dear.

So Lexi's been in work for a couple weeks now.  I fear it's going to take forever and a day to get her fit *sigh*, but at least she's working consistently, has three gaits (usually), and is navigating from one side of a jump to the other (we won't give it the lofty title of "jumping" quite yet).  All good.

She also more closely resembles a lama having a bad hair day then a fancy grey TBX.  'Sok - realistically won't  be showing till June at least; lots of time for her to shed out, build some muscle, have a bath or two and just generally look like a horse.
Sadly I'm not even exaggerating...
Oh and our arena's so dusty that every piece of tack I own has a layer of filth on it I suspect may need an ice pick to break through.  But this is what spring's about right?  Eventually the sun comes out and the mud dries up and we can clean them (and us!) up, and the world is good again.  Perfect.

Except spring has yet to...  well... spring.  Ugh.   And on Sunday I randomly decided to enter a clinic.  On Wednesday.  Not too worried about the fitness level as focus is on details of rider position, so she mostly just needs to be there.  But turnout...

Right, remember that twenty-minute turn around time?   It doesn't exist at the start of the season.  Especially at the start of the season after a move.   Oh dear.

So I went to the barn early today.  Rode my horse, using the logic that a tired horse is more likely to stand patiently than a fresh one.  Okay, step one, tired horse in cross-ties.  Now, priorities...

About that...   Please refer back to the above picture.   Where does one even start?

Well let's see the challenges:
- every time I groom this horse I take off a small pony in shedding hair
- her mane...   Oh dear, I don't think I should even mention the mane...  Long flowingness yes...  but flowing in all directions in copious amounts.  And short little stubby pieces for good luck.  On the plus side -- she's so finicky about her mane (wait, the plus side is coming!) that I actually deal with it every day so she gets used to it.  This is almost working.  It does not, however, mean that the mane is neatly pulled, braidable, or even able to get a comb through.
- her tail, of the long flowing variety that every little girl dreams of, has seen neither brush nor shampoo in months.
- all the body parts that are traditionally trimmed....  Umm yeah - can't even see them.
- she closely resembles the above photo in colour.  Except, unlike the lama, Lexi is traditionally grey.
What she could potentially look like ;)
Where would you start?   Well let's go with what's going to make the biggest difference.  It's too cold for a bath, so elbow grease will have to do what it can for the colour.   And not too bad...  There are a few marks that aren't quite presentable, but at least the average person could make a stab at guessing what colour she's supposed to be.

Clipping?   Right.  Not going to happen.  My horse has yet to meet clippers and isn't big on new experiences.  I have neither the time nor the patience for that game today.  And my clippers need to be replaced.  I also don't want to trim around her fetlocks as we're entering mud season so I'd prefer she have at least some protection.  So, shaggy it is.

The tail...  Hmmmmm potential there.   Except it's currently one long dreadlock.  Ugh.  Okay.

So a few years ago I rented an apartment that had previously been owned for several years by a smoker.  I spent the first few weeks cleaning the walls.  Gross yellow stuff poured down the walls seemingly endlessly.  Cleaning Lexi's tail was worse.

But after several shampoos (thanks to Lilly for *finding* said shampoo!), multiple buckets of water, some conditioner, and a whole lot of patience, we had a barbie-doll tail again :)   Woohoo!

Okay, progress...  Now about that mane...   Ummmm nope.  Sorry.  So I threw the worlds worst braids in and deemed it done.  Will pick up some hairspray tonight or tomorrow and do what needs to be done ;)

Scissors trimmed up her oh-so-attractive beard and the lama was transformed into something that vaguely resembles a horse.

Next up - tack.  That'll take an hour or two, but shouldn't be too complicated ;)   Shoveling out the trailer otoh...

hahaha well we'll make it there tomorrow.  Unfit, shaggy, sort-of broke...  But with a really great tail.  That's gotta count for something, right?  ;)

Wish us luck!


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