However, this weekend the weather decided to take an upswing. Yesterday we had temperatures in the high 20's. This morning it was 25 degrees at 7 a.m. I decided that it was a good day to bathe the four legged critters on the farm.
Let me back up a bit. About a month ago there was a brief spate of warm weather. One day it occurred to me that it was the 1 year anniversary of Steele taking ownership of me. I decided to celebrate by bathing him. As you may recall he has a love of mud. http://journeywithadancinghorse.blogspot.ca/2013/03/march-mud-madness.html . Everytime I gave him a pat I was enveloped in a cloud of dust. So I decided that he needed a good cleaning. He was not impressed. I managed to get the deed done but it was dicey. After I saw him head out to the field and roll. We all know that he loves to roll but if I was to describe his attitude during this roll I would have to use the phrase 'grim determination'. when he got up and shook off the dust he gave me a look that spoke volumes. I swear he stuck out his tongue.
So today I was a bit more prepared. I gathered all the necessary items- bucket, shampoo, hose, scraper etc. Irish was first. He's used to being bathed and stands there trying to drink the water from the hose. On hot days he quite enjoys it. Steele watched in horror from the paddock. He then began to run up and down.
"run Irish run before she turns the hose on again!" Irish however was stoic and allowed me to finish without incident while he munched on the grass. I can even unclip the lead line while I do his tail.
|I love how he gleams after a bath. This is why his show name was "Irish Gold"|
Steele was next. He hung back as I led him out of the barn. "no! I don't want a bath! I'm perfectly clean from the rain last week"
I know that Irish was not that keen on bathing when I first got him. I know to lead up to the hosing off gradually and just be matter of fact about it all. After some dancing around and realizing that he couldn't escape he stopped and let me wet him thoroughly. It was then time for the scrubbing. At first he was unsure but then began to really enjoy it. I made sure to get his itchy places. Then it was time to rinse. Again some dancing around but I was firm. My expectations are that he will stand still and let me hose him off.
"fine! get it over with"
What's interesting is that as he sheds out, he's losing a lot of his gray hair and is darker then he was in the winter. Look:
|I love how shiny horses are after a bath|
|his head looks big here because of how close he was to the lens. note the photo bomber|
|he and d'Arcy have a complicated relationship. If he thinks that d'Arcy is|
too annoying he will chase him out of the paddock.
Then it was the dogs turn. I did d'Arcy first. I love how dogs who adore getting wet in puddles and lakes hate being bathed. It's hilarious- if I snap a lead on d'Arcy and drop it he will stay still. If he's not on a lead then he will leave. Then Belle had her go. She's my rescue and was originally terrified of being bathed. Now she will stand stoically with a 'if you must do this then I will endure" expression with occassional poignant glances and a lick now and then.
But don't they look lovely:
|Belle on the left and d'Arcy on the right|
After all of this cleaning I looked less then beauteous but a long shower and I was presentable again!