Friday, January 29, 2010

Fur, feet and frozen fun!

I am a big cheater. A big, ole, lazy cheater.

After spending nearly four hours to de-mud Gabe and Chief (my husband de-mudded his own mare and it took him well over an hour!), I threw in the towel. Those beasts got blankets. Not because they are cold. Not because I feel sorry for them out there in the frigid breeze but because that was a LOT of work and I don't want to do it again any time soon! I'd much rather haul a load of muddified blankets down to the laundromat than ever have to chisel my horses free from their mud cocoons again. Miserable. Absolutely miserable.

Some places have sandy mud that dries loose and you can just knock it off fairly easily with some good old elbow grease. Our mud is mostly clay and when it dries, it dries HARD. Calypso still has some huge chunks in her mane that look like gigantic pony beads and rattle when she shakes her head. I can't get them out without shredding her mane. If I can't get them out when it warms up and I can effectively use water, she may end up getting roached. Poor Gabe's flanks look like he has a bad case of mange. The mud was so firmly adhered to those long hairs on his extra sensitive flanks that the only way I could get them off was by cutting them off. I even tried softening them up with a damp, hot towel and was not successful. It was so cold the damp towel was soon a crunchy ice cube. *sigh* Winter horse keeping SUCKS.

The farrier came out today. I should have canceled the appointment and rescheduled. It's about 10 degrees out, before the wind chill and it's WINDY, so standing out there with the farrier was a miserable experience.

The horses probably could have gone a couple more weeks because he didn't take off much hoof. Just evened them out and re-set Calypso's shoes. Their hooves just haven't been growing much in the cold. I am happy to announce, however, that although we have had absolutely HORRENDOUS mud, none of the beasts have thrush or white line or anything else funky going on. Their hooves are hard and healthy. Gabe, however, did manage to slice open a bit of his heel bulb this morning, most likely on one of the hard, frozen "mud mountains" out in their paddocks. It's not bad, but it is the first time he's done that. I prefer the ground to be frozen over sticky and muddy, but dang, I wish I could convince the horses to just stand still while it's muddy instead of making huge hoof pits all over the paddock just before it freezes.

Hurry up spring! I'm freaking COLD!


  1. Yuk! We are lucky in that we have pretty sandy soil, so it does brush out well. I have had horses in GA Red Clay - just as bad as what you are describing! Plus, little grey ponies = little red ponies in that crap! I have had luck spraying some Mane 'N Tail conditioner (it comes in a spray bottle) - doesn't do much once they are already dirty, but does help keep the mud from "clotting and sticking" so bad.

  2. Thanks for the article about colic, which I have had plenty of experience with since October.

    We have sandy soil, which is easy to brush out, but it does mean we can't be lax about Sand Clear once a month. It's such an inexpensive routine that can potentially save a LOT of money down the line.

    And I hope you didn't put money on my going back out in the weather to blanket Poco, because I didn't. I knew he'd be fine in the man cave. He was more than willing to have me blanket him yesterday when I got home. The wind was bitter and he practically jumped inside that blanket.

    C'mon, Spring!

  3. Pony Girl...once I have the chance to give the ponies baths they will get covered with Mane 'n Tail conditioner! I'd never thought to use it anywhere other than the manes and tails!

    Leah...when I managed a barn in Florida it was very, very, very sandy. All the horses got dosed with psyllium (usually generic metamucil) weekly to keep things clear. We also had to do the "sand test" on each horse's manure weekly. Talk about a nasty chore! ROFL!

  4. Oops... just made a comment on the latest post about it being harder for you to clean the ponies for the non-blanketing. YOU gave in and, no foul or harm Jenn! I have "horse-elbow" from the brushing of the sticking mudd we have. To keep working at my job-job..gotta preserve the hands arms and elbows!