Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mud baths

Yesterday all three horses decided it would be a fantastic time to roll around in the mud. More than once. The thick, sticky, nasty mud that stuck to them like a second skin. I looked out and I no longer have a gray, a bay and an appaloosa...I have three mud-colored horses. You can't even see Chief's spots any more! The only part of Gabe that is still gray is the front of his face and I'm sure it's only gray because he couldn't figure out how to cover that part of him in muck. Even his forelock is matted in a muddy sheath!

Gabe now has dreadlocks and his tail resembles a baseball bat, it's so coated in mud. I tried grooming him, but it was an effort of futility. The more I groomed, the angrier he got because each stroke of the curry pulled his long, winter hair and I'm sure it HURT! There is no way I can get that caked-on mud off without a bath, and, unfortunately, I don't have a heated wash stall to do that job.

I don't know what the heck I'm going to do to get that mud off. I can't just leave it there, that would make me a horrible horse mommy! And I can't wash it off, it's too cold. Why, oh why, can't I have fastidious horses who refuse to slog around in the mire like pigs? Instead, I have a herd of horses who all believe they are kin to hogs.

And we have more rain on the way. Joy.

There are some days when I would give my right arm for a barn with roomy stalls and a heated wash is one of those days!

Oh, the warm days of spring, how I long for you.


  1. That's it, I'm officially in love with your muddy horses.

    At first I'm like, okay, I've had horses in Maryland before, I know a little bit about mud.

    And then I'm like, damn, she talks about mud a lot.

    And then I see the pictures a few posts down and I realize, no, she really does have the muddiest horses on the planet.

    Great stuff!

    I'm linking you at

    and at

    Because I'm a sucker for the mud.


  2. Awww...they putthat mud there for a reason, they won't get cold and the rain will soon wash it off for you ;)

  3. Union Square...thank you for the links and thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you posted the retireracehorse blog...definitely stuff I can use and very well written. I'm a little bit fixated on mud this time of year because it's such a neverending battle here. No matter how much gravel/stone dust we put down every spring, it always seems to be all for naught by the time the winter/spring mud rolls around.

    If I have daylight when I get home from work today, I plan on taking pictures of the nasty beasts. You will be shocked at the amount of mud they can put on their bodies in ONE DAY!

    Kelly and Jooles...I'm afraid if they decide to stand in the rain instead of seeking shelter in the run-ins I will get home to find the mud has turned to plaster only removable by a jackhammer!

  4. We don't have such a problem with mud here right now, but come spring time when the five feet of standing snow melts all over Vermont, we'll have trouble. One thing I know that works, but is labor intensive (think: at least 2 hours per horse, depending on how muddy they are) is the sponge & dry method I use. Get a few buckets of hotish water, sponge the horses down with it until the mud is really wet, then curry it off. When the horse is mostly mud free, & what is left can be brushed or curried off, then sacrifice a big towel & use that to dry said horse off, then have them stand under their cooler sheet for awhile until dry :)
    Hope this works for you!

  5. Wow, Jame is really devoted to a clean horse! I have found that if you ignore the really thick sticky mud for 24-48 hours, it will break up into normal mud clods and you can just curry it out.

    I HATE muddy tails. Even if you ignore them the clods don't come out on their own. Good luck :(

  6. Lol, I like ridable & workable horses. Mud season in Vermont lasts from mid March to late May...longer if there is a late season snow storm. When there's work to be done with our two draft horses, we can't always wait for the mud to fall off!