Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Open House - Saturday Perparations

Part 1

Saturday morning I was up at 6 getting the Arabian horses fed. Then I putzed around the yard and barn doing last minute touches while waiting for the horses to finish their breakfast.I had an open house that I wanted to attend that afternoon, so it was important that I get everything I could wrapped up before noon.

This other open house was that of my friends, Randy and Eric, of Eros Arabian & Hackney Horses. They have always been supportive of me and my open house by not only attending but letting their trainer help with the horses.

I have tried to be supportive of them as well even though it would make things a bit tight here in getting stuff done. I had worked all week to be ahead enough so that I could slip out those few hours. Not only would I get to take a break before the big day, but I'd be able to take flyers and talk to people about my open house as well. All those things were definitely a plus.

But as the morning unfolded, I heard nothing from Rachel. I began to suspect that things were again running behind for her. That meant I was on my own with all of those baths. It was a good thing for me that Jean had been there on Friday to help with the horses that needed to be held or I'd have been up a creek without a paddle.

There was no way I was making it to the open house at Eros. There was just too much work to do and I didn't want to be bathing horses after dark. If I didn't get to the broodmares, that would just have to do. The horses on the sales list were my priority.

I washed so many horses tied to the fence post that the ground underneath the grass turned to mush. The horses were now standing on collapsing ground with the grass pushing up over their coronet bands making it a bit hard to clean hooves so that was another expectation I just had to let go.

It was after 1 o'clock before I even heard from Rachel. She still needed to clean stalls and go home before her dad could bring her to my farm. I'd be lucky if I saw her by 3 o'clock. She was bringing a couple of friends along but her mother ended up working a double route so it would be hours before we saw her.

By the time that Rachel and her friends did arrive, I had all of the horses we were showing bathed except for Scarlet and her mother. I still wanted that pair to be the last so hopefully they could stay clean until the morning stall cleaning.

Instead I had them start on bathing the broodmares. Even though they were living outside and would probably roll the first chance they got, I wanted those mares to get their only bath of the season. Even if they did roll, they would look better than they did now.

Rachel and her friends managed to go through the baths of the broodmares pretty quick. Then it was time to bathe the little princess, MizScarlet. No one was looking forward to a session with the willful Scarlet.

We took the mare and foal into the paddock outside their stall for their baths. Both horses seemed to know instinctively that something was up and neither wanted to enter the small enclosure. We bathed the mare first.

I wanted to use the water bouncing off the mare to help desensitize the filly to the spray of water. Poor Scarlet wasn't sure whether she wanted to stay near her mother or not with that cold water getting her wet. She finally opted for the far end of the paddock so I made sure when I rinsed the mare that the water was at an angle that would still get Scarlet wet.

When we did finally begin bathing Scarlet. I started off with just little bursts of water then pulling the hose away. Before long, Scarlet had it figured out and was doing pretty well. She wasn't sure what she thought about getting her face washed or the sight of soap suds on the ground but for her very first bath Scarlet did great. She tried to escape a couple of times and didn't stand still all the time, but, heck, some of her older siblings hadn't done much better than her. In my book, Scarlet was a star and Colleen again had misjudged the filly.

We actually got Scarlet and her mother finished just before the sun went down. I still had to pick up the three horses that were over at the other barn but that wasn't going to happen that night because my running lights still were not fixed. Dave was having problems isolating the problem so the transport would have to wait until morning.

Other than that I thought I was in pretty good shape until I discovered that the 6 horses with Rachel didn't have their ears clipped. We'd had a missed communication about them being done by Rachel. We'd decided to not have Rachel do them with her big clippers but I'd intended for her to do them with my little ear clippers. She thought I planned to clip them myself. In any case, Sunday morning there were 3 horses that needed to be moved and 6 that needed their ears clipped plus all our normal Sunday morning pre-event stuff. Now, I was beginning to sweat.

To be continued...............

Sunday Morning

My guess is the action in this picture is what many of these horses thought about getting bathed.

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  1. I'm not saying much because I know how the day went - got pics to prove it lol.

    But... I only have two horses here that like baths. For the rest, it's rodeo time, the people involved end up getting baths as well. I'm told they get better about it the more baths they have.... I'm still waiting for that to happen though. :)

  2. HA! Looks like Rhapsody is thinking, "I'm outa here!"

  3. Wow MiKael, sounds horrendous and busy, kinda what my weekend is going to be like shooting a horse show, at the same time showing one horse, dealing with Larry and the rain we are expecting all weekend which should mean that my show will be indoors, my pet hate for shooting photos.

    Thinking about you, take care.