Saturday, September 12, 2009

Region 5 Championships.......a Little Grooming......

Part 1

Dan arrived soon after I'd discovered that Rhet had totally renovated his stall. Even though Dan has spent a goodly amount of time as a show manager too, he couldn't help but chuckle at the damage Rhet had done. Knowing this colt up close and personal probably explained a lot he'd been wondering about over the years with those other trashed stalls. At least now we could both understand what motivates a horse to do such damage.

Rhet on the other hand was thinking all the white stuff littered around his stall was great fun. He was picking up pieces in his mouth and throwing them in the air. When that game go boring he began stomping on the Styrofoam pieces like they were tiddly winks flipping them around. The farther a piece flew the more tickled Rhet was.

I must admit I had to give this colt credit for his creativity. But I was worried about him swallowing some of this stuff and plugging his intestines up. I know that shipping pellets are considered dangerous to wildlife for just that reason so it was time to get Rhet out of there and onto the business of getting him groomed.

The wash racks in the permanent barns at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe are little cubicles made of cinder block. Knowing Rhet's proclivity for throwing himself into walls, I was concerned about working on the colt there.

The light was horrible in Rhet's now mutilated stall and I needed somewhere enclosed to clip the colt. There was no way that Rhet was going to stand quietly to be clipped out in the open or in an aisle way. That left us with those darn wash stalls as our only option.

At the very sound of the clippers being turned on Rhet threw his head up into the air and headed for the corner. Dan, however, has had lots of practice with this colt's antics and he was ready for him. Before Rhet knew what hit him, Dan had grabbed the end of the colt's nose while staring him in the eye and ordering him to "Quit!" Believe me when Dan said "Quit!" Rhet did!

I might mention here that Dan is not a little guy. He's over six feet tall and I'll be kind and not guess his weight.........suffice it to say........Dan's a big man. Rhet must have had immediate flashbacks to being a baby because he did NOT fight Dan the way he fights me. It was clear I had the right man for the job getting this horse clipped....................and bathed.

Not that we didn't have our issues. Rhet tried every chance he got to escape but Dan was always ready for him. He had this quiet way of warning the colt or he'd just plain muscle him into compliance. All I can say it was effective. We got it done.........the clipping that it.

The bathing was a little bit different. Rhet danced around a lot like he'd never felt colt water before when I think the truth is he's never had it warm. None the less, the colt didn't want to hold still and wet it was harder for Dan to grab his nose. Still we got through it without Rhet getting scarred up on those cinder block walls.

Somewhere in the middle of our grooming session, Richard, Angie, Dave and Lindsay finally arrived. So there was an audience to witness all of Rhet's antics. Sometimes I wonder if that doesn't just give him reason to "perform."

When the bathing was finished it was on to rasping the colt's feet. His days of digging to China had taken there toll. Richard looked at them and shook his head. He had his work cut out for him.

Of course, being in different surroundings Rhet didn't think having his feet touched, let alone held, was a good idea. Again the dancing began. Richard did some dancing of his own trying not to be stomped on. By the time Rhet's feet were looking nice an round again, Richard and I were both dripping in sweat. Now it was time to find a clean empty stall to put the colt into so he could dry.

I'd been offered the use of a couple of stalls in different locations. Deciding which one would be best for Rhet was kind of a crap shoot. I finally opted for the one on the outside of a permanent barn just because it was cooler.

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

A Little Waiting

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  1. thank goodness your help arrived! I hope it all went well

  2. I'm dancing around my stall in anticipation of this coming class. Walls may get torn up.

  3. Hmmm... you make it sound like Dan weighs in between 2 and 300 lbs... which is a good thing, when it comes to convincing the yearling colt Rhet to mind better lol. Which my dad, he's like, 6 ft tall and 260... though I would say a good 40 of that is for surely fat lol... and even if my dad weighged 220, he'd still be a "big guy" to me... most likely because I am 120 lbs lol... I think some big guys can be the greatest, they can be intimidating when need be, yet gentle giants. I bet that describes Dan? If so, in my opinion, that makes Dan a great guy lol.