Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mac's First Bath!

Nothing like 100-degree heat to convince a horse that a bath is, in the words of Martha Stewart, A Good Thing.

It has been scorching here the past couple of days. On Thursday I just couldn't bring myself to ride so I did something so less heat-exhausting...weed eating. Where is a rolling eyes emoticon when I need one? I vowed that I would ride both Paddy and Mac on Friday and today. And I did.

Mac is coming along in his under saddle work. I switched him to Paddy's bridle (they are sharing right now but Mac needs his own because his nose is so big that Paddy's noseband barely fits him) and he seems to like the Nathe bit. Steering is much improved, stopping is better, there is less chomping of the bit, and he is so much more steady in the mouth. I'm still working on longing him with side reins but Friday and today I didn't and just got on instead. I also rode in my Western saddle instead of my dressage saddle. He seems to like it better and be happier with it so it is fine with me.

After yesterday's ride, I decided it was a good time to convince him that a bath was a good idea. Previously I've tried to work with him and the hose (it isn't the hose, per se, it is the water coming out the end and spraying him that is scary) over the fence while giving another horse a bath, but he wanted no part of it. Today was a different story, though. I started with the nozzle on "mist" and just kind of held it out in front of him but not pointed at him. The wind was in my favor and blew the mist onto his legs and chest. He stood there very wary of the water coming at him but stood steady. Eventually I got closer to him with the mist until I was actually aiming at his chest and legs and that was ok. So I turned the nozzle to "shower" and held it in front of him but without directly spraying him. He kind of nosed it and arched his neck but still stood steady. I took my cue and moved in a bit to actually spray his legs and chest and he let me. So I moved to his shoulder and gently sprayed that and his back. He let me again. I moved to the other side and sprayed there and he let me again! So he had his first bath yesterday and he was a good boy. Gave him another one after this morning's ride and he seemed to appreciate the cool water.

So he now bathes! Woot!

I think that Colin and I will go for a trail ride tomorrow and he'll have his first ride on Mac! I'm interested to see how Colin likes him...everyone else seems to love Mac so I'm pretty sure Colin will, too. Sheesh, my farrier LOVES him and even baby-talks to him! :-)

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