Who remembers the Frankie Avalon song Beauty School Dropout from the movie Grease? If you Google the song name, you can find a video of it on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lcDfvcaHQw). Well that song is now stuck in my brain as I think about my horse grooming skills. I should never quit my day job to be a professional groom. I would be very poor.
Here are the boys before beauty school. As you can see, Ike’s mane got a bit long over the winter. Cigar’s mane has always been on the wild and shaggy side. He never could stand for me to pull it and tame it into submission (much like his personality). So poor Ike was the guinea pig for my mane taming skills. As an aside, I must say that until I saw this photo of the boys together, I never realized how much bigger Ike is than Cigar.
I decided to start off with the easy stuff before diving into the mane pulling/thinning. I trimmed goat hairs, shaved whiskers, trimmed the bridle path, curried his coat, trimmed fetlocks, conditioned and banged Ike’s tail, picked hooves, and finally could stall no longer. I started slowly since I wasn’t sure how Ike would react to the pulling. The more I combed and pulled, the more relaxed he became. For full disclosure, I will admit it took me over an hour to get to a stopping point. [don’t quit the day job!] Ike was a trooper and was rewarded with oats and peppermints. So here is where we ended up….and yes, it did get a bit too short close to his withers and trying to control the cowlick up near his poll is an ongoing battle.
The photo came out a bit blurry – we will call it the Monet effect. I will leave the mane alone for a few days and reassess. Thank goodness the mane will be in braids at the show to hide the mistakes!
We did also practice trailer loading after beauty school. Ike walked on and backed off like a star. Head was down the whole time, so there were no new dents added to the trailer today.
We ride again tomorrow. Two weeks to go.