Tuesday, March 20, 2007Welcome Spring
With the coming of spring is St. Patrick’s Day. Usually there is snow on the ground in our part of the country this time of year but we happened to have a reprieve this year with warmer weather and virtually all the snow has melted away which has accounted for some areas being flooded. Along with the snow being absent comes the presence of the bare earth, read that mud. So while I’m happy to see the winter recede I’m not so happy to see the returning of the wet and heavy muck and mire that my fields are becoming.
Since The Bob, my parade horse for the last two year was recently sold I decided to used our two 4-yr old Percheron mares, Lynn and Pearl in the St. Patrick’s Day parade this year. Lynn worked with Bob last year doing 4 parades; she has a level head and has some experience in the bedlam that ensues at parades. I’m grateful that I had Bob to show her the ropes last year. For Pearl this was to be her parade debut. I worked the mares as a team for the last 2 weeks trying to get them back in some type of shape and I have lived as a wet muddy fur ball due to my efforts. I can’t begin to tell you how nauseating it is to curry a 17.2 hand horse that is muddy and shedding out. These drafts really hold the crud on those wide flat backs and with every stroke of the curry more of that filthy hair covered my head and body. I did clip faces, bridle paths and such but hate to so more then that since the weather can turn quite cold at the drop of a hat and there is no way I’m going to deal with blankest out in those fields. The mares did a fine job at the parade. It took the first ¼ of the parade for them to really settle in but the last ½ of the parade was excellent. We even encountered a local “Bumpkin” who thought it would be fun to spook the horses on the parade route and lit off a brick of firecrackers. Thank goodness we take the time to desensitize our horses. I am lucky that I have had a couple years working on the Sheriffs mounted patrol and had knowledge of the type of training they go thru with their horses. It proved to be a valuable asset during the parade. The Friday prior to the parade the mares got a good wash job with warm water. They looked so nice and clean with their show harness on and hoofs polished. I’m sure you know exactly what they did the moment they were turned out after the parade….. of course, they rolled and rolled and rolled. So as I look out today in my pasture I see those mares full of mud like the other horses. They resumed their therapeutic mud bathing routine and are happy to be lady’s of leisure till we begin getting them ready for the show season. They might as well enjoy the down time because in May the real work begins.