Monday, January 18, 2010

Adjusting to Monday

And The Mud is Back!

I went to the chiropractor this morning to get evaluated for physical therapy to help strengthen my muscles again. I also got an adjustment, so that meant I really didn't want to ride the horses and undo it.

Afterwards, I did a bit of shopping and with an extra 20% off coupon bought some nice sweaters on sale. If anyone has a Kohl's nearby, you will know what I mean about sales. Most of the sweaters in the store were already 55% off with some even cheaper, so I ended up with four. It's been hard to stay warm this winter, so I will wear them all if the cold weather comes back.

Which leads to the mud. It was again in the upper 40'sF today, with sunshine after the rains of last night. The problem at the moment is that the ground is still frozen underneath, so the top layer is holding the water because it simply cannot drain through the frozen layers beneath.

Too bad, actually, because the freeze dried footing was really nice before the rain came. Now, my arena surface is about 4-5 inches of waterlogged sand, with a good number of puddles all over the place. If the ground were fully thawed, this would all soak in, but I don't have much hope of that. Elsewhere, there is a surface slippery layer.

I put Tucker in his stall for the night to keep him out of the mud, so he will be on restricted turnout again until things dry up a bit. But there is more rain in the forecast, so I am not too hopeful.

Meantime, Donna came over to help me do some more poo picking in the riding arena. I have more than half of it all cleaned up for now--until Tucker is out there again. The area not done is the end with the "lake" in it and I don't ride there most of the time anyhow. Until I get those depressions properly filled in, I only ride that far when it's really dry. That still lives me a riding area larger than a small dressage arena, so it's just fine for most work except possibly some of the upper level exercises that need to room. (a line of tempi changes or the canter or trot zig zag) Since I am not doing upper level stuff at the moment, I don't need the full arena.

I let the Boys go naked again for a few hours. They were really romping around when Donna got here--showing off, I think. Once again, Tucker sweated up in his blanket, so I took it off so he could air dry. Strangely enough, Chance was the only one who took the opportunity to roll.

Which leads to another pondering. I'm not sure why, but some horses have coats that are easier to clean than others. Toby and Tucker are both Thoroughbreds, but Tucker cleans up easily and Toby's coat holds the dirt. This was even true when he was young, so it has something to to with the texture of his natural coat. Chance is, like Toby, a chestnut, but he has an easy coat to clean as well, so it's not a matter of color. It's not length that matters either, as all three Boys have about the same amount of hair.

It used to frustrate me if I had a clinic with Toby in the winter. I would have to spend a lot of time grooming him, even using dry shampoo or hot towels to try to get him clean. And even then, a good slap on his rump would usually raise a cloud of dust. I do not have a place to give a horse a bath in the winter, so I make do.

I've just learned to accept the fact that a clean horse, turnout, and winter just don't make the perfect trio.


  1. sounds like you have a slippery muddy mess on your hands!

    I am finally at a barn that is heated and has indoor wash racks, Fawkes is such a mud monster... I hated winter clinics and shows when we couldn't properly 'wash up'. YOu are right about one thing... you just learn to make do!

    Hope your adjustment leaves you feeling great for at least a couple of days :)

  2. Anonymous9:16 PM

    We don't have mud yet - just compacted snow turning to ice. But I expect we'll have some soon!

    I think different horses do have different coats. Lily's is very silky - it sticks to everything, but she does get very dirty. Norman's coat must be made of Teflon - even though he has lots of white, he always cleaned up beautifully - it's like the dirt didn't stick to him.

    But give me a dark bay every time - covers a lot of sins (except dust, and there's always a washcloth to rub that off with!).

  3. Horse vaccum cleaner, it is what you need. I have seen some in action and WOAW! Fantastic results. I'd loved owning one!

  4. Actually, Muriel, I have a horse vacuum cleaner. While it takes out the worst of the dirt, it still does not get the really fine stuff buried in a winter coat. I used it all the time to clean Toby, and it's a good one, but I would still have residual dust underneath.

  5. We've got the same ground you do I guess. Frozen with mud on top. Hate the slippery mud, I'd rather have the packed snow.

    You're right about the different coats. Out of eight horses in the barn, they all have different coats and a unique set of cleaning problems. The vacuum helps a lot but there's still that layer of underlying dust that only a hose will get. We don't bathe in the winter. They get brushed and vacuumed but we think (maybe incorrectly) that they need all their natural oils to stay warm and keep the worst of the rain,sleet and snow from penetrating to the skin.
    Um, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

  6. I've noticed the same thing with our horses.It's almost impossible to get the imbedded dust/dirt out of Mosco's coat, but dirt stains brush right out of Barrett's coat. Luckily Barrett's mostly white with black patches & Mosco is a dark bay. The mud doesn't sound fun!

  7. I was noticing the same thing about coats yesterday evening as I was trying to de-mud the boys to put their blankets back on. Spider's coat is very short fuzzy, like a colt's, and holds the dirt in. It get's really static-y, too. Vinny and Matilda both have long, silky coats and everything seems to roll right off them. They don't get cold as easily, either.

  8. Some horses are more inclined to get dirty than others, as well. Izzy stays pretty clean, but we have several horses that love to roll in the mud. I do not envy those horses, ever.