Every spring when the temperatures start to rise, all the critters at my house start to shed their winter woolies in preparation for the coming summer hot weather. I let them shed most of their hair naturally, but there is still large amount of spring grooming and clipping that is necessary to remove the first round of extra hair in preparation for show-ready clipping that happens later in the summer before my fair.
I have found it is much easier to do a quick bath and rough clipping in the spring than to wait and remove all the extra hair right before the fair. Due partially to my lack of refined clipping skills, it often becomes necessary for the horses to have an extra month or so to allow for more hair grow so that mane trimming and leg clipping can be revisited at a later date to smooth out the rough patches and even up the hasty haircuts they received in the spring.
My first spring makeover victim this year was my draft mare, Julie. Julie is usually the most compliant with the process. She loves the attention and seems to think she is going to be taken to a horse show — she loves horse shows — after her spring pampering so she is happy to oblige most of the spring grooming tasks.
Julie had to have massive amounts of hair removed from her lower legs and face. She also had to have her mane trimmed up a bit. Before she was clipped, she enjoyed a quick bath.
Julie enjoyed her makeover and her appearance improved dramatically afterward, even if she could still use some evening out of hair length on her legs and mane. Despite the fact that she enjoyed the process, Julie didn’t stay very clean for long. Maybe she is hoping for more attention and another bath?
Now that Julie is ready for summer, my miniature horses are next on list. It is always a colorful experience when they receive their spring makeovers. Some of the boys resist the idea of baths. Others like enjoy the body clipping (mine don’t readily shed their body hair on their own), but most don’t like to have their lower legs clipped. I always end up covered with hair, sweat and usually lose my patience during the process. Hopefully this year will go a little better.
If you have any spring livestock makeover stories or photos of your own, be sure and share them with me.