Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pony Makeover!

Today is the fifth day I have been unable to ride my pony... I can just see the muscle tone slipping away. The rain is supposed to continue, so there's no chance this arena will dry out anytime soon.

Soggy...
Right after I snapped this picture, it starting pouring rain again, and it rained for the next 3 hours. I'm so sick of this rain! I could board at a farm with an indoor for about $600 per month, and that's starting to sound quite nice right about now. I'd even take a covered arena! I just want to ride!

The show on Saturday might be postponed until Sunday. If that happens, I won't be able to go because I'll be working. They'll make the announcement at 6:30pm on Friday evening, so until I hear otherwise, I'm going to plan on going.

Since I couldn't ride today, I figured it would be a good time to get Lilly clipped. I like to clip a few days before the show in case I screw things up and it needs time to "grow out" a bit before the show. This is also the first clip of the season, so there's always a lot more hair to remove and things get a little dicey. I came prepared with a fresh set of clipper blades, though, and that always helps.

I must say, I am so thankful for the time I put into clipper training when Lilly was a baby. Even though she might not enjoy the clippers, she tolerates them completely. I can clip her from muzzle to tail and she stands without complaint, even when I have to go rooting around in her ears to get all those long hairs. I've never even had to use a twitch! She's SO good!

So I started with her face and ears, then moved on to her bridle path. Once that was done, I looked at her mane and started wondering what the heck I was going to do with it. It's manageable near her withers and up close to her bridle path, but right in the middle, it gets really thick. It's impossible to get nice bands for the show with all that mane. She also has that goofy cowlick.

The nightmare...
I've tried a couple different techniques to thin it, but none of them work very well. They're similar to highlights, and why I stopped getting them in my hair: you can't get the same hairs every time! So the hairs I thin last month grow in this month and I end up with a bunch of inch long hairs that stick up all over and ruin my desperate attempt at banding. Pulling, SoloCombs, thinning shears, Nair... it's all the same. The hair grows back!

It got me thinking about a horse I used to show. He had the thickest mane I had ever seen, and he was impossible to band! You can see my quality band jobs in these two pictures.

Yikes...
I did the best I could...
And since I don't have much else to blog about, let me take a time out and tell you a little about Jack. He was a lease horse from a friend because my Paint gelding wasn't old enough to ride yet. He came straight out of the pasture, with hardly any training. We kept him at our house and I showed him 4-H for a number of years. He wasn't registered and we had no idea what his breeding was, but he was the best horse ever. I did everything with him! Western pleasure, reining (the first picture is after our reining class), driving, hunt seat, hunter hack, dressage, saddle seat, bareback, and even games. Check us out!

Turnin' and burnin'!
He was so much fun to show and came with zero drama. He wasn't a cuddly, snuggley type horse... he was pleasant to be around, and he tolerated my hugs and kisses, but he wasn't affectionate. He was all business, and he was good at business. He didn't really excel in one particular area, but he was pretty darn good at everything we tried. Well, everything except halter. LOL We never did very well in halter. I won quite a few trophies, countless ribbons, and even some championships. We tried to buy him, but our friend wouldn't sell. She said we could use him as long as we wanted, but when we were done she wanted him back.

Ahh, those were the days!

But back to Lilly's mane... what I ended up doing with Jack's mane is what I decided to do with Lilly's mane today. Essentially, I shaved half of it off! I found the thickest parts of her mane, parted it down the middle, and shaved off the bottom half.

Bye-bye thick mane!
It makes her mane half as thick and way easier to band. The best part is that it'll be really easy for me to keep this area shaved all summer. I'll be able to see the growth coming back in and shave it back off again. You can't even tell half of her mane is missing!

Tada!
After shaving her mane and shortening it up a bit, I used the clippers on her legs. She was quite hairy, so I'll probably have to touch them up again before Saturday, but for now, she's all ready!

Look at all that hair!
Now if only the weather would cooperate...

16 comments:

  1. Oh yes. Flat brimmed hat, tux shirt, brocade vest, floppy bow tie. Good old 1996. Can't wait to see how much we love our 2012 outfits in 15 years!

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  2. I knew you would appreciate my outfits, SillyPony!! I was STYLING!! If the banner wasn't behind me, I would have asked you to guess the year! LOL

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  3. I think I had that vest you're wearing, or something very much like it. Was there gold lame' involved? Mine had gold lame'. Your driving outfit is also ... interesting? ;)

    Oh, and Lilly looks spiff!

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    1. My mom actually made most of my show clothes for me, including the one I'm wearing here. I still have a lot of the vests. They're super out of fashion, but I can't bring myself to get rid of them.

      We always showed in our english stuff for the driving classes. :)

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  4. She must be so relieved to have lost all that hair now that it's been so hot. My poor horses are just standing around sweating.

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    1. She still has a lot of goat hair, but I'm sure she feels a bit better now than she did before. I can't wait until she's all shed out because her color is gorgeous in the spring.

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  5. Haha, totally been there done that on the cool show ring style! Lilly looks great. I've got no trouble with cheater methods when it comes to mane grooming. Some of my original coaches would have had a fit at anything but perfect pulling, but give me scissors and clippers to do the job any day!

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    1. I just can't bring myself to pull Lilly's mane... I tried pulling Jack's mane too and he would bleed really badly, so I stopped that right away. It's clearly uncomfortable for Lilly too, so I don't even bother. It's just not worth it to have her shake her head everytime I go near her mane.

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  6. This is what Daisy and I did yesterday too!! Well minus the legs and mane, I wish you could come do her legs for me! I'm scared! Plus I'm afraid she is going to need it for flies? They just eat her up bless her heart.

    I love that grey you got to ride! What a good boy he was!

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    1. Just shave away, Britnie! If you do it a couple days ahead of time it looks a lot better. With Daisy, though, you'd only need to shave super close to the skin on the legs with socks. The chestnut hair can just be clipped. Hair does help with flies, though...

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  7. Were you driving in a miniskirt or hot pants? LOL.

    Lilly will appreciate the rest and come back stronger than ever, I promise! She'll be extra-frisky, but she's not wasting away in a week.

    She's so beautiful! I cannot let you near my hairy angel, though, or you'd mutilate her gorgeous waterfall of hair, I know you would. ;)

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    1. I wish I had a mini skirt! LMAO!

      What happens when a week turns to two weeks? I'm freaking out over here because I can't ride!!

      I would make Dixie look even more beautiful than she already is... and there's so much there to work with!! I'd have a blast with her! :)

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  8. I love Lilly's expression in that last pic. "Aren't you done yet???"

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    1. And she is SO good about it all... so tolerant of me! :)

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  9. I was just reading along, trying to catch up on my backlog of blog reading, when I saw the picture of the Shiawassee County fair sign. I said that looks familiar...wait, that's Shiawessee Michigan! I live pretty close to there and show at that fairgrounds all the time - I didn't do 4-H there but my husband did. What a small world.

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    1. Small world, indeed! I grew up in Shiawassee County and showed at the fair every year from about 1990 until I was too old for 4-H. It was so much fun and I have some great memories from that time. :)

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