Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Lot Like Work

The "before"

This tail. Is ridiculous. Instead of a ride before work yesterday, I decided to tackle Colton's tail. It was a nasty, snarly, gross mess. The result of me braiding his tail and then leaving for 5 weeks. I was dreading dealing with it and with good reason. 3 out of 5 braids were still in and last week I took the rubber bands off in hopes that they'd unbraid themselves, but they basically turned into dreadlocks. Like I said, maintaining this tail is a lot like work.

You know how there's always those articles in horse magazines about "how to grow your horse's tails" etc? Well, they don't help. Because they always talk to a Gypsy or Friesian breeder or groomer. You couldn't kill one of those horse's tails if you tried. When you leave braids in for 5 weeks, it pulls out a bunch of hair. I got several handfuls out of Colton's and it didn't make a single dent. Like I said, tails like these refuse to die.

I spent 40 minutes first brushing and picking out the braids. Then washing and soaping his tail multiple times. Unfortunately I couldn't find my detangler spray (best thing ever when dealing with big tails!) and I was out of conditioner, but it's way better than it was. It certainly doesn't help that his tail is white, but at least it's better than a white tail on a mare. Also, it's tar weed season - if you don't have this problem I envy you. These weeds are covered in sticky burrs and so when the horses are in the pasture their noses, forelocks and tips of their tails turn black with the sticky tar. It's nasty and really hard to get rid of.

Colton has been doing fantastic. I had a great ride on him this morning.  Our goal for the day was to work on accepting contact. He's not necessarily ready to be working "on the bit" but he needs to respect the contact and give to it. He caught on to the idea so fast. By the end he was going around at the trot very soft and responsive to the bit. I love this horse. We still have a lot to work on obviously. For one he likes to counter bend when we go around to the left. We also cantered today and he did very nicely. He just needs to canter a lot more until he finds his rhythm and maybe some hill work to get those muscles in shape. Have I mentioned that I love this horse and that I love starting babies?! It's so awesome to see when something clicks in his brain. And I like being able to start them right so that they will be awesome horses for many years to come.

We are planning his big "debut" at a little dressage schooling show down the street at the end of this month, just going to do some walk trot classes, but I'm excited to get him out there!

Lunging like a big boy

Cutest face ever

Don't you just want to take him home with you??


  1. The best thing I've found you can do for tails is to just bag them. I've got one of those 3 tube tail bags on Legend right now, and getting it in was a pain in the rear since he has very little tail to speak of, but it's in and when it comes out the tail is usually as clean and shiny as you left it and not tangled. And since the hair has been protected it usually is longer.

  2. dang you are patient! His tail looks awesome now :)