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Thursday, November 17, 2011

I normally avoid clipping horses at all costs. For me it's in my top 3 most hated jobs, unpacking the trailer after winter being number one. Although I'm very competent (having clipped a lot of horses as a working student) I usually say that I don't know how to, that in Australia our horses don't grow winter coats and we don't even have clippers. This is a lie but again, in my top 3 hated jobs! Unfortunately for me tho one of my best horses is a little bit special in some ways (as all the good ones are!). He has tonnes of ability and along with that comes tonnes of attitude. He has an amazing extended trot, he bucks. He has a super jump, he bucks. He can score a 26 in the dressage without even trying, he also bucks! The attitude also comes out in the barn, most notably this summer by doing his level best to kill both himself and his handler. Both of them ended up in hospital! The horse required surgery and a long break. The handler with a concussion and almost severed finger! And what terrible, cruel, unusual punishment was she attempting on him at the time of the accident?! That's right, clipping him!!! So now heading into winter almost all of my horses have been clipped except this one. His coat has now grown to embarrassing lengths and the job of clipping has become unavoidable. So, given his last display, it's up to me to clip him myself. Put my body on the line. I have to say this horse and I have a very good relationship, he's one of my best friends (weird, yes). So to begin I enlisted the help of Uncle Sedative, just to take the edge off. And by edge I mean put the horse very much into a dreamlike state that he wouldn't even notice if we had another earthquake! I also had the kind and helpful assistance of Rachel Best to stand at his head and warn me if he so much as opened his eyes! Her assistance was involuntary, I just said can you hold this horse for 5 minutes.... So with extra sedative and Rachel in place, I set to work REALLY fast. It was going really well until I got to his stomach and I noticed a swish of his tail. I looked at his head and he seemed fine, his nose was fairly close to the ground. I went back to work thinking I'd imagined his tail swishing. I then got to his back legs and the tail swished again! This time the Rachel Alarm System went off alerting me to the fact that his head was way up in the air and he was very much awake! So a little more sedative and we were back on track. This time I got half way up his neck before the tail started swishing again. I tried to push on but visions of severed fingers and horse hospitals held me back a bit! So I gave him a pat (to tell him I love his fighting spirit) and put him away for the evening. Now I have a 2/3rds clipped horse and round two in the clipping ring facing me tomorrow..... Lucky he can jump!

1 comment:

marg said...

Go Kate!!
I had a "clipping day" last Saturday with my dogs; new clippers made the job at least 75% shorter in duration, and much neater than last time!
Sounds like it's not the clippers that were your hazard!

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