Friday, June 19, 2009

What NOT to do when grooming someone else's horse

I think I've mentioned before that the alpha gelding at my barn is rather ignored. The 13-year-old girl who moved into the rental next door (the pastures span both properties) has been bugging the barn manager/landlord to let her groom him.

Hmmm. I think there's a big difference between grooming a mane and chopping it off. Particularly when it's NOT YOUR HORSE.

Horse with short blunt-cut mane

In this case, the owners don't come out often enough to notice, let alone care — but I've been growing rather attached to the alpha, so I was outraged. Poor horse. He had such a lovely mane, too, with the exception of one spot where he'd rubbed it short sticking his head between the fence rails. And now it's all gone.

If this had happened to Panama, I would be seeing red. (Which, incidentally, is why I always make sure it's understood that my horse is not to be ridden, groomed, or even treated by anyone except me.)

What about you? Does anyone besides me think this is a glaring violation of the prescribed etiquette when handling someone else's horse?



At June 19, 2009 at 9:04 PM, Blogger allhorsestuff said...

Was at Jane and Gilly's place and saw your heading for the post and had to see!
Oh baaad job and on someone else's horse's mane too! Totally disrespectful!
I am with one touches my mare without permission and approval by ME!

At June 19, 2009 at 9:08 PM, Blogger Reddunappy said...

I totally agree, I would have gone bullistic if it were my horse!!

That is one thing about stabling in a public place, some humans have no bounderies!!

On the bright side, at least he got some attention.

At June 20, 2009 at 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very bad manners - but at least he got some grooming and the mane will grow out.

At June 20, 2009 at 11:54 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Kacy, glad to see I'm not the only one who is very possessive about their horse like that. :o)

Pam, I agree, A LOT of humans have no boundaries or sense of respect. It's just like the people who were feeding the horses through the fence a while back.

Kate, it will take a while. His mane grows slowly, just like my horse's.

I know it's good that he got some attention... But honestly, he's not so attention-starved anymore, because I have been messing with him a lot lately. I give him his own "affection times," just like Panama, put fly spray in his ears periodically, and I've even started haltering him and grooming him a little here and there. It's made him totally different around me -- he follows me around, is nearly always respectful in my presence (instead of chasing the other horses), and stands still and waits patiently if I'm the one to bring out his grain.

I've actually been thinking that it would be nice, if we were able to find horse property, if I could convince his owners to give him to me, "free to a good home." They are paying a lot in board right now for a horse that they can't ride, after all. And I've been growing very attached to him. He'd have plenty of love and care with me. But I can't afford to board two horses, so it would only work if we found horse property in our price range.

At June 20, 2009 at 8:55 PM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

OMG! I'd freak. I purposely don't comb or brush my horses' manes very often, because I want them to stay thick and long. Cutting the mane is done for some disciplines, but I just don't like it, because the mane and forelock serve the purpose of swatting flies away from the neck and face, while the tail covers the rest of the body.

At June 20, 2009 at 10:13 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

NM, I don't like cutting the mane or tail for the same reason. It's there for a purpose. I feel bad for this horse, who will be bald for the remainder of the fly season.

While I personally don't cut anything but a bridle path, I do brush Panama's mane and tail -- he's blessed with ridiculously thick hair in those areas, perhaps to make up for his thin Arabian coat. :o) I use a very helpful spray conditioner to avoid breaking hairs as much as possible, though.


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