My adventures

Bathing a horse for the first time

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Hello! Last Saturday had my riding lesson at EGVUS. Concerned about the bad state I was in the previous evening, I asked Yannis to deliver me a lesson inside the yard. Given the high temperature that time (around 30 Celsius I think), he agreed that this was not a day for a lesson outside. And so, we agreed that I could get Canada out of his stall and practice my equine care skills. In the end, he suggested bathing Canada, which I agreed upon. Canada was in need of a wash and I was in need of learning how to wash him, so why not?

Yannis helped me put on Canada’s bridle and asked me to walk the horse around the arena. He had Ali supervise and help out with the wash, but Ali was busy mucking out, so the walk had to be prolonged for impatient (though lovely) Canada and nervous me; I had to stand a few pushes and scratching which made my all-white outfit go all-dirty and all-hairy, but I survived. Canada would just walk with me and halt anytime I asked.

Finally, Ali finished and could supervise the process. I had to make this 17hh-tall ex-racer all-wet and brush him thoroughly, starting from the legs and all grooming tools had to be used. Ali was holding Canada by the rein while I was brushing and wetting both the horse and myself. I’m afraid we had run out of soap, so Canada -and I- would only get a long shower. Every, every part of his body was washed and brushed, as Yannis had requested and Ali was there for me to show how it’s done when I wasn’t doing it as hard as I should. I washed off manure and all other dirt with water, my wonderful Tattini hoofpick and my bare hands from the equine’s outer hooves, until they turned from brown back to grey and washed the belly and hinds a zillion times. I forgot all safety rules, as the horse would only stand there for a dramatic wash, during which I would lay down and stand on my knees right next to his strong legs.

Apart from stretching his head high every time I reached for it, the horse was far more patient and relaxed than normal; he even gave me all his four feet, which was considered quite an achievement. You see, he normally refuses to give me just one. The shoulder technique does not work with me and Canada, since I’m too short and he’s too tall; so he made me very happy when he just gave me his feet like a good boy that I know he is. His rear-right leg is a bit sore, but he trusted it to me as well.

I felt that almost an hour had passed before sparkly-clean Canada was returned to his stall to get his meal and enjoy his reward, which was a whole banana (slurp)! And I spent the rest of the day wondering how I would appear to my equestrian-hating parents in that wet mess!

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