Wednesday, March 24, 2010

...Became a Fan of "My Arms Will Fall Off Before My Horse's Winter Coat Does!"

Oh, wait. This isn't Facebook!

Seriously, someone should create this group if it hasn't been created yet. I would but after all that grooming who has the energy?

The weather here in the WNC mountains is not helping much. Sixty five and sunny one day, 35 and snowing the next...poor Leg man can't decide if he should hold onto his coat or lose it.

I say lose it. I'll blanket you at forty degrees out if necessary, but for the love of all that is good and decent in this great world lose that fur!

It's not a vanity issue (although I do admit that I greatly prefer Legs' shiny, coppery summer coat to his dull, red winter one) it's a health issue. Because with the return of wildly varying temperatures, barn swallows, and hay fever comes the return of "The Rot". Rain Rot that is.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
You TB owners - and TB owners living in damp climates particularly - know what I'm talking about. The Rot, once it makes itself at home, is a tough bitch to get rid of.

So I continue to brush until I'm lightheaded, my nostrils clogged with hair, and love every minute of it because this yearly ritual signifies the coming of Spring (for real, though Legs tried to tell you so).

It really is a ritual, isn't it? All horse people seem to have their little routines, the preferred way to go about things. Here is my preferred method of spring shedding:

  • Curry comb
  • Brush
  • Shedding blade
  • Brush
  • Repeat after riding.

Despite my best efforts, The Rot does make an appearance once or twice a year. The most popular locations on Legs are:

  • Hind legs

  • Spine

  • Butt cheeks

I do apologize for my use of the phrase "butt cheeks", but really how else to describe?

Even a dime-sized area of Something-That-Might-Be-The-Rot will send me into full Rot Battle Mode. I have at my disposal a full arsenal of Rot Fighting products. I've found out through extensive (unfunded of course) research that The Rot, despite its horrid reputation, is actually very easy going. It can adapt and adjust to many adverse living conditions.

Perhaps we can learn something from The Rot? Perhaps. I still don't want it on my horse.


  1. My vet told me that even in the most meticulously groomed TB's they can often get that "scruff stuff" on the front of their rear legs. When they are turned out, the dirt just gets kicked up there, no matter how well you groom.

    I've been trying to keep my Boys dry, so, so far, so good....but with TB's you're right, you never know.

  2. Oh so true! Brush, brush, brush, clean the brush, brush some more! Catch the hairy tumbleweeds as they blow across the pasture! Repeat for horse #2. Spring has Sprung!

  3. Jean - we should compare notes! So true. There is no preventing it, just have to watch out and keep it under control. "Scruff Stuff...LOL! Mom called it "The Creeping Crud".

  4. Valerie - watch those "Hairy Tumbleweeds" - they will follow you home!