Oh hey Mom, just took a mud bath, great for the skin I hear...

Oh hey Mom, just took a mud bath, great for the skin I hear…

Ahhh springtime…that bright round thing in the sky is finally making an appearance again, temperatures are finally getting out of subzero frozen tundra status, and we can finally see the grass again!

Oh yeah, and there’s mud.  Everywhere.

And your horse is drawn to it.  There’s some strange magnetic force at work that makes horses everywhere instantly have an itch they just HAVE to scratch and the only cure is gallons of that nasty, sludgy,  bacteria filled dirt/poo mixture from their winter “dry” lot (not so dry looking NOW though, is it?!)

So in honor of Mud Season finally kicking off, here’s your step by step guide to grooming your Spring Horse, in 12 easy steps!

Step 1: Go get your horse.  It’s time for your lesson!  You arrive a half hour before lesson time to do a quick groom and tack up. Only what you are about to realize is that your grooming session will be anything BUT quick. You walk out to the “mud lot” and there she is.  Your normally pristine looking well-fed, well-groomed horse appears to have transformed overnight into a filthy pig-sty creature who you probably couldn’t even give away on Craigslist.

Step 2: Hook the lead rope up and walk your horse to the barn.  (HA! Yeah right…it’s Springtime, you’re going to have to work harder than THAT!)  Your horse stares blankly at you while you make clucking noises and attempt to call her over, then goes back to eating hay that is strategically placed in the middle of the paddock, surrounded by a thrush-inducing moat.

Step 3: Finally catch horse. Place horse in stall, start grooming.  (NOPE, not just yet!) Actually, after dumping your swamp creature into her stall, your first stop is to go to the hose outside and attempt to salvage your paddock boots, which you stupidly wore to the barn instead of your much more practical rubber galoshes. (But I thought I would save time not having to switch my boots for my lesson!  WRONG.)

THERE!  Now PLEASE try to stay at least minimally clean Sandie!

THERE! Now PLEASE try to stay at least minimally clean Sandie!

Step 4: Go looking for your shedding blade. Can’t find it. Resort to curry instead.

Step 5: Create a dust storm in your horse’s stall that blinds anyone within a 5-mile radius.

Step 6: After sneezing profusely, attempt to brush loosened dirt away with hard brush. Make dust storm worse. Sneeze more. Repeat with soft brush.

Step 7: Late for your lesson. Angry trainer appears at front of stall. Attempt to quickly pick dried cement out of horse’s hooves and throw saddle on horse’s back. Mumble obscenities under your breath.

Step 8: Put bridle on horse. Get brown dust-storm snot blown all over your new shirt. Wonder aloud why you ever bother to buy things that are in any shade other than brown.

Step 9: Start your lesson – 20 minutes late.  Horse has spring fever.  Ask for walk – get trot. Ask for trot – get canter.  Ask for canter (God help you) – get a bucking bronco.

Step 10: Cut lesson short. Take bronco to her stall.  Untack and pick hooves.

Step 11: Contemplate putting horse’s light weight turnout sheet on. Decide it’s a bit too warm for that today. Turn horse out sans blanket.

Step 12: Watch horse roll in mud. Yell obscenities loudly. Watch horse contentedly munching hay.  Smile…because it’s better than dealing with subzero temps and frozen water buckets!  Repeat and enjoy Springtime. 🙂

Stefanie