I spent a long time at the barn this afternoon. It was simply beautiful and I couldn't drag myself away. After manure duty, stall cleanup, restocking the hay supply and feeding were done it was time for grooming.
Grooming is a pretty big deal to me... because my childhood riding teacher insisted we always groom thoroughly before we rode... because it keeps you in touch with your horses body and any changes that occur - an early warning system if you will... because it's a great bonding time to sync up with your horse before you ride and most likely these days because I have a gray horse :)
Anyway - I went over Val top to bottom. I was coughing and spewing due to the cloud of white hair flying everywhere. We're in full shedding mode these days. Val was snorting and blowing with pleasure. It must feel wonderful to have someone help remove all of that excess hair - he seemed pretty happy about it. Mane and tail were last on the list.
Speaking of manes... during our visit to my trainers last weekend, we ran into someone who hadn't seen Val since I bought him - over six months ago, (when his mane was short enough to stand up). I asked how he thought Val looked and he said "You better pull that mane - he's not an Andalusian!!" Admittedly I hadn't known how to pull a mane properly and thought it wasn't a good idea to experiment - but I was also enjoying the thick black mane Val has grown. My trainer added that if I was planning on showing I needed to pull it so I could braid. I innocently asked why couldn't I braid him as is? "If you braided him now he'd look like a draft horse". (No offense to drafties - I love them!)
Reluctantly - I'm pulling. It's going to take a while...