Today was a bit different for me today. I was up bright and early to be at the yard by 7 to leave to go to Windsor Horse Show with a client. I was grooming for her and her coloured mare.
Once we arrived, narrowly avoiding being towed onto the lorry park we unloaded and titivated the mare, who is predominantly white and had an uncharacteristically large stable stain. We washed, chalked, brushed and sprayed until she looked immaculate.
As you may know, Windsor show was cancelled yesterday due to flooding, but I wasn’t prepared for the quagmire of the horse walk to the arenas.
Imagine our dismay at the prospect of walking four white feathered legs through all that mud!
At least everyone was in the same boat. We wrapped up the long thick tail into a tail bag, put on the special hind boots and bandaged the forelegs so that the feathers were wrapped into the bandages.
These hind boots are something else. Made of fleece they wrap around the cannon bone, velcroing up, but the fetlock to heel is covered with a plastic shower cap contraption. It has a drawstring and Velcro to keep all the hair inside – and hopefully clean!
Once we reached the mud, I realised we were in trouble. Hair was falling out from the bandages on the front legs, and mud crept up the shower caps.
What we should have done, and hindsight is a great thing, is put a carrier bag over each hoof and bandage over it to secure it so that the feathers were completely encased and mud-free.
We arrived at the ring in plenty of time so could do a bit of cleaning up there, satisfying my OCD for cleanliness and I was pleased to see everyone in similar states of mud splatter, and trying to do repair jobs. I think that’s the part that puts me off showing because by the time you get to the ring you aren’t perfect anymore.
The little mare was very well behaved, and the class difficult to judge due to the sheer variation of coloured horses, and they came away with sixth place. I’ve not been re-converted to showing, but I did enjoy today; being organised, grooming and cleaning, and then going around the rest of the show in the afternoon.