Monday, 2 May 2011


When we visited Dee at the beginning of last week I was a bit worried about her.  She was looking a good weight but her summer coat was not coming through very well.  She had a few bald and scabby patches and generally looked a bit of a mess.  We gave her a thorough groom and I rubbed some herbal balm into the bare patches.  Sarian suggested we give her a bath.

On Thursday I bought some tea tree oil soap and we went up to Briwnant on Friday to give her a bath.  The difference in Dee in just a few days was remarkable.  She no longer had bare patches.  Although her coat is still a not-very-pretty mixture of coarse winter coat and finer summer coat she is clearly feeling well.  Walking up to the yard from the field at liberty she was playful, trotting after 'ö-Dzin when he ran ahead to try to get a photo of her, and getting behind me and nudging if she thought I was being too slow.  It was lovely to see her feeling energetic and strong again after the stamina-sapping winter.

I don't usually hold with horses being bathed – especially horses that live at pasture.  I feel they need the natural oils in their skin.  I do not use shampoo on my hair—haven't done so for many years—so why would I want to use such products on my horse.  I did make an exception this time however, as she is clearly itchy and uncomfortable.  So we gave her a bath and another thorough groom.  As usual she behaved perfectly while we bathed her – she is always so to easy to handle to do anything like this.  I didn't tie her up while we did it, but just left her head collar on in case I needed to grab her for control.  The only thing that disturbed her was when the goats escaped – they have four at Briwnant.  I don't think Dee had seen a goat before.  She snorted and became quite agitated if they came near her.

When we took Dee back to the field she trotted away – again a sign that she is feeling good.  She then—of course—had a good roll in the dirt!

Briwnant has been preparing for today's fun ride all week and putting horses over the cross country course, including Red.  More about the fun ride and photos soon.  Nicki told me that Dee has been jumping the jumps that are in her grazing pasture, just for the fun of it.  That mare does love jumping!

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