Confession time. I had decided some time ago to clip Tristan; thanks to the excellent advice I got from everyone, I’d been swayed by the pro arguments, and had decided on a bib clip. Then I ran out of time on the day I had intended to do it, and put it off. And put it off.
Yesterday, it was in the 50s during the day. I had the day off, and thus all the time in the world. And I still drove to the barn with my stomach roiling, worrying, fussing. I even had this blog post half-composed: why I am terrified to clip my horse. I pictured everything that could possibly go wrong going wrong. Most of all, I couldn’t stop thinking about the winter to come, and the two horses in the barn that colicked last week (two totally different kinds of colic, both freak occurrences; one horse pulled through fine at the barn, the second is still at the clinic after surgery).
I rode for about 30 minutes, and after 6 minutes of trot Tristan was puffing like a steam engine and almost a bit damp. I was so frustrated with myself for letting him get into that situation because I was afraid, so I put him in his stall and assembled my tools.
My clippers. After some fits and starts, I finally got them running smoothly.
I started down at Tristan’s chest, and after a few treats he let me do pretty much whatever I want. Best pony!
I had always wondered what color he’d be when clipped. Answer: even more roan! I’d always had a theory that his red hairs grew longer than his white ones in the winter, and that’s why he looks more dark red. Guess I was right!
As you can see, I have a lot of learning to do – and some clipping to go yet. I got a decent strip done and decided to let him be done, because he was behaving so well.
Tomorrow or the day after I will extend the clip back further down his chest a little bit, to just behind the girth line.
Definitely my worst spot – right up under his jowls. I couldn’t get him to stretch so that I could make it even.
Here you can see about the width up his neck. I really kept the edge right at the jugular groove. I miiiiiight widen it at some point in the future. We’ll see how he does with this.
Funny colored hair!
Honestly, he was so good I probably could’ve done him ground-tied. GOOD BOY. As it was, I had to unhook the far cross tie so that I could bring him closer to the wall. The cord on my clippers is like 3′ long, maybe. I barely got it to the other side of him.
It doesn’t look like as much when I put it all into a pile. You can see some bits of mane too: I finally trimmed his bridle path, after threatening to for months.
And when he was done, he was D-O-N-E, done. Exhibit A of Tristan behavior: pawing when bored. Exhibit B: looking adorable.
Today it’s warm again, and then winter will set in for good. He’s got his full range of blankets ready, and hopefully now he’ll cool off faster and easier.
I’m really glad I went through with it. Soon after I clipped the first hair (not going to lie, there were some hesitation cuts there with little fluffy bits of hair in the air and my stomach doing flip flops), I immediately set in to the job at hand and felt fine about doing it. None of the angst I thought I might have.
I’ll report back on how we’re handling it going forward.