Mud Monsters

After several weeks of no rain at all – and, despite the downpour earlier in the year, really needing some to make the grass grow – we finally had a shower yesterday. It wasn’t really much but Galahad definitely made the most of it and covered himself in mud. Just as I’d got used to having a nice clean pony!

Both ponies are now moulting well so every grooming session involves me getting covered in hair. I have been getting targeted ads for the Groomi tool for months but had been resisting buying one because I thought I really didn’t need any more brushes. A couple of weeks ago though I weakened and treated myself. My reasoning was that I had been hoping to go to Badminton next week and as I would have allowed myself to buy something there this was perfectly acceptable. I must admit that it seems to do a good job – Galahad is very slow to moult and does not normally produce this pile of hair when I brush him.

Having cleaned off the mud we went for a lovely, relaxing ride. Yesterday was the ponies’ official birthday (as they were born on the moor we don’t know their actual dates of birth) and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate. The ponies may well have preferred the apples and carrots they had after we got home though!

Living the Dream

After our busy day on Saturday, Sunday was wonderfully restful.

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I had two lovely hacks, the ponies behaved well, the sun was shining and everything seemed right with the world.

My reward for riding and looking after Cookster – my sister’s pony after all – was to find him absolutely covered in mud.

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At first I thought t was highly ironic that I was wearing my ‘Living the dream’ gilet.  Who dreams of spending their Sunday afternoon scrubbing mud off of a pony?  Especially one who is moulting.

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However, as we pottered up the hill, I realised that actually it was an amazing day.  If anyone had told my twelve year old self that one day I would be able to spend a sunny afternoon playing with two ponies and riding them I would have been thrilled.  I really am living the dream.

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New Year New Haircut

For a few weeks now I have been thinking that it was time to give Galahad a haircut.  Specifically his tail – it might not be very thick but it does get rather long.

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It is not technically correct to trim native ponies but that has never stopped me clipping him.  We don’t tend to show much anyway so it really doesn’t matter.  Besides, when it rains as much as it has done this last week this is the sort of thing that happens.

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It can’t be particularly pleasant!

I didn’t want to wash the whole tail but I did clean off the ends before I trimmed them – the mud wasn’t just wet it was cold too.  Plus, clean hair is much better for the scissors!

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Galahad looks much smarter now and I should think is more comfortable.  I seem to have neglected to take a picture of the finished product though – I wanted the hair to dry first so we went for our ride and I forgot all about it.  It was a lovely hack though, even if it was blowing a gale!

Autumn Loveliness

Galahad and I had a wonderful ride last week.

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We went along a route we don’t use very often and went a little further than usual.  The valley was looking absolutely beautiful and we had a lovely, relaxing time.

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We were very lucky and only met a couple of cars.  There was also a van (with a lovely driver who turned off his engine) Galahad tried to shoot past him and slipped a little on the new tarmac where the road had been resurfaced.  It was nothing major though and we got home fine.

When we got back though I realised that Galahad had got pretty sweaty (he was fine!).  I think it is time to admit that he either needs to be clipped or not do so much work.  I don’t really like to keep him clipped over the whole winter.  It just doesn’t seem fair on him to have him bald and rugged up when I can only ride him a couple of times a week.  I’ll clip him when the days get longer and in the meantime we’ll just have to go for shorter rides.

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Enjoying the Haircut!

I am finding that there are several benefits to having a clipped pony.  Beyond the obvious one that he gets a lot less hot and bothered without his coat.

Firstly, I don’t have this to deal with.

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Not that he lost his coat all at once anyway but he would gradually moult over several months and it is nice not to have all that hair floating around.  Of course, when I ride my sister’s pony I still get covered in hair but at least his moulting is over relatively quickly.  She is getting so much off him when she brushes him that she filled a bird feeder in the hope that it would be taken for nest building.

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I tried to take the picture myself but something – who knows what – startled Galahad and we disappeared round the corner of the house.  It seemed prudent to hand over the camera!

Secondly, I get to use my lovely body brush which I only use on Galahad’s summer coat – so it only normally gets used for a couple of months in the year.

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Lastly, it means that Galahad’s brands are very visible and not surrounded by long hair which means it is much easier to put aloe vera gel on them.

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The aloe vera has definitely improved them.  They will probably never be perfect but anything I can do to make them a bit better for him has got to be a good thing.

I am definitely enjoying Galahad’s new shorn status!

Galahad has a Haircut

It has got to the point where Galahad needs clipping.  I am able to ride every day now and it is warm enough to make him uncomfortable in his fur coat, even if we just go out for a short hack.  I have never clipped anything myself so the ponies went away to my riding instructor’s this week.  I spent the few days before they went trying to get Galahad used to the sound of the clippers.  Since we don’t own any I used a drill instead.  Without the actual drill in it of course!

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I arrived for a lesson after work on the day the ponies went to find Galahad half clipped.  He had so much hair that it had taken an hour and three quarters just to get this far.

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It wasn’t until the next day that he was finished.  He wore out three sets of blades in the process but as my instructor pointed out he has ten years worth of hair which has never really shed properly. Next year it should be much easier!

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He has completely changed colour but is looking rather smart and his dapples are showing up rather well!  The training with the drill apparently paid off as although he was obviously rather scared about the clippers he stood very still.  He also seems to be coping pretty well with his lack of hair.  I didn’t know how he would react to being ridden but he behaved very well.  Now we should hopefully be able to get some proper schooling done without him getting too tired.