The last few days have been bone wearing. The weather improved a great deal, we actually had a near record high of 80 degrees yesterday. Today we are back to a high in the 40's and the low tonight is freezing.
There are 7 (yes, seven) horses in my barn at this point. Only 5 of them are "mine". The other two belong to a friend who was in a bind and decided to deposit them next to my horses so that I could help him out. Helping out.. well, don't get me started. Food for another post.
Of the five I have, 1.5 are mine. Doodle, of course, is my boy. The other 0.5 is actually not REALLY half mine but the arrangement I have with her owner is a 50/50 split.
Loopy (Trickle Me Good) was turned out for a long sabbatical due to a stress fracture in her pelvis, which I, unfortunately, claimed her with from another trainer. Oh joy.
So Loopy went home to her new mom and dad for a while. She led the life of leisure.
Loopy came back last Thursday.
When I claimed this filly, she was a total nut. A sort of dangerous total nut. My brother in law, who gallops for me when he is in KY, had helped me out that day I claimed her. Since she was such a nut, after we got her bathed, walked and put away, he closed the stall door, shook his head and while walking away, mumbled "Loopy".
It stuck. Loopy she was from that moment on.
It didn't take much for the Loopster to realize she didn't have to be a nut around us. It only took a couple of weeks before she completely changed her ways. Just today, when I went to get her from the swing stall, I forgot to bring the shank or even a leadrope with me. I was too lazy to want to walk all the way back to the tackroom, so I thought, what the hell- I can just grab her by the halter and we should be fine.
And she was. Just fine. No fuss, no fight. She's a good girl.
Since Loopy arrived looking like a Yeti (she had close to 3 inch long fur on certain parts, the rest was a good inch plus), the first time I bathed her after she started back to training, it took forever to bathe her. After the bath I noticed she was covered in lice from head to toe.
Course this sent the shudders up and
down my spine and first thing I did was to call Shawn the clipper guy.
We set an appointment for Loopy to get a new coiffure.
In the meantime, we endured laughing comments like:
"Oh, look over there- that is one lousy horse!" (All meant in good fun and bringing us lots of laughs around the barn.)
While I'm inserting the photos of her Yeti look, it's hard to tell from those just how long her fur really was.
And, it really was FUR.
This is not a coat.
Far from it.
I don't think I have ever seen a horse with fur like this, and I have seen some serious long winter growth.
She looked more like a Bakshir Curly than a Thoroughbred!
Shawn ended up not having to tie her for most of the clip-
one look at the clippers and a big sigh escaped from Loopy- "Oh thank GAWD, yes, pleeeeeeeez do your thing to me!!!"
Since the lice where also intricately woven into her mane and I really cannot even fathom trying to control that highly contagious population with another 4 horses I intimately handle every day, I told Shawn to roach her mane, as well. Course, this means, she is going to have to race with a neck strap- no mane- nothing to grab for the jockey if he needs to. Not a very big deal, but these things do happen.
So, the nekked Loopster, who now looks like a huge chunk of very milky chocolate with sprinkles of very dark chocolate across parts of her body, is feeling a whole lot better and no longer having to sweat like a stuck pig when she goes to the track. Matter of fact, she hasn't sweat, not ONCE, even in training since the body clip.
Bringing a horse back into racing shape is fairly easy, especially when you have a horse that has already run in the not too far away past. Jogging. Lots and lots of jogging to begin with.
We started this girl back with 1.5 miles and after the coat came off, she has been jogging 2 miles daily. Tomorrow, she's going to bump up to 2.5 miles.
I had the privilege to photograph the Canta-Loopy yesterday on her way to the track. The photos are in sequence. See for yourself what she thought of that.......
"....here we go, just a little more....."
Never mind that Loopy looks more like a Roman Warrior Steed with that roached mane and close body clip. Classy? Yes! Too classy for poop slinging? Never!