Horse Farm…

For years now I’ve walked past a horse barn at the top of the lane and imagined being called over to help.

It has long been a desire of mine to get to know horses.

I’d love one to walk over to his gate and whinny at me in recognition like the dogs who run up to me, tails wagging, eyes bright and join me on my walk.

In the end I decided to write to the owner of the stables and offer my services…I mean, how would she know my desire if I didn’t tell her?

I knew she was having a bit of a time keeping stable staff so I thought I’d apply for a job.

She was appreciative and told me she had a few working interviews in progress and would let me know if she needed any gaps filled.

I understood; just because I walk every day and practice yoga doesn’t mean I can muck out stables and haul hay…so I decided to be patient.

One day, a few months ago, she came into the winery while I was working, picked up her wine-club selection and leaned across the bar to me,

“I could use you to groom horses for me,” my face it up, “that way you could get to know them instead of just cleaning out their empty stalls.”  I nodded with a smile.  “How does that sound?”

“Yes!”  I said.

“Come up any time!” and she was gone.

My first assignment was a warm-blood jumper named Cash.  He was very tall.  I was pretty useless!

I’d hardly ever touched a horse let alone sprayed water over one and here I was lathering him up with Mane and Tail shampoo and conditioner.

Between us we did a pretty awesome job…quite different from bathing a frolicking dog!

Cash was dignified and just stood quietly.

He came up all curly and fluffy.


Afterwards we led him into the horse barn and attached his harness to leader reins on either side so I could give him a good rub down without him running away…


Nothing like brushing a contrary cat!

It had taken a whole hour and he was as patient as a saint with my tentative, first time ministrations,

I gave him a carrot.

“How long does it typically take to groom a horse?”  I asked the owner.

“About 20 to 30 minutes.”

Wow, I thought, as I all but skipped down the lane, I’ve just scrub-a-dub-dubbed an 18 hand gentle giant.

I was on my equestrian way!

Since that first day I’ve groomed lots of horses and shaved minutes off my time!

Hank is part Mustang and his owner gets busy!


He loves the attention and I know where he hangs out now so I go get him by myself and lead him to the hose.

My favorite part is his long, long tail that almost reaches to the ground and his mane, I love de-tangling them and when I’m finished he shakes his head and swishes his tail as if he knows how handsome he looks!

Then there’s Ben, he belongs to the stable owner and at age 24 is happily retired;

He loves to roll in the sparse grass, he doesn’t seem to care about the wet spring we’ve been having and he slips and slides around his waterlogged paddock; happy and carefree.

When I hose him down the dirt from the mud dreadlocks that have knotted themselves in his mane runs off him in rivulets.

He doesn’t like his face getting wet so sometimes I have to leave little muddy clumps behind his ears…until I discovered that if I reward him with a piece of apple for tolerating water high up on his neck, he’ll stand still for me and not shake his head out of reach!

The last couple of times I’ve managed to get him completely clean and he looks around for his treat, craning his neck to nuzzle in my jeans pocket!

He wears a lightweight coat now because of the flies that plague him and cause a rash…

It also keeps him much cleaner… such a sweet chappie, and look at his spotless ears!


My bathe and groom time is now down to about 25 minutes!

Charm is another warm blood and tall with it!  His owner travels so I groom him sometimes.

He is quite a character; he doesn’t roll in the mud, he’s too classy for that.

He’s a dressage horse and tends to show off his nifty footwork when he gets antsy about me taking too long!

He’ll prance, and tap his hooves and the other day he executed a Jazzercise-worthy grapevine across the stable while I was switching brushes!


Charm, the Jazzerciser

Skittles is a the new pony on the block and just starting to learn his way around the property.

He’s not very tall, maybe 14 hands, and while we were walking to the bathing dock he was all eyes taking in everything on the farm, checking out the herd hierarchy and where he may fit in.

He soon got the hang of what to do for carrots…every few minutes…his coat turned out really shiny and his pastern and hooves were dazzling white.

When I finished we walked back to his paddock, clocking the other horses on the way and I took his harness off and watched him wander off and… this happened!

Very funny Skittles!!

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