A lot of distractions in my life at the moment.
At the end of May my partner of 12 years and I are finally tying the knot.
So, obviously, my thoughts are rather filled with last-minute wedding preparations.
I’m not concerned with perfection. I figure as long as we have a marriage license and the guests are well fed it’s all good.
It’s an outdoor wedding on a lovely equestrian property so, naturally, I’d like the weather to cooperate (the current long-term forecast calls for thundershowers in the days leading up to it … ), and for everyone to be happy and enjoy this long awaited day of celebration.
Since we’re counting down now, the focus is on the final nitty, gritty details. I feel rather calm about it all, though it’s turned into a somewhat larger affair than either of us had envisioned. Still, life unfolds as it should and that’s why I have no worries as we proceed to the big day.
In the meantime, Bear still requires my ongoing attention, which helps to keep me grounded during this busy time of preparation and transition.
Cue the image …
A couple of weeks ago, on a day of chilling rains and heavy cloud cover when I was feeling somewhat under the weather myself, I decided to spend a little “spa time” with Bear and tackle his winter-weary look.
I like to keep my boy nice and tidy, but in the cold winter months his mane tends to get neglected. It’s just too cold in the barn on most days to do anything more than put a brush through it.
So, I passed a pleasant hour, or thereabouts, carefully tending to Bear’s long black locks.
His mane and tail hair grows about an inch a month, perhaps a little more. It’s easy to cut that amount from the length of his tail on a monthly basis, but trimming his mane is a little more complicated. It needs to grow out a little so there’s something to work with. After a cold winter we’re easily talking four month’s growth.
I used to “pull” his mane. In simple terms this means taking a metal comb, wrapping a small section of hair from underneath the mane around it and then pulling the section out by the roots. This is done a section at a time. For many horses this is not a big deal, but Bear was never partial to it. He especially objected when I tried to work in the area at the top of his neck behind his ears. He would lean away and make it difficult for me to reach the hair at all, never mind work with it.
Frankly, I didn’t like making his life miserable this way, and the idea of pulling hair out by the roots never sat well with me anyway, so it wasn’t long before I decided to take a different route. I invested (to the tune of about $6 from the local tack shop) in a thinning comb.
This comb has a quasi-razor built in so that I can simply shear the mane hair to the length I want, and then thin it by running the comb carefully through the thicker areas of hair. As a final touch I tweak the lengths with the tip of the scissors just to ensure a natural looking evenness. Bear doesn’t mind this at all.
Why not just cut straight across the entire length of the mane with the scissors and be done with it? Well, that’s known as a hack job. No horse’s mane grows exactly straight. 😉
To complete the look I use the scissors to tidy up his whiskers around his muzzle, but not too much. He needs those for detection ~ water, food, flies, solid objects. Whiskers help keep him safe from injury.
In the end, Bear’s spa time leaves him looking exceptionally handsome. Needless to say his cooperation is generously rewarded with a handful of his beloved carrots.
The next step is a bath to release the last of winter’s grime and hair from his newly sprung summer coat … but this won’t happen until after the wedding … 🙂
In the meantime, as Bear insists I live in the moment when I’m with him, there’s no better way to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground while our wedding plans unfold.
Nurture what you love …
Horse Mom 🙂
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