First bath of 2012

So something very unusual happened this year. It was 57 degrees in January. I don’t remember that ever happening before. In the past two months my blanketless Gennyral has been slowly getting more and more beige with each passing day. I know that I am in a loosing battle to have a clean horse, but that doesn’t make me like it. Instead of candy last year I made a Gennyral calendar for christmas gifts and his december photo was cute, but not adorable because my pony was so stained when I took his picture in the snow. It made me crazy.

When I went away for Christmas I got a text from the Young Rider who had gone to check on Gen. All it said was “I don’t think Gen will ever be white again”. Looking at him when I came back I had to agree. Since this has been one of the warmest and most muddy winters so far, Gen was the grossest he had ever been by January 1st. Normally I won’t give a bath if it is under 60, but looking at my beige pony with the thermometer reading 57…well…I couldn’t control myself. I saw my opportunity and I took it.

Gen hates getting clean even on the warmest of summer days. To say that he was pissed about getting a bath in January is putting it mildly. He was hands down the worst that he has ever been. Kicking out, jumping around on the cross ties, pulling hard enough that he pulled the cross ties out, trying to run away once he was free of cross ties…things like that. Clearly I was doing something very, very wrong in Gen’s book. In my defense I was using nice warm water, we were in the sun, it was 57 degrees (I didn’t have a coat or even a sweatshirt on), and it was the middle of the day so he would have plenty of time to dry before the temperature dropped. Gen would like to rebuttal my defense by saying that baths shouldn’t happen in January. Period. End of story.

So knowing how unhappy he was I tried to be quick. It was under 30 minutes with two rounds of soap in his tail and everything. By the end Gen was literally jumping out of his skin because he was cold and PISSED. I quickly toweled him off and put his cooler on to go and hand graze him in the sun. It took about…2 minutes before Gen decided that I should die for my insolence of making him clean again. He did his favorite move…the jump forward while kicking out sideways aiming for Mommy’s head. I am well practiced at holding on to him no matter what after his nine months on stall rest when he was injured in 2007 so I made sure he didn’t kill me and I told him to knock it off.

He didn’t.

After 15 minutes of him carrying on I needed a mental time out. I can only stay ahead of Gen’s evil thoughts for so long. By that time the Barn Owner had come down to ride her mare and she was feeling bad for my poor wet, miserable pony. Honestly, I was feeling kind of bad for him too at this point. He was unquestionably miserable. I put him in his stall just to give him a chance to chill out and maybe not be such a jerk. Being out of the sun and not moving didn’t help…he started to shiver because he was cold.

I decided to risk life and limb again and take him back out. This time Gen was much, much better. I think he knew that I would put him away again if he was bad. He was still holding a grudge, but much less explosive. Eventually he was dry enough but man, he was still mad at me. I turned him back out and he made it very apparent that I was not forgiven. I didn’t stay to watch him roll (I am sure he did). I do feel bad that I made my pony miserable, but man it was nice to see him almost white again. How mad was he? Well even yesterday after lots and lots of cookies and attention I was still getting the “I don’t like you anymore Mommy” look.

Part of me knows that it shouldn’t matter what my pony looks like…he is retired after all. The rest of me wants a a sparkling white horse year round.

Please feel free to send Gen sympathies…he still thinks that he deserves them because his Mommy was evil. That was not exactly the start to 2012 I was hoping for, but hey, at least he was clean for a new minutes!!!


6 thoughts on “First bath of 2012

  1. What is best for the horse, that he is clean or happy. I think you are very selfelish to even think of bathing him. You did this for your own vainity. Did you even think about the horse? It’s really umbelivible that you bathed him in 57 degrees. I don’t care if the horse is black in mud. Think about the welfare of the horse. You don’t need to bathe a horse unless it’s 70 degrees!

  2. Sarah- Sometimes it is necessary to wash a horse in winter, especially if they’re so dirty and muddy that their hair is plastered down and unable to do it’s job to insulate properly. So, if a horse is “black in mud”, their hair cannot lift during cold and trap air to heat, creating their own thermal insulating, which can be a dangerous situation for a horse in cold weather.

    More over, I can tell you that horses get soaked to the skin in rain much colder than 57 degrees quite often, wild and tame alike. Rain is a common thing in the Pacific Northwest approximately 300 days a year, and often those days in winter don’t crest 45 degrees. Harm rarely befalls them.

    Now, I’m going to assume that you are a fairly new reader here and have not been following Onthebit and Gen for long, or you’d already know Gen has a penchant for getting himself into sticky situations (pardon the pun) and that OTB takes exceptional care of him. Your comment seems a little rash and judgmental in this instance.

  3. I’ve just given up on white…last time I bathed Jupe was right before I had him clipped. I guess I am going to deal with his white legs being grey all winter. At least the blanket keep part of him clean. Kudos to you though for the bath! I was really tempted…really…but then I thought about him rolling again…Yuck! I want the summer back! But not too hot and no bugs please…lol

  4. I couldn’t stand it anymore and washed PJ’s tail (only) on one of the really cold days we had last week. The rest of him will just have to wait until spring or I get a hair dryer to the barn.

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