Yesterday, it was in the 50s during the day. I had the day off, and thus all the time in the world. And I still drove to the barn with my stomach roiling, worrying, fussing. I even had this blog post half-composed: why I am terrified to clip my horse. I pictured everything that could possibly go wrong going wrong. Most of all, I couldn't stop thinking about the winter to come, and the two horses in the barn that colicked last week (two totally different kinds of colic, both freak occurrences; one horse pulled through fine at the barn, the second is still at the clinic after surgery).
I rode for about 30 minutes, and after 6 minutes of trot Tristan was puffing like a steam engine and almost a bit damp. I was so frustrated with myself for letting him get into that situation because I was afraid, so I put him in his stall and assembled my tools.
My clippers. After some fits and starts, I finally got them running smoothly.
I started down at Tristan's chest, and after a few treats he let me do pretty much whatever I want. Best pony!
I had always wondered what color he'd be when clipped. Answer: even more roan! I'd always had a theory that his red hairs grew longer than his white ones in the winter, and that's why he looks more dark red. Guess I was right!
As you can see, I have a lot of learning to do - and some clipping to go yet. I got a decent strip done and decided to let him be done, because he was behaving so well.
Tomorrow or the day after I will extend the clip back further down his chest a little bit, to just behind the girth line.
Definitely my worst spot - right up under his jowls. I couldn't get him to stretch so that I could make it even.
Here you can see about the width up his neck. I really kept the edge right at the jugular groove. I miiiiiight widen it at some point in the future. We'll see how he does with this.
Funny colored hair!
Honestly, he was so good I probably could've done him ground-tied. GOOD BOY. As it was, I had to unhook the far cross tie so that I could bring him closer to the wall. The cord on my clippers is like 3' long, maybe. I barely got it to the other side of him.
It doesn't look like as much when I put it all into a pile. You can see some bits of mane too: I finally trimmed his bridle path, after threatening to for months.
And when he was done, he was D-O-N-E, done. Exhibit A of Tristan behavior: pawing when bored. Exhibit B: looking adorable.
I'm really glad I went through with it. Soon after I clipped the first hair (not going to lie, there were some hesitation cuts there with little fluffy bits of hair in the air and my stomach doing flip flops), I immediately set in to the job at hand and felt fine about doing it. None of the angst I thought I might have.
I'll report back on how we're handling it going forward.