Preparing for a show when you own a grey horse is a ton of fun…especially now that the grey horse has lightened up a bit over the years. Misty’s neck, back and butt are almost completely white now (sigghh).
Anyway, I competed Misty in her second dressage schooling show of the year (3rd total) on Sunday, September 16th. The weather that weekend was absolutely perfect, but it was a little warmer on that Saturday, so I decided I would bathe her then and spot wash her the next day, if necessary.
Now before I continue (because I know what you’re thinking – why would you bathe a grey horse the day BEFORE the show?)…there’s something you should know about Misty. She’s a priss. She doesn’t roll much, doesn’t like to get dirty and NEVER rolls after a bath. She lives with a 31 year old mustang pony and they are night and day when they come in for dinner; Komie, the mustang, will be super dirty with burrs in her mane and tail. It’s obvious that she had a fun day! And Misty will come traipsing in without so much as a speck of dirt on her. Diva.
This is why I decided to bathe her the day before. Knowing Misty, even if she got a little dirty, it wouldn’t be anything a nice dandy brush couldn’t take care of.
Of course she had to prove me wrong! When I came back later that night (Saturday), it was obvious that she had rolled. I clipped her in her crossties and gave her a heavy duty brushing, and she didn’t look half bad afterward. My plan was to arrive early on Sunday, spot wash if necessary, and then off we’d go.
On Sunday morning it was obvious that she had rolled again, so spot washing was definitely a necessity. It was as if she was trying really hard to tell me that she didn’t want to go to the show…too bad! Out of the barn I came with a bucket of water and a sponge. I scrubbed her withers, hocks, hips, and head (probably should have just completely washed her again), and she was as good as new.
As soon as I was finished, Misty started pawing the ground like she was about to roll – NOOO! So I followed her around for a minute and every time she was about to go down, I’d push on her to stay up. The expression on her face was priceless! Why are you doing this to me?! I brought out some hay to keep her occupied and to keep her mind off rolling, and it seemed to work.
I was about a half hour away from getting ready to load up her in the trailer when I noticed that she had somehow rolled anyway! She must have waited until I turned my back to pack up the trailer. Now instead of brown patches of dirt, she had bright green grass stains and she could not have looked more please with herself!!! Back out came the bucket and sponge…and into the stall she went!
I probably should have put her into her stall to begin with, but Misty’s very perceptive and feeds off of me. When she’s in her stall and I’m preparing for a show, she suddenly becomes nervous and agitated and will pace…which was why I decided to leave her out in her paddock for as long as possible. The calmer Misty stays, the calmer I stay! Note to self – hide nerves / emotions better!
Misty ended up looking beautiful, and, as mentioned here, it was our best show yet! But grey horse prep is hard work!