Friday, April 16, 2010

Strip Tease

We have been hovering around the 10 degree Celsius mark the last couple of weeks, dipping to 3 degrees at night. I am itching for the warmth and to be able to wear my summer ensembles. Sleeveless blouses, light-weight cotton jeans, t-shirts that show all my lumps and bumps. Come on, Summer! Come out, come out wherever you are!!

Over the past 18 months, I have learned what not to wear when it comes to riding. I have also learned that sometimes what you have to wear is not necessarily the most comfortable. It was a learning experience for me this year when it came to dressing for the cold. I had to buy my snowboarding pants and a heavy duty winter jacket. I wore long johns and learned to layer my clothing properly. We ride in winter unless it drops to -15C (5F). There was only one time that I felt cold and it was because I only wore one pair of socks instead of two. I learned that it's OK to look like a Yeti, as long as you stay warm. Gem looked like a bear.

Now it's time to de-layer. Yeah, baby! Hard to believe that a month ago I was still wearing items of my winter ensemble. My layers are now reduced to a t-shirt and a cotton pullover and riding jeans. I dusted off my summer riding shoes and have been wearing them for a couple of weeks now.

Gem is de-layering, too. He grew a fabulous winter coat. So thick and luxurious and shiny. The last few weeks he has been shedding like a maniac. When I brought him in for lesson a couple of weeks ago, he was caked in mud. He likes to roll as much as the next horse, but this was over-kill. One of the Young Ladies told me that they roll because they are itchy and it helps them shed. Makes sense to me. De-layering is not as kind to me as it is to Gem. He is starting to look sleek; me not so much. :-)

My weapon of choice to remove his dead hair is a sweat scraper. It has little teeth on one side. As I lightly drag it over Gem's body, it picks up all of the dead hair. I am careful not to be too aggressive with it. The hair flies all over the place. Gem likes this part of the routine. If he were cat, he would be purring when I use the scraper on him. When I sweep up the aftermath, it looks like someone's bad toupee has been left in the aisle.

Last week we had our lesson outside for the first time this year. It was wonderful! It was early evening, and even though the temperature was starting to drop, I was actually getting a glow on! I am looking forward to the warmth and wearing light clothing. I am looking forward to eating dust and having sweat running down the back of my neck. Wait...sweating????

What was I thinking....?


  1. I love this time of year! The almost perfect weather days, the horses shedding out... and I sure do agree with you about how nice it would be if I too could shed out and be nice and sleek!! LOL!

  2. Our horses are shedding like crazy too. I was happy to wear a turtleneck and a vest last week. Unfortunately, along with the warmer weather came the flies, where do they hide that the moment the weather warms they're up and buzzing. I'm glad you're warming up and having fun riding outside.

  3. Hello Stephanie - I have to agree with you about the weather. Not too hot, not too cold - just right. :-)

    Hi GHM - I have no idea where these flies come from or how they survive the winter! I noticed some flying about Gem's head during lesson. Darn flies!

  4. I'm sort of missing shedding season this year, though I can see the clods of hair falling off the quarters. By the time I get to them, they should already have shed out. I can't say I really miss getting shedding hair in my eyes, or my ears, or my nose, or my mouth.

    One of my barn owner's ponies grew a very thick coat last winter, he's been rolling in the pasture and leaving basketball sized piles of white hair all over the place this spring. The birds must love him.

  5. Nice to meet you! I'm here via GHM. I started riding 4 years ago at the age of 42 and I'm still on that steep learning curve!

  6. Good morning!

    Shannon - You may be missing it this year, but there will be other shedding seasons for you to participate in! :-) Funny - if a routine is taken away from us, no matter how dirty or uncomfortable or boring it is, we miss it.

    Welcome, Donna! It is, indeed, a steep learning curve. I had no idea of the challenges I would be facing, but I am enjoying it very much. Glad that you are enjoying the magic, too!

  7. I just love spring. It feels as if you are waking up just like all the plants, stretching towards the warm sunlight...

    Our horses are having a wonderful time too.
    They start out hairy, grey and caky with mud, and in the end, we are the grey and hairy ones.
    You blow your nose and what comes out is grey as well, ick!