Sunday, January 22, 2012

How I Spent My Sunday

It was just last Tuesday, that I spent over an hour picking cockleburs (I've been told that the plant these evil things grow on is called a Burdock.) out of Django's thick mane. When I returned on Wednesday morning, he looked like this (the Before photo.) It's been a busy, hectic week followed by a very rainy and cold Saturday so I didn't have a chance to work on him until today. Several of my friends made suggestions of ways to make this easier from baby oil (which I ended up using) to WD40 (which I was afraid to use because of Django's previous reactions to some oils and sulpher.) I had a full container of Cowboy Magic but Django doesn't like being sprayed so I decided to make this as easy as possible and go the baby oil route. I don't think that either I nor the people who suggested baby oil realized just how many burrs were in Django's mane. What you see above is just the surface. Those things went down several layers of hair and were in a literal ball in two different spots with mane tangled and knotted around them. It was a mess and the baby oil didn't soak in as promised but just sheeted off of the mass of burrs.

But I am getting ahead of myself because it took thirty minutes just to clear his forelock and bridle path so that I could halter him in order to apply the baby oil and to get him to stand in one spot long enough for me to actually finish this overwhelming task of burr removal with as little loss of mane as possible. I started at the base of his neck and worked my way slowly up the crest one section at a time and then I would lay the clean section to the other side of his neck to keep it from becoming entangled again. I would guess that there were easily over a thousand burrs matted in his mane and on his body, especially his belly and legs. It was over three hours before I finally finished and the sweet fellow who started out with a lowered head and very cooperative was tired, bored, and constantly pulling at his lead rope, laying his head on my shoulder to glare at me, tossing his mane and spraying me with baby oil and making a mess of what I'd already done. Then he started raising his head to the heavens so that I had to reach over my head to pull out the last remaining burrs around his ears. I finally let him go with the promise of an apple for being such a good boy and then I went off to cut down the rest of those d$@*! cockleburs while hoping that I don't have to repeat this anytime soon.....Well, at least not until tomorrow when I start to work on his tail....sigh....

Then there are the other four horses. None of them have as many cockleburs as Django but they still have them and a heavy coating of mud as well. I think I know what I'll be doing for the rest of the week. I forgot to tell you what this has to do with Danny since it is on his blog. While I was trying to clean up Django, Danny was offering his own form of commentary. He would sniff the baby oil and make a face, he would bite and shove at Django until I ran him off which only worked for a few minutes at a time because he'd wander back and if he wasn't bothering Django, he was bothering me by pulling at my jacket or stealing my supplies. He broke one brush, tried to eat another, and stole a third that I found later while clipping the cockleburs. He wanted to be the one getting all of that attention. I hope he feels that way tomorrow when I start to work on his tangled mane and tail.

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