What horses don’t like is persistently wet, windy weather – the Irish winter climate, in other words. They have a built-in ability to fluff up their hairs, trapping a layer of air which helps to further insulate them from the cold, but when they are soaking wet they can't do this.
I've been determined to keep Flurry unrugged this winter in preparation for the trip to France. This means I absolutely won't clip him, as he'll need all his hair to keep him warm at night when he gets to Cereste.
Anne, on the other hand, had no intention whatsoever of keeping GiGi unrugged. GiGi grows a very light winter coat and will undoubtedly need a rug to see her through the cold nights in Cereste, and Anne intends to take it off her during the warmer hours of daytime.
So I've been praying for a dry Autumn, and in fairness it hasn't been too bad down here in the South. However, I'd forgotten just how much horses love to roll! And Flurry sure does love to roll - he finds the muckiest spot he can find in the field and plasters every inch of himself in a thick coating of mud.
This means thatI’m facing a horse shaped creature with armadillo-like armour made of dried mud every morning. By the time I finish scraping it off to ride him, I’m exhausted, coughing and caked in dust.
|a closer look at the "armour"|
|I still have to clean this bit even when he's rugged!|
|Working on canter at home|
Enough is enough. I had to put his welfare in our current environment ahead of his welfare in a future environment. The hair had got to go.
I've not only cracked, I've done a complete 180.
He's now modeling a very stylish bib clip and wearing his rug.
We'll cope with the Cereste climate when we get there. Chances are, Flurry will have grown all his hair back by then anyway.
|Nearly there - just the lower half of his head and behind|
his ears to do
|All done, and enjoying a day off today!|