Monday, February 20, 2012

Itchy day

Today I expected Suki to be really muddy because of the warmer temperatures. But the ground was dry enough for the horses to go out in their regular pastures, so there was less mud. However, as I was turned into the farm driveway, the owner stopped me. "I just wanted to let you know that Suki broke the strap on her blanket today," he said. One of the metal fasteners on the belly surcingle had stretched from a previous roll, so I was not surprised. It will be very easy for the blanket lady to fix. I have one of the best horse blanket wash/repair people in the world. Donna has worked wonders with some of the most mangled blankets you can imagine. In the fall when I was completely behind on my saddle pad washing, I sent a whole pile to be washed to give myself a big head start....but I must confess that I have not been diligent, and fear that I may fall behind again! There is always so much laundry though! In my defense, I did wash several sets of polo wraps over the weekend.... When I saw the blanket I assumed it had been an itchy day. And I was SO right. But fortunately there were only a few muddy spots on Suki. The only damage to the blanket was the fastener on the one surcingle. There weren't any tears or other missing straps. I started with the exfoliation mitt, which is very soft. Typically I massage Suki's face and head, although she does not always allow me to move up by her ears. On extremely itchy days I hold the mitt stationary in front of Suki's face. She moves her head up and down and side to side to get all of the right itchy spots. Then I moved to the right side of her neck, where the skin is always quite dry. Flakes were flying everywhere! In fact I am certain that I am wearing a bit of it in my hair! When I removed the bandage from the graft area there was still more dry skin. Once again I used the mitt. For this I stand on a stool so that I can see Suki's back while I exfoliate. Suki uses her entire body for this. She rocks forward and back, with her lips wiggling wildly! Often she turns around and grooms me at the same time. I like to lean over her back and hug her when I am on the stool, and am usually rewarded with a hug in return. Suki turns her head and neck all the way back and rests her chin on my back....yes, she is that flexible. The exfoliation process is followed by a thorough brushing. Then the dry skin is moisturized and massaged. It is indeed a spa treatment. I should be so lucky as to have such daily skin care! There was some mild bruising on her withers today, which I am attributing to the aggressive rolling. This seems to occur only occasionally, but I may need to add some foam padding in the blanket to prevent it. I may have to do that with all of her sheets, blankets and fly sheets. It is unlikely hat hair will ever grow in that spot, and without much fat to pad the bone, it is a prime spot for bruising. With the dirty medium weight blanket needing repair, I moved on to the next one. It is too warm for the heavy blanket so I had to unwrap another clean medium weight. It is supposed to be a bit warmer tomorrow so in the morning before I head to the office I will need to change Suki into a heavy sheet. I wish the weather would either be cold or warm. The constant blanket changing is driving me crazy! On Monday I usually don't ride, so I am looking forward to that tomorrow.

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