|Someone who never before groomed a horse polished one of this pair.|
Yesterday evening I was at the new barn for the first session of Horse Boot Camp 101, Muddy K style. My friend Tim has been cast in a film shooting in July, a wild, post-nuclear, apocalyptic Western of yet-to-be-revealed storyline. It seems that horses must have survived whatever calamity befell the country, however, because he'll be expected to ride in the film, something which he hasn't done since the proverbial mechanical pony circle of childhood. He asked me to teach him about horses. Twist my arm, why don't you? Longtime readers of my horse journal know I love sharing my horses with people, love it maybe more than any other thing I do.
My six-week boot camp is going to fun for Timmy, but not nearly so much fun as it's going to be for me. Sometimes you don't have a clue what you know until you're asked to share it. I'm curious to see where I run aground, hoping that I don't.
We started at the beginning: Here is a barn. In it is a horse. I combined basic anatomy study with a lesson in grooming. We began at the feet and ended at the face. As I showed him how to lift and pick a hoof, Tim also learned about the frog, bars, sole and heel, laminitis and founder. Then we groomed rough to fine, shedding blade to body brush, following the curves of the horse with discussion layovers at withers, croup, poll, eyes, nostrils, jaw. It was wonderful for Tim, wonderful for me, but wonderful most of all for Gambler, a once-muddy mess who went into an impossibly green pasture clean, bright and white.