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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Self-Directed Shower

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Last week on one of the hottest dry days of the hot streak, Cyndie dragged out a hose to spray water on the lime screenings and surfaces under the overhang. The horses kick and stomp on the ground to shake off flies which raises clouds of gritty dust that soon covers everything inside and out around the barn.

While she was making her way along the width, waving the spray back and forth over the dusty ground, Mia made an intentional approach and stopped just short of the shower of droplets. Cyndie held still and watched to see what Mia would do.

Very tentatively, Mia let the outer spray from the nozzle coat her whiskers. A moment later, she reached her face further in to get her chin. Another pause, and then she puts her nostrils and muzzle in the flow. Each time, moving into the flow and then out. Forehead, out, cheek, out, neck, out, withers, out, shoulder, out.

On Sunday afternoon, I was present to witness the same scene play out another time. Mia behaved just as Cyndie had described. It reached a point where I encouraged Cyndie to become more active and direct the spray over Mia’s legs and sides. When Mia took a step, the first impression we got was that she had enough, so Cyndie moved away.

Then I sensed Mia wasn’t stepping to get away, she was turning around to present her butt! Cyndie moved the spray onto Mia again and it was gladly received.

When Cyndie went in to get a scraper and towel, I watched Mia shimmy and shake to shed the water and then stand contentedly to let wetness drip off of her. As Cyndie finished drying Mia, I wondered aloud if this would be a time to try brushing her mane.

While Cyndie was back in the barn locating the mane brush and some conditioner, I watched Mia walk down the slope to the dusty black dirt where she laid down and rolled to finish drying. That was the sight to which Cyndie emerged.

Mia did let Cyndie brush out her main after standing back up again. After that, Light accepted a little mane grooming, as well.

It surprised us a bit that none of the other three horses showed any interest in the attention Mia was receiving with the cool spray of water. I’m guessing they don’t like baths as much as she does.

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Written by johnwhays

June 15, 2021 at 6:00 am

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