Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Unexpectedly, I shared a moment with Silk yesterday that reminded me of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful horse.
Since Silk began her battle with the “sweet itch”, she gets down in the dirt at least once or twice a day and rubs her belly to get some relief. She’s always loved to roll in the dirt, so part of this rhythmic back and forth rooting is due to habit. For a while, I was really worried because she was getting so raw that I was afraid she’d get an infection. Now, with the medication she’s taking, the itch is getting under control, but she’s still going down in the dust bowl she’s created in the pasture.
I haven’t wanted to bathe her too much with soap because that will only lead to dryness and more irritation. At the same time, I continue to rinse her off every day just to try to keep her belly and the base of her mane and the area up around her female parts cleaned off. We’ve developed this fun bathing ritual that brings us closer together.
I wrap the lead rope loosely around the top of one of the fence posts, and Silk stands in the grass between the barn and the pasture. While I get the sponges and hose ready, she nibbles the grass. As I begin to shower the water on her belly, she lifts her head up and stretches her neck out like a giraffe, wiggling her lips with pleasure. I gently sponge off the dirt. Some days, she lifts her back leg up in the air so I can rub up inside in the nether regions. Other times, she lets out a little squeal to let me know that it’s ticklish or too sensitive. I always tell her that it’s her choice, and if she doesn’t want me to touch her up there right now, I won’t. This was one of the days when it didn’t feel good. I came around to her head to let her know that we weren’t going to do anything back there. She put her nose gently up against my face, and I swear she was trying to kiss me. Then, she buried her head in the space between my arm and my chest next to my heart and stood very still. It made me fall in love with my horse all over again.
Silk hated to do any bathing or grooming when I first bought her. Every time I touched her, she was afraid and braced herself. She would even spook while I brushed her. For many years, as a show horse, her mane had been picked and braided. If she got dirty, people got mad at her. She was readied for shows without any concern about whether it felt good or not to her. Nobody ever cared about what Silk liked. I think that’s why we both particularly enjoy our “horsey spa treatments”. If she could purr like a kitty, she would. It makes me so happy to see her happy.