Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Horsey Spa


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.

13 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

Silk is lucky to have found someone who cares what she thinks and what she does and doesn't like.
It's a wonderful thing to be able to make a horse feel better and I know she appreciates your sensitivity to her needs.

billie said...

I love that she has come to enjoy the wash time and that she can trust you to listen to her about what feels good!

I was reminded yesterday at daughter's lesson that for many horses, being cross-tied in a wash stall is their idea of a "bath."

We don't have a wash stall, so we don't even have the option, but even if we did, in warm months I can't imagine doing it anywhere but the little barnyard beneath the big oak tree, where there's a bit of containment but the horses can still move at will.

In winter the wash stall would be nice, I suppose, but we don't tend to do bathing in colder months.

(colder months??? what are those?? :)

the7msn said...

A beautiful description of a beautiful moment. I can just see Silk stretching her neck out in pleasure and doing the lip thing.

Nor'dzin said...

This reminded me of the day Dee was feeling so sore and bruised and laid her head on my shoulder. Such precious, moving moments we are so lucky to have with our horses.

Callie said...

This is a lovely post. You are both lucky to have each other!

Sue said...

What a lucky little girl Silk is. She is so beautiful and sweet...I can imagine that moment of feeling her head pressed against you and the love that must have overflowed from your heart. Sigh. This is why horses, and animals in general, are such a beautiful part of our lives. Trust and unconditional love are truly a gift.

detroit dog said...

Oh, this is love!

Carolynn said...

What a beautiful moment. Thank you for sharing that.

It sounds like the little bunny knows a safe haven when she sees it too.

Pony Girl said...

Nice story, Victoria. You and Silk have such a special bond. She is a very lucky girl to have ended up in your pasture! ;)

gina armfield said...

glad Silk is feeling better - seems like it is a bad itch season everywhere!

djbrown said...

Your intuitive kindness to Silk has benefited you both. Your stories of your increasing connection with her bring me great peace.

djbrown said...

PS: It is no small thing to be trusted by an animal.

Twinville said...

Oh this post of yours just made me smile and get all warm and fuzzy inside. Reading about your close and understanding relationship with your beautiful Silk is just so heartwarming and positive when it seems that many people just treat their horses like 'things' such as cars, with no feelings.

Your post also reminded me of the washdown I gave my horse the other day after a ride in the round pen. She loved it so much that she completely relaxed and 'gave herself' to me and then even breathed these deep, heavy sighs while her eyes were closed.

It felt so good to know that she enjoyed it and that she would totally trust me like that.
I'm glad to hear that it's ok to admit that you love your horse. I love mine, too. :)