Archive for March 17th, 2012

Cass knew I was up to something. It’d been many months since she had to endure the horrors of the hose! She was hoping I was just cleaning the bucket.

When Cass came to me she had lots of fears. The water hose was definitely one of those fears. I got her used to it slowly by just spraying her feet then pull it away, spray a little higher on her feet, then pull away… working my way further up her body. Lots of times we’d have a dance contest as she’d try to jig one way then the other to get away.

Desensitizing her to the water hose didn’t happen overnight. Patience is the key to working with a horse, especially a horse like Cass. As our relationship grew so did her trust in me and knowing I would NOT do anything to hurt her. Hot days she actually appreciates the cool water. I also made sure to have a nozzle with adjusting sprays so I can use a gentle setting.

I once witnessed a cowboy “work a horse” with a hose. He held her tight on the rope and just kept blasting her face! She was doing her best to fight and get away but she couldn’t. After about 20 min. she was exhausted and nearly drowned. I suppose he thought he’d trained her to accept a water hose. In reality he reinforced her fear of people. It was terrible.

I use a gauze sponge to really get her soapy. It’s vital to keep the pollens off so her allergies aren’t aggravated any more than usual. We’ve had a strange winter with strange stuff flying around. I never know what color my car’s gonna be in the mornings!

I’m so proud of my girl. She stood mostly still and even allowed me to hose her privates! This used to be our stopping point. She’d let me get only so far down her back before I’d have to stop. It’s understandable why she wouldn’t want a water hose on her butt. She’s got a clean one now 🙂

One of the aspects of our relationship is I’m Cass’s “safe place”. When she’s unsure of something she looks to me for safety. This is good. That is, until I’m trying to take a picture while bathing her and not get my phone wet!

She settles herself by a slight touch of her nose to me. I love it!

It’s important to scrape all the excess water off after rinsing. I think she likes this process as she does appreciate a good scratching. I use a specially designed  equine “scraper”. Picture a window washing scraper.

After bathing and drying a bit, we use our sprays and ammunition against the aggravating bugs. I just have to say it, she is the sweetest looking, most lovely animal I’ve ever seen! Don’t you agree?

My favorite Irish song 🙂 Happy Spring! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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