We've had sub-zero temps around here the last few days. I have a secret to share. I'm kind of ashamed.
When my eyes crack open in the gray light of early dawn, I look out my bedroom window. I love to lay still and watch the creeping light turn the hillside red, inch by inch, as the sun comes up.
I come up through the layers of my sleep and let the approaching day run through my mind. I stick my foot out of the bottom of the sheets and test the air, trying to get a feel for how cold it is without getting my dogs wound up and jumping around.
My first groggy thought is automatically about chopping ice. How thick will the ice be and will the pumps need to be thawed?
Then I remember my life has changed.
I slowly pull my foot back under the covers, roll over, and fall back asleep with a smile on my face.
Full care is a wonderful thing.
Somebody asked me about the Morgan guys tail growing technique. I wrap my horses tails in the fall after the flies are gone. By spring it's dragging the ground on most of them. So I unwrap them and leave them free for fly season. I like a beautiful, flowing mane and tail as well as the next guy, but excessive hair is a pain in the butt. My horses tear out their tail hair when they back and mane hair gets tangled in my romels. So I let them be free for the summer and get shorter naturally. It works for me.
Here it is.
Strips of old bed sheet about three inches wide and the length of the sheet
Orange twine from a hay bale (if you wrap it in the summer)
I always start with a clean, brushed tail. I don't brush out my horses tails unless we're doing photos or showing, so this in itself can be a project.
I finger pick the worst of the snarls out. I separate out the Rastafarian stuff and check for burrs, sticks, whatever.
Then I take a bottle of cheap hair conditioner and saturate the tail from the tail bone down. I don't load up the hair coming off the tail because sometimes the conditioner will irritate the tail bone.
I leave this gooey mess overnight.
The next day I wash the tail (cheap shampoo again).When I bathe my horses I use a bucket and a brush I got from an auto supply store. It works great.
Anyway, then I let the tail completely dry. Then, finally I comb it out. I start at the top and work my way down. I'm slow and careful.
Next, divide the hair into three chunks to make a braid.
Then I take three strips of the sheet and tie them together in the hair below the tail bone. Don't worry about the hair on the tail bone, it just hangs there (I didn't say it was pretty).
Make a relaxed braid with a strip of sheet wrapped around with each chunk of hair. Does this make sense so far?
Braid the hair down to the very end of the tail and tie it off.
Then take your vet wrap and, starting at the top of the braid, wrap all the way down to the tip.
Now you should have a long, stiff, stick thing. Double the tail to the base of the tail bone and vet wrap that....
It looks stupid. I'll see if I have a picture.
Then just leave it. I don't take it out until spring.
Oops, I almost forgot. If you want their tails wrapped during fly season then leave a little loop at the bottom when you double the tail and vet wrap it. Then run several strands of twine through the loop and tie them off. It makes a very effective fly swatter.