So a couple of posts ago I showed my little mare with a very full head of hair. A forelock that begs to be braided and removed from in front of her eyes. The look and the attitude reminds me so much of a pre-schooler with hair that needs tending but turns out to be too big a fight to accomplish. My little mare is good about grooming, scratching ears, soft brushing her face, but combing that forelock always produces a frown and her trying to move away. It's a good thing I once-upon-a-time had a little girl, human-type, so I understand the complex attitude that small females have.
My last horse before Bella, Buck The Perfect, or Prince-The Horse Formally Known As Buck (after he moved into the barn with a stall all his own), was certainly as opposite to Bella as black is to white. While Bella was only a halter broke yearling when I bought her, Buck was a bomb-proof old man when he came into my life. I had no intention of paying good money for an old bag of bones, but Buck had other ideas. He turned on his charms, sweated that sweet horsey pheromone, and looked me square in the eye and said, "Lady, really you do need to have me to take care of you in payment for those buckets you'll supply everyday, always. K? It's a deal then. Go pay the woman."
All of my old grooming equipment dwindled down to a hoof pick, a couple of brushes that were like steel wool, and a sponge or two. I could take that hard mud remover brush you might use on legs and scratch it through his body and he loved it. Not much need for a mane and tail comb since he only had a couple of mane hairs which I loved each Spring when they grew long enough to bend over, and just a tuft of fuzz for a forelock. And his tail? Just enough to pretend to hunter braid, sort of.
In the summer I worried about him not being able to swat flies properly since his tail wouldn't really reach all the way around to much past his butt. I tried several types of fly sprays that worked a few minutes until those lovely pheromones found the pests again.
A couple of friends helped me come up with a perfect plan to attach a tail bag to his stubby hairs so he wouldn't be so handicapped in the fly removal area. We were all very thrilled with ourselves when we braided him and attached this nylon extension.Back out to the field he went, obliviously proud of himself. Problem solved.
The winds tend to whip up in the California valleys in the afternoon. Buck had now become a one man wind-sock, tail blowing straight sidways, letting us all see what direction the wind was blowing.
Before we gave up this hair-brained idea we tried stuffing straw down in the empty sock to weight it down. No go. Even that did no good. Anything heavier might have pulled his skinny little braid right out and he would have been worse off. We forgot the tail bag entirely.
He was a marvelous horse. My once in a lifetime push-button pony. He passed away in 2003.