It has been raining for a while. It has been raining for two and three days straight. That is very unusual for Colorado. We normally get afternoon showers and once in a while we get a day of rain. Last Wednesday a trash can was left out for a few hours after the trash men came by and in that short period it collected something over 2" of water. That is a lot of water! We need it. We need it badly. We just don't need it all at once. There was, and still is, some concern that there will not be a first cutting of hat this year. The second cutting was questionable. At least all the rain should help get our hay crop back to something that will keep hay prices reasonable.
I have come to hate the rain though. Mostly because the horses love it. Actually, its not the rain they love, its the mud. Here is Mariah.
What the picture does not show well is the mud in her main and the 6" of her tail at the very bottom that is a "mud club." Since she is a Morgan I can grow her tail REAL long. Long enough right now that it drags a bit. In the mud. Here is what the mud on her flank looks like.
Nice thick coating. Takes a while to knock it all off with the metal curry. Its even harder to get the mud off of her legs. A mud brush will not work, I need to use the metal curry. I hold it between two fingers so that I can't apply a lot of pressure but she still doesn't like it. I knock off what I can and then follow up with a mud brush. Usually, it's late summer before all the mud is finally off. That is one of the advantages of not being an owner of a show horse, I don't have to obsess over the mud. My oldest does. Her horse must be show groomed for parades. The ONLY advantage to shedding season is that the mud does come off easily and it takes a bunch of hair with it.
I haven't quite figured out why the horses like to roll in the mud so much. I have it narrowed down to two possibilities. First, the thick layer of mud keeps the biting insects off of their sensitive skin. Second, they like making their mommies and daddies stand there and groom them for at least a couple of hours at a time. Knowing how horses think, I am convinced that its the second reason.
Here is another reason I hate the rain. It creates horsy hell. This is the ground just outside the stalls.
What is lost in the picture is that most of those holes are as deep as the horses fetlock. About 6" or so. So all that mud get packed around their ankles and into their hoofs. Whats worse, when that stuff dries if gets nearly as hard as concrete so it is very treacherous for them to walk on. Once it dries a bit more I will take the tractor with the box-blade and smooth things out a bit. The whole pasture looks a lot like this.
The other bad thing about this mud is that it makes the hoofs more susceptible to bruising. The farrier came out last Wednesday, when it was pouring rain (LOVE my barn with the grooming isle!!) and trimmed. When we got to Mariah he was concerned about her front feet. Laminitis concerned. She showed a little inflammation near the white line and lot of discoloration on her sole. He wasn't convinced that it was laminitis because of the way the sole looked. The inflammation started at each bar and wrapped around the front of the frog. She is not lame at all, which was a good sign, but I called the vet.
Turns out, a week of standing in the mud softens the hoof structures a bit. I did a lesson on her and the only place to work her was on some hard pack. Mariah, being a go-horse, was trotting with determination, as she always does, and that. combined with the rains softened hoofs, was enough to cause some bruising. She is going to be just fine.
We are having a nice weekend, very sunny, and the pasture is drying out. Not quite dry enough to run the box-blade over, but better. In a couple of days it will be dry enough. In a couple of days, rain is back in the forecast. Nuts.