De-Matting my Shetland: The epic battle between Dawn and Dreads.


Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 | Filed under Handy Tips




I’ve got some really pathetic photos to show you…

The first photo you may have already seen if you read my donkey Norma’s FB page.  It is a photo of my Shetland Pony, Slick.  He looks like a mess with some ratty braids.

You see, it all started because of Mother Nature.  She came early this year and then realized that she left the iron on or something and ran back to winter.  This is very confusing for an Shetland Pony coat.  Both of my ponies started to shed, then they sweated and matted, and then it got cold and then it rained.  Their massively hairy coats didn’t know whether to shed or hang on for a little while longer.  So, with no decision, the hair kindof clung there in dangling clumps of indecision.

This is Slick after he was 'groomed' by teenagers... Note the mats and ratty braid.

Yeech.  They looked awful.

A BRILLIANT IDEA GONE AWRY.

The sad part is that I had asked my stepdaughter and her sleep-over “totally into horses” friend to groom the ponies on the last sunny day.  I figured that grooming the ponies would be fun for a city girl who loves horses.  And, I also figured that no one would get hurt.

Well, I thought wrong… not only did the ponies not get groomed – at all –  but we had a barrage of drive-by braidings!  Yup, throughout the ranch, just here and there, you’d find a nasty little ratty braid in someone’s mane.  They were exactly the kind of braids that you don’t want in a horses’ mane because they were the really thin kind, created from dirty twisted hair, that whipped around in the wind, knotted itself upon itself and then gets hopelessly tangled in some hair/dirt/twig mishap that makes you run for the scissors.

Oy.

Slick looked hopelessly pathetic.

I had to do something about it…

And then it rained... Slick and his ratty braids looked even worse, if that was possible.

PACKAGE ARRIVED

A few weeks ago, Equi-Spa sent to me a package with a new product (Fairy Tails) to try.  It is for detangling manes/tails.

I had told myself I would use it on my old mare because she deserved a beauty treatment.  And, she stands really well for groomings.  She loves them.  I figured it would make a sweet blog post about how to groom a gentleman broodmare.

That was my plan, anyway…

But, today was Slick’s day and I thought I really needed to dig into his coat and help him out with his ‘look’.   And since I had the detangler there and ready, I grabbed it to get to work on him.

The package I received a few weeks ago.

KITTENS IN A BASKET

Trying to make Slick stand still for grooming is like trying to keep kittens in a basket.  It just cannot be done.

I spent more time dancing around with him I thought we ought to hang a mirror ball.   The nice part was that after a while, I didn’t even notice that I was moving.  I was so focused on removing dead hair that I was like a homing pigeon on a mission.  “He must be groomed, he must be groomed, he must be groomed…”

You should have seen the dreadlocks under his mane!  When I lifted up his mane it was like seeing bats hanging behind a shutter door.  Yuk!  He must have been shedding and sweating just before the freeze so his mane just clung to the excess hair for warmth.  It looked like the catacombs under there!

These were the catacomb mats under his mane...

He had total dreadpits under both of his front legs and his chest looked like a fringed poncho.

The most fun part was his back and body… that hair came out in sheets!  I could have made an entire bedspread out of his discards!   During this dehairing was the first time he stood still…   I’m sure the loose hair and ensuing rain created itchy clumps for him.  He actually stood still for this part…

There was hair everywhere and especially in all of my face orifices.  My eyes, nose and mouth were covered in ponyhair and every time I raised my fingers to my mouth to remove a strand, I’d apply several more.

My barn coat is now genetically altered.

Almost finished... his mane is perfect, his tail is perfect and there is hair everywhere!

All the neck knots gone! They were really easy to pull off after slathering on the Fairy Tales - and he smelled so good!.

 

MOTHER NATURE

Of course, Mother Nature had to put in her two cents and kick up a wind storm.  That always helps when grooming.

The best part about wind and grooming is having all the loose hair swirling everywhere and in this case, creating a nice white hairy path up to the front door.  Excellent.  Hubby will be very happy about that.

And if hairy walkways weren’t enough for MN, she threw in a rain storm at the tail end of our grooming session.  Nice of her.

So, I guess that I am really happy I had the time to devote to my little scoundral today…  He deserved it and I was feeling really guilty that I write this blog yet my pony looks like Crapony.  Rastapony.  Raggedypondy.

Whatever, he looked anything but his namesake…

I have to be honest... I don't have any fancy tools. Mostly simple stuff that seems to work the best over all the years.

FAIRY TALES!

The Fairy Tales worked!  I got him totally perfect in about 30 minutes!  All I did was rub the wonderfully fragrant cream all over his mane, neck, tail and forelock.  Then, I systematically just started grooming.  Everything went very smoothly – as if he had a PUUURRRR going through his hair.  (Do you remember those?  When I was a kid, my mother had one.  It was blue and had white combs that moved back and forth to detangle hair.  You just plugged it in and it hummed as it detangled long hair.)

Anyway, all the snags and clumps seemed to dissolve!  It was really easy and a total gift for me today.  I thought this would be an epic battle between me and the dreads but it wasn’t at all.

So, yes, I recommend Fairy Tales.  Here is a link to the Equi-Spa page so you can read about the ingredients, etc.

Here is his newly groomed and luxurious mane (Yup, someone took a scissors to his mane when 'grooming' and it wasn't me...you can see he has the same clump missing in the two top BEFORE pics.)

Here is his tail! The end.

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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!



4 comments have been posted...

  1. Debbie

    Hey Dawn…you can still get those electric detanglers, they just aren’t under the name of PUURR. Google “Remington Electric Detangler” or just “Electric Hair Detangler”….they’re under $10 too!! They work the same way (although why they keep calling them cordless when you can clearly see the power cord goes with it, is beyond me, lol!)

    He looks so much better. And pretty too! :)

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