Gwen is Mama Tess’ first foal.  Her sire, General Crook, was a Government bred stallion – tons of hair.  Curly, thick, long gorgeous hair!

Sometimes (every winter…) her hair gets out of control.  When the wind whips and the rain falls and the mud happens, her mane becomes a matted mess.

I get so embarrassed if anyone comes by and sees it before I do.  And now that we have guests at the AirBnB, if any of them know about horses, they’d notice.  Besides, Gwen is such a pretty mare, it isn’t fair of me to let her go wild and matted.

So, today, with the wind whipping but the sun shining, I decided to figure out how to create a mini wash rack.

This was Gwen when she was showing.


We all know that I have no barn and hardly any trees.  I haven’t put up any hitching posts yet, probably because I don’t have a solid plan yet – nor have I drilled rings into the few trees around the house, mainly because Hubby would not approve.  Truth is, I’m not sure where it would work to set up a grooming area.

As an aside, I never realized how lucky I was in Grass Valley with all of those shaded, fenced paddocks and, of course, the barn.  I could tie a horse just about anywhere I was standing.

OK, well, enough moaning about that.. I needed to figure something out to fix up my girl.

So, I walked around and around and around.  Every fence post that I could tie her to, had horses on the other side.  Not good for grooming to get caught in the crossfire of horse shenanigans.

We have two outbuildings.  One might work if I could drill into it and set a ring, but it is made of concrete siding or something because I could not get a screw in at all.

At the moment, my truck is full of hay and covered (because it is going to rain) or I could have attached my truck to my trailer and tied her to my trailer for grooming.  But, we don’t have anywhere to get the hay out of the rain so I’ve been using the truck and covering it.  Not the best idea, either.  Soon.  Soon I will get this all worked out.

Anyway, I didn’t have anywhere to tie her.

Hmmmmm.  And then I focused on Dodger’s sick bay.

Ugh. This was her matted, muddy, nasty mane today.  (Do you see her smile?  She loves attention, even though she protests…)

I’m holding a mat.  I do not understand why they lay down in mud.  She has mud balls all over her.  There is no painless way to remove them except a full, hot bath!


I’ve been using my trailer with panels to house Dodger during the rain.  He had pneumonia last month and I am watching him like a hawk.

However, Dodger doesn’t want to be in there unless I make him.  So, today, he was out with his buddies.  Yes, his area butts up against Annie’s pasture… but I could put her out into the 5 acres and solve that issue.

So that’s what I did.  I put Annie, Norma and Dodger into the 5 acres and put Gwen in Dodger’s area.

Immediately, she went to work cleaning up whatever food Dodger had left behind.

As I was working on her mane, she worked on the lead rope tie. You can see she has it almost all undone.


I got to work.  Buckets of warm water, shampoo, conditioner  (Equi-Spa) and my ‘go to’ detangler (Mane-ly Long Hair Detangler) when the snarls are massive.  I don’t use Mane-ly for daily or weekly grooming because I think it is too gooey, but for badly matted, ratty manes, it works really fast and really well.

I didn’t have to use any scissors!   I just had to be patient… I rubbed the detangler goo into her clean mane and just worked it in.  Eventually, the hair mat labyrinth issue revealed itself and I was able to unwind the tangles and pull out the dead hair.

Gwen, like me, has no patience.  So, getting the knots out FAST is a big deal.   She also hates water running down her legs – she’d fuss and stomp.  Over the years I have created a ‘shampoo dance’ of pouring the warm water on her mane and then quickly swiping it from her chest before it got to her legs.  Mostly I put separate parts of her mane into the rinse water bucket, but the roots needed flushing.  You know how that goes…

I get such a rush when knots come free – do you?  It is like solving a lot of little puzzles tucked into her matted mess.  For me, it is a personal goal to not use scissors.  Not only is it a challenge, but big hunks taken out of a mane with scissors always looks like my first grade school photo with my own cut bangs… I couldn’t do that her.

All done!  She had the entire lead rope undone except for one loop!  (It was too cold to give her a bath.)

VOILA!  Gorgeous again!

OK, she’s not gorgeous like she was when she was showing… but she was happy and I let her roam free and eat grass. A good day!



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3 comments have been posted...

  1. Pia

    I’ve used EquiSpa for years & highly recommend all of her products but especially the Fairy Tails stuff, which I even use on my own hair sometimes. In fact it’s time for me to place an order!
    Contact Sherie at EquiSpa & she can recommend products.

  2. dawndi Post author

    Hi Joni:
    I love any equispa product. I use them all. If you have questions, I’d contact Sherie and ask. She’s really
    nice and makes all the products:

  3. Joni

    Hi Dawn,

    I’ve read so many times how you love the two grooming products you suggest. It’s the Equi-spa you said smells so great?? You said it’s a conditioner, so is it the ShowCoat Leave in conditioner? That’s the only one that seems to fit your description.

    On the Mane-ly Long Hair Detangler, is it the Polisher/Protector Detangler?

    I know if you’re happy with a product it has to be GOOD, so I’d like to try them also.

    Thanks Dawn! I LOVE keeping up with your life and your horses and learn so much, laugh so much and cry a lot.

    Happy New Year!!!!

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