"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Makeover

This is Paris. Paris is 30 years old, and you will never guess what breed he is.

"This heat sucks."
Paris is an OTTB. Yes, he is! He has a tattoo; it's so faded that it's not legible anymore. He is co-owned by three very nice ladies who wanted an older gentleman gelding to ride for fun. They do walk, trot, a little bit of canter, and go for leisurely trail rides. He is still in semi-retirement, but he gets the attention that all OTTBs crave - grooming, hand-grazing, treats and a lot of love. He is living the life.

As you can see, he still has a long shaggy coat, even though it is officially summer around here. Last week, he became terribly lethargic and the vet was called out because he seemed so uncomfortable. He was treated for what seemed to be very mild colic signs and blood was pulled for a CBC/chem panel and to test him for Cushings - the persistent coat could be a sign. Dr. R ordered a full body clip. Since I had already given him a neck and belly clip 2 months ago that the ladies had been thrilled with, I was called in again, now for the full body clip.

I gave him a shampoo bath, then rode Lily while he dried. The photos above were taken after he dried. I then put him in the cross ties, and got to work.

I started with a high trace clip. In this photo you can appreciate just how long his coat was.
Then continued going higher and higher up his sides.
By the time I'd clipped his neck and shoulders, his entire demeanor began to change.  He became perkier, his eyes started to sparkle, and every time I stepped away to give the clippers a break, he'd wait patiently, ears pricked and watching me. "Continue, please!"
I filled a muck bucket with his hair!
It took 3 hours, but I was able to finish him in one go. It was plain exciting to see how much visibly better he felt! While removing the hair along his back, I discovered he had some skin funk going on right behind his withers, so he received an anti-fungal bath after his makeover was done.

Paris surprised us all by nickering and pawing in the wash stall! "Aaaah...I feel like an OTTB again!" So cute!

I left the hair on his legs per the vet's orders, and under his belly because he was so sensitive in that area. I didn't want to torture the old man. Plus the hair on his belly would protect him from the flies. We have some around here that LOVE to bite horses specifically on their bellies.

Amazing difference, isn't it? His owners are SO happy. He now stands with his face in front of the fan because he can actually feel the wind on his naked skin. He looks out of his stall door alertly, seeking attention, and everyone has commented on the positive change in his personality. The haircut took years off of him.

Just wanted to share this one with the OTTB fans out there. :)