Saturday, January 28, 2012

"...everything looks like a nail."

You know that saying: "To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail"? Well, I am a woman with clippers, and everything looks very hairy. I am exercising great restraint though. The dog doesn't even have racing stripes yet.

Let me back up some.

So I guess two weekends ago, I rode with C and S out at Fort Churchill. It was a really nice ride, but Dixie sweated a LOT and I didn't electrolyte her enough. (How do I know? She was too tired to eat when we got back to the trailer. I gave her another couple ounces of applesauce elytes, and 10 minutes later she perked up and started noshing on her hay.) Then we had the windstorms (and the fire down south), then icy rain and a bit of much-needed snow.

I painted like a fiend in the kitchen and waited it out, because inspiration is really hard to come by in January. Then the high pressure moved back in and I took Dixie out for a spin on Wednesday.

My plan was to take her up over the hill, then come back south along the east side of the ridge - nothing very hard at all. She could barely trot up the easy part of the hill and she just bonked out on the steeper bit toward the top. Her breathing and HR never slowed down, no matter how much water I dumped on her. I kinda thought she was sick, probably dying, until I realized I'd taken off my hoodie and was perfectly comfortable in a tank top - it was near 60 and very humid from all the snow melting. DUH, she was hot.

I've been really patient, working around her coat. I don't really mind planning my rides so that she has time to cool off before the sun sets, but at this point she can't even perform in all her hair. And it won't fall out for months yet - there's no way I'll have her legged up for rides in March and April, much less be able to complete them. Time for clippers.

Amazon to the rescue! I paid for overnight shipping and had a stack of boxes waiting for me on Friday.


There's not much I love more than a shiny new power tool. Yeehah! I clipped her neck with the grain, with the 7F, and sort of feathered it out so it doesn't look so "hey I just clipped my horse in January." I got one horrendous clipper line down the left side, but the right side looks pretty good and I can live with the whole thing.

Then - because everything looked like a nail - I clipped her jawline. I think fuzzy ears are cute, and I'm perfectly willing to leave whiskers alone, but I really hate goaty looking heads.

photo (1)

I went at her bridle path next and got the off side neatened up, but the clippers up by her left ear sent poor Dixie into a panic. I think some asshole ear-twitched her when she was young, because she's always been jumpy about having the left side of her poll/ear messed with. I had a pocket full of cookies and I "spent" them all working on touching her left ear area, with my hand and with the back of the clippers, without her freaking out. We'll get there one day. For now, well, she doesn't look worse than she did with the scissors bridle path.

I'll ride today and see how she does. If I need to, I can (gleefully!) go take more off, but I know there's a sweet spot where she's not so overheated but she doesn't need blanketing. And when we move to CA, I'm just going to keep her neck/chest/belly clipped all summer, I think.

When I came in the house, I discovered one of the cats had puked on the electric lap blanket on the couch. The puker is, 99% of the time, The Fluffy One, cause he gets enormous fluffy-hairballs that upset his delicate tummy. If I'd sprung for the cordless clippers, I'd have chased him down and shaved his belly and back legs. So far he's escaped that fate by not hanging out in the bathroom near an outlet.

And I got one part of the kitchen done well enough to share. Back in December, I unclogged the clogged up right side of the kitchen sink, and while I was messing around under there I replaced the cabinet floor. It was pressboard, and it had gotten wet (from drain water from the clogged up drain, sometime before we bought it) and it was pretty warped and curled. I ripped it out and laid in two pieces of thin plywood chipboard I had on hand.


I didn't nail them down or anything - the next poor soul who has to work under there will thank me for that. When I painted under there this week, I primed the chipboard, then put some (surprisingly pretty!) contac paper on top. I think it looks completely respectable now.

(Bonus head of The Fluffy Puker investigating)

I wonder if the dog is hot? I could give her a really sharp trace clip...


  1. You make me smile! You really are a tonic! Loved this post, thanks for the fun!

  2. I'm a pet groomer with a Lhasa... who has a minimum of 4 inches of coat on him (because I was expecting PA to be cold like it was last year), and it's really not -as cold-, but winter isn't over so I keep having to talk myself out of breaking out the comb attachments. So I fully understand! :D

    (But maybe he doesn't need -all- that coat...)

  3. Snowhawk - hahahaha DO IT! It's much warmer and drier here this winter as well, and I can't believe I waited as long as I did to buy clippers.

  4. i love Amazon. you can get anything there!! i have two dogs that, when the mood strikes me, get buzz cuts once or twice a year. i'm humming away and they are like "stop! i look so stupid hairless!" but once i star, it's hard to quit ;-)

  5. Its funny--none of my horses get all that hairy in the winter--except my boarder, who gets a really dense woolly coat. Twister is clearly overheated on trail rides on warmish (60 plus) days and every year we talk about clipping him. But his owner has never clipped his horses and resists the idea. But that's one horse who would really benefit. The others don't need it.

  6. Come on over, gal: Fiddle's coat is quite moderate, but Hana is such a YAK! And my clipper blades are dull-dull-dull. We need you!

  7. This weather has been unreal. I don't remember the last time I had sweaty horses in January. And yes, I love Amazon, too!

  8. I'm going to give Allie a trace clip come winter this year. She had trouble last year drying off in time because I ride after dark in winter because of that stupid thing called inflexible work hours.

  9. I love that you consider clippers to be a "power tool"! Roaar!

  10. Cracking up...

    It's been so mild here so far. Val is shedding already and doesn't have a thick 'ol coat, but I bet your trigger finger would be itchin' if you saw his face. ;)

  11. Your first paragraph had me cracking up! That's me too! Clipper crazy around here :)

  12. That's pretty close to the same clip we had to give Elvis. He was just getting too sweaty working.

  13. did you know garbage disposals do not exist in germany? i have no idea why not, but oh well. at least they have embraced the dishwashing machine and vacuum machine.

    your post cracked me up and i shared with my man. you are gonna love getting rid of the hair you don't need.

    i was so thrilled last week when the horse catalog's quarterly sale flyer came and it said the very clippers i bought were "SUPER REDUCED" down to "only" 350Euros. *cough* i found them for 250 and i know the secret now of finding deals on farm supplies. use the agriculture catalogs. the cattle/pig/sheep farming catalogs have everything that works for horses to, for less money. woo! of course you cannot buy riding gear.

    and you have to put up with some animal torture pictures - have you ever seen "pig castration stocks"? omy. they hang the piglet upside down by his back legs.

    be careful of dixie's mane!

  14. Excellent - glad you got the mare partially clipped - hope that helps her alot!

    I've actually helped clip a long haired barn cat that got its fur all matted. It took us a few hours and up to three people at times to hold the cat - we had it wrapped in a towl at times too. We left a little mane on the cat when we were done - it was hilarious. :-) The cat didn't think so though!

  15. If clippers qualify as a power tool then I actually CAN use power tools and not kill myself. Can't wait to inform Jason of this!!!

  16. Hey, if it's a tool that plugs in it's a power tool!

    lytha - aaaack 250 euros for clippers? I had a budget of $200 for clippers and all the accessories (blades and blade wash and stuff).

    I actually don't use my disposal very often. I have a little strainer over the drain to catch most of the food particles. "They" say it's bad for the septic system to dump too many organic solids in it, and the last thing I want is to have to have it pumped. That's one job I am NOT going to attempt on my own.

    I love a lion cut cat, but I think I'd need full anesthesia to do that to Banders. He's so weird, he growls when I (his favorite human EVER) pick him up half the time. I actually just trim his tummy and back legs with scissors when he's sacked out sleeping somewhere. His hair is too long and fine for him to be able to groom it, but he does ok with shorter hair.

  17. I really, really <3 Amazon! Prime has saved my bacon on more than one occasion. And yes! I use it enough to justify the annual fee.

    Your chip board job is outstanding! Any ideas on what I should do under my dual sinks as to water damage/yuck? I have wood, no pressboard and no chip board. The wood is stained, but it's black and yucky looking. Any suggestions to make it... useable? Right now it's so gross looking it gives me the heebies. And please remember, this house is only a handful of years old!

  18. You're going to laugh! Just had Butch put a light in the cupboard under my sink! It's not as organized as yours! That's why I needed the light :-)
    As to the clipping - wana come visit? Could use your skills. Love the new clippers!

  19. LOL C, I threw away like half the crap under there when I emptied it out to paint. That's the New Improved Streamlined Under-Sink Cabinet!

    I got no clipper skills. I promise, if my horse wasn't mostly white, it'd look like a drunk attacked her with a Norelco. ;)


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