Its been a while since I had given Scarlet a full bath, due to the drought that California has been stuck in for a while. I decided that it was a good time to give him a full on scrubbing with soap and everything. On Sunday, we did a little ride and then I tied him up in the wash rack and got started. Scarlet has never been a horse that is comfortable with baths. He gets really anxious and scared of the hose. The only time he has ever bitten me was while being washed.
He was pretty anxious to start out but I loaded up a bucket with treats and took it slow when I started hosing him off. I long ago figured out that if I always keep a hand on him while spraying water, he stays much calmer. I gave him treats after each step of the way and he calmed down eventually. He would still snort occasionally at the suds under his feet but much better than he normally is. It was fun to get him all squeaky clean. I let him hand graze for quite a while after the bath. I wanted him at least close to dry before I put him back in his pen. I didn’t want to go through all the effort to wash him and then have him coat himself in mud. He seemed to appreciate the gesture. He was all soft afterwards. I don’t know if he cared about that but it made me happy.
He managed to not get himself too dusty by the time I rode again on Monday. We did a basic warm up and then I decided to work a tiny bit of counter canter into our ride. We did okay one way but worse the other. I should add that in more often as it is a great strengthening tool. I know how to make sure we do not overtax ourselves so as long as I am steady and make sure that he is warmed up before, we should be alright. I hope that it helps me improve the motorcycle lean that he sometimes has on that lead. It should since he will strengthen his leg immensely doing counter-canter. I want to make sure we are steadily improving so that I can take full advantage of the facilities at our new barn. That and it keeps me focused on riding rather than just letting him carry me in a circle. While that is fun, I need to improve as much as he improves.