Limerick joined up with Joey after her first equine boyfriend, Nick Ripley, moved away in late 2009. Unlike Nick--who was pushy if you allowed him to be--when I retrieve Lim from turnout, Joey only regards me quietly. If I bring a treat out for Lim, I always have one for Joey too. At the very least, I stroke his blazed face and tell him that Lim will "be back later" or "see you tomorrow" before I lead her away. Sometimes he follows us but usually he stays behind and watches us go.
|Limerick and Joey, spring 2012|
|Limerick and Joey, winter 2013|
Despite my time at the barn, Joey's owners are the only horse owners at Gladstone that I have yet to meet. I've been told that they visit him a couple times a year, and although his toes grow a little long for my taste at times, his feet are always eventually trimmed, so his owners at least ensure his basic needs are met from afar. Between his absent owners, generally quiet demeanor, and long red forelock covering his eyes, Joey is something of a mystery horse.
My husband asked me the other day if we could groom Joey. I didn't have to ask why--his long mane had been choked with mud dreadlocks for weeks and his winter coat was dull from lack of grooming. Treading on the side of caution, I told him that I would love to as long as his owners gave the okay. We eventually got a hold of them and they gave their consent.
I have long wanted to show my husband how to groom a horse. Learning on Limerick is out--she is fickle to groom and requires a precise touch, patience, and a sense of humor. A quiet gelding like Joey was the perfect answer for my husband's Grooming 101 course.
I set Lim up on one set of crossties near Joey's stall. We then led him out and situated him on the crossties across from her so they were facing one another. Lim's eyes grew wide as Joey was led out--Hey, it's Joey! she said. It was quite cute. Using Joey's grooming tools, I showed my husband what to do then left him with Joey while I groomed Lim.
Despite the cold, the grooming session was a lot of fun for horses and humans alike. We plan to do it again so my husband can fine-tune his grooming skills and Joey can continue to reap the benefits of grooming.
|My husband and Joey|
|Joey with a clean forelock|
|Lim asking if she'll get carrots after the photos!|