Story Narrated by: Shelby Reynolds - Handler and Trainer
Getting ready for visits is always different, which makes every day a new adventure. Some lucky days all three of us (Lisa, Kate and I) are out there getting horses ready, sometimes two of us, and other times… it’s just me. This day was one of the days I was getting the horses groomed, bathed, and dry for the visit today. When I’m by myself I think more strategically, I always start with the ones that are dirtier than the rest, and/or harder to dry… that way I know they are finished. On this particular day we had decided to take Wendy, Harley, Denver and Dakota on our visit to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).
It’s a nice summer day: sunny and 80 degrees, so I decided to just let the horses eat grass out in the sun while they dried. We have, to my displeasure, a PINK… not purple… corral that stands about 38 inches tall and can get to about 24 feet wide. The horses are able to stay in this corral while they dry off and eat grass. They have access to water and usually end up laying down sunbathing. It’s an easy way to keep them contained and on a clean piece of land before they make a visit.
To introduce our crew for the day:
Wendy is our princess at the farm. She is a grand height of 29” and has a vibrant personality making her hard to forget for people we visit.
Harley, who I call Haggard like Merle Haggard. He is small in stature and has a very down to earth easy-going personality, making him a perfect therapy horse.
Denver, our unicorn. He has stunning blue eyes, natural eyeliner, and is stark white. Denver is most requested for visits, and often sports a beautiful unicorn horn.
Dakota is a sweet 34” black and white pinto. He has what we call puppy dog eyes and has a very easy-going, methodical personality.
I start with Denver, because he is, like usual, a mess. He takes the most time to clean… if you saw him out in the fields, you wouldn’t know he is a beautiful white looking horse with small black spots in various spots on his body. He’s a natural for getting EVERY SINGLE INCH of him covered in mud. So I start with a rinse down & scrub for Denver. We use some of the best shampoo for this guy. Because he loves rolling in the mud so much, we can’t just wash and rinse, he gets soaped down and has to wait for a few minutes to let the shampoo set into his crazy muddy mess.
So, as I let the soap soak in on Denver, I go ahead and move onto bathing Wendy. Wendy loves attention, I mean she absolutely LOVES it. So, the entire time I wash her she is standing with her head low and back hoof propped up, making my job easy. In no time at all, Wendy is finished, Denver just needs a rinse down, and I have two horses to go. In order to keep the assembly line moving, I decide to move Wendy out to the corral.
The minute I put her in there and let her loose… she’s off like a bandit, strutting her stuff for whoever may be watching. She does her usual: roll in the nice grass to try to get dry, so I assume it will only last for a minute or two. I watch her for a little longer, but I know that I need to get back to the barn. “Finish washing Denver, start on Dakota, let him soak… wash Harley and we’re all done,” I think to myself. Little did I know what I had coming…
I turn to walk back to the barn and she starts whipping her head around (insert I whip my hair back and forth song). She runs full force to the far side of the corral, turned around, and heads full force to this side again. This is new, so I stay to figure out what she is up to…
Next thing I know, she’s running full force towards the front of the corral and clears the top of the corral. In case you missed what, I said, she …. CLEARED THE TOP OF THE CORRAL. Not knowing to laugh or yell for her, I just stand there in shock. Immediately, I realize, we have her in the wrong profession: this girl is a hunter-jumper at heart! She get’s her “ooo look at me go!” adrenalin rush out, then runs back to the barn gate to see the other horses.
After laughing and wishing I hadn’t left my phone in the mud lot, I bring her back into the tack room so I can finish rinsing off Denver. Once he is finished, I take both of them back out to the corral and all is fine and dandy. I finish up Dakota and Harley with ease and a few hours later we’re off to have a great visit at CVG with a story to share!