In which Fiddle gets a Piratical haircut: "Chewed On By Bilgerats"

We are stepping up the "training miles" as much and as often as my work schedule and the weather allows, and Fee's winter hair is a hinderance:

(five miles into an 8.5 mile ride, and she is lathered. Weather is sunny and about 40 degrees)

So I dug out the clippers and read the directions:
"Start with a clean, dry horse."


Where in the Swampland will I find a clean, dry horse? Not at Haiku Farm, that's for sure.

Mud face. Sigh.

"Tidy the mane and tail out of the area to be clipped."
After braiding her mane, we venture into territory outside my skill set, as will soon be made obvious.

"Trace the pattern to be clipped onto the animal's body using chalk and a measuring tape for an accurate, even look."
I noticed almost immediately that the picture in the instructions, unlike my horse, didn't have multiple lines on the neck and the butt cheeks. Perhaps my lack of measuring tapage had something to do with that? Nahhhhh.

"Proceed to clip from front-to-back using long, sweeping strokes. Use the smaller blade to trim tight areas such as the throatlatch and face."

Bah hah hah ha ah ah hhaaaah.

Yeah. That didn't happen.

"A checkerboard pattern is sometimes stencilled onto the animal's hindquarters to create visual appeal and an elegant overall picture."

"The finished product: a neat, tidy appearance."
Or in Fiddle's case: "the appearance of having been chewed by rats."

Helpful rats.

Rats who want Fee to be comfortable through the next two months of training in mud.

Rats who love Fiddle no matter how stupid her haircut looks.

Rats who need another cup o' rum before looking at that photo again.



  1. BWAAHAHAHAH. So very worth the wait. A measuring tape? Are you kidding me??

    Stay tuned for The Butchered Paint, coming to your RSS reader in early March.

  2. Love the skull and cross bones!
    If it's any consolation, after a few days or a week, the "tracks" from the clippers become less noticeable and it all evens out a bit.
    Kate is a pretty hairy beastie right now, but with surgery coming up, she won't be getting all that much work for about the next month, and then I'll probably have to do a pretty slow build up, so she'll be all shed out by the time I really get going again...

  3. Oh Aarene, reading your blog is the highlight of my day! :-D

  4. i love that photo of you and fiddle, the first one. you look great!

    and i had to read this entire post to my husband, cuz it's just so cool.

    oh, and before i forget - again - THANK YOU for the head lamp! i used it on a steep climb up a long hill the other night, geocaching, and it was just so bright, i couldn't believe it. it will really help me with not only the night caching, but the night, hay-loft bale-seeking adventures.

    oh, and the book of stories. i cannot wait to use them on english-understanding friends!

  5. No comment, but eh word verification is ramlites. I mean, really....

  6. Love the skull and crossbones!
    Karen W.

  7. She looks beee-utiful! Perhaps with practice we'll be seeing masted ships and depictions of rum?

  8. You are quite beautiful, Fiddle. You are so lucky to have a human that believes mud is perfectly acceptable. Because IT IS. The, uh, scallops are, um, quite becoming. The Skull and Crossbones? ROCK. yours, Hudson


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