Up Close

Ever notice the small details of a horse’s coat? How each hair blends in delightfully with all the others. The patterns that form. Lines, swirls and whirls. It is interesting what draws your attention when you get up close.

Typically, during later Winter/early Spring, my horses look their worst. Winter coats are dull. Manes super scraggly. And did I mention the mud? Wet and dry dirt caked over, under and into all that hair. It can make for quite a mess.

Even so, I love marveling at the beauty beneath the chaos. I observe the individual hairs coming together to form this protective tapestry that keeps the horses warm all Winter.

What an amazing design. Wonderfully Intricate. To me, it bears witness to God’s original universal design. Right down to the tiny details of each separate hair. It shows me that small things, seemingly insignificant, have a time, place and purpose. It is satisfying to contemplate.

I now sit on the cusp of the annual shedding ritual. My horses will change in appearance. All the long hairs so necessary for Winter protection will loosen. They will end up all over the ground when the horses roll, all over me when I go to groom and scattered into the four directions every time the wind blows. The advent of transition is an opportune time to watch, document and reflect on the details of life.

What do you notice about a horse up close?

7 thoughts on “Up Close

  1. I love grooming time. Working at a horse stud when washing these incredibly magnificent expensive equines after washing them had to scrap off in the direction of the hair, logical I know. if we were caught scraping even slightly sideways it was trouble. Being naturally logical & pedantic these intricacies always fascinated me. Where the stomach meets the hip the hair goes in 8 different directions amazing. lol

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    1. Sounds like you had a very particular and demanding work environment there. I suppose that would in fact be one way to get really good at noticing the details of a horse’s coat! And yes, I totally agree that those flank areas are so interesting to observe. I can almost get dizzy looking at the hairs going in all different directions.

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  2. Today I noticed that Biasini has an interesting whorl on the underside of his neck it is a long one about 3 inches long. I’m sure I have noticed it before but today it really caught my attention!

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    1. It’s funny what we can see all the time and yet not really take in. I remember having Bear for maybe five years or so when a friend commented how she liked this spot on his muzzle that would get whiter at certain times of the year than others. I wasn’t sure what she was talking about. So I flipped through my photographs of him during different seasons. Sure enough, she was correct. I had never noticed it before!

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  3. I’ve always loved looking closely at my horses. I’ve found unusual swirls like you mentioned. I find their coats so fascinating and thoroughly enjoy grooming them too. I worked for a horse trainer after I got out of high school and he had me curry the show horses for 20 minutes at a time to bring out the oils and sheen in their coats. He was very meticulous and we had those horses gleeming from head to toe at the horse shows! Being that I showed, I groomed and also body clipped (and I continue to body clip the horses that need it in the winter) and boy do you get to know every detail of every swirl as you twist and turn the clippers to get that whole flank area, and their necks can have swirls too right as the neck starts from their jaw is huge swirls usually!! This was a fun post, thank you for sharing!! ❤️🐴♥️🐴♥️

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    1. Body clipping- you just named my nemesis! Can’t do it without leaving the horse looking like it was maimed. I imagine you have better hand-eye coordination and fine motor control than me! And that’s a great point about having to be really aware of their hair direction changes as part of completing a successful body clip. You’ve got some really good experience there.

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      1. Thank you kindly! Years and years of practice plus I’m rather ambidextrous which makes clipping much easier as I can use either hand to clip each side. It can be quite challenging hence why I’m hired to clip many horses at the barn. I know when I retire I could have a nice side business body clipping, but it’s not exactly the greatest job with all the hair everywhere!

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