An­other rea­son for rub­bing

EQUUS - - Eq Letters -

“In­ves­ti­gat­ing Tail Rub­bing” (Hands On, EQUUS 469) didn’t in­clude one ma­jor cause of this be­hav­ior that I have ob­served in my mares over the years---a buildup of dirt and grime be­tween the teats of the ud­der. I have had sev­eral mares rub their tails, but if I just wipe their ud­ders clean once a week with a soft, dry towel, they will stop. My cur­rent horse will specif­i­cally “park” her­self with her butt near me with the di­rect in­ten­tion that I give her ud­der a scratch.

Be­cause this is such a sen­si­tive and gen­er­ally un­touched area, I def­i­nitely take my time ap­proach­ing it, but 95 per­cent of the mares I have owned and worked with over the years gen­er­ally are quite happy to have their ud­ders cleaned. Some­times I find quite a buildup, which I am pos­i­tive must be very un­com­fort­able for them. Most mares will po­litely let you know when your work is “good enough.” Carolyn La­timer Bow­den, Al­berta if he could bring him to my place so he could have more room to run and play with other young­sters. Be­sides my colt and mare, I had an­other man’s five Quar­ter Horse mares and foals. It was like a wild nurs­ery. Rowdy at that time was a smoky plat­inum gray with coal black points. That colt stayed on the move from morn­ing till night.

Many times, Johnny asked if I’d like to ride Rowdy, but I was al­ways too tired or busy. Fi­nally, one day I said yes. I don’t know what I was ex­pect­ing, but we sin­gle-footed down the road, and then when we got to a farm lane, I just picked up the reins, put­ting a lit­tle pres­sure on his mouth, and he took off.

I’ve rid­den Thor­ough­breds off the track and Quar­ter Horses at full tilt, but this was speed like no other. He was fly­ing and I was sit­ting still--no bumps, no lunges, noth­ing but smooth. It was a ride I’ll never for­get.

Johnny re­ally loved that lit­tle horse and did ev­ery­thing he could to pro­mote him and make him bet­ter. I don’t think Rowdy would have been half the horse he was in an­other per­son’s hands. Johnny was a great man, a great horse­man and a great friend. I’m glad he and Rowdy were able to leave such a won­der­ful legacy. I miss him a lot. Babs Den­ham Jarvis­burg, North Carolina

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