It is that time of year again, when hairy ponies need to lose some hair. Looking back through this blog the week before last I saw that Ben was shedding his winter coat by the 12th of March last year. And, grooming him, I thought he would be later this year. But no, by the twelfth, the hair was starting to slide off, in long silky clumps, with every scratch of my fingers and stroke of the rubber curry comb.
Hanging out with them both this morning, I was prompted to give Cloud a good scratch. And how he enjoyed it. As my fingers moved strongly over his back he arched his neck, stretched his upper lip to a long narrow point and blissed out. His coat did not grow long and silky. It resembled more a short, dense, woolly mat that successfully resisted the rain scald that hid under Ben’s longer hair and kept him warm and consequently unrugged all winter. It flew off in white chunks this morning; all over me, into my eyes, my mouth and clinging to my fleece so that I resembled a woolly snowman by the end.
They groom each other too, scraping hard with their teeth, taking breaks to spit each other’s hair out of their mouths until Cloud calls time with an abrupt transition from scratch to bite.