As I posted during Spring Break, Michael has been grooming and riding my friend’s horse, Po. Po is a Morgan. I don’t know much about horses, but I do understand that there are special things about Morgans.Po seems to recognize Michael and also seems to know what is coming when Michael visits: a good brushing. Never having been around horses, I was surprised to find out that there were several different brushes that are used in different ways. I don’t think that I can adequately explain it, but the first brush is a hard brush that you use in circles (think Karate Kid – wax on, wax off only more vigorously) to remove the dead hair. The next brush gets the dirt and dust out of the horse’s coat and the final two brushes are sued to “shine” up the coat. I would imagine that it is the same for all horses.
Since Po is a Morgan and was a show horse (I know that my friend competed with him, but I have no clue what events they were in), Po’s mane is shaped by shaving. The last time Michael visited Po it was too windy to ride, so he got to shave Po instead.
Michael needed to stand on a step stool to be able to reach; there were still spots he couldn’t reach. Shaving Po requires the use of clippers, much like the ones used when a boy gets a buzz cut. Michael was quite afraid of making a mistake and was very careful not to take too much off at once. It was my understanding that since Po is a Morgan, there is a special way that the mane is supposed to look that is different from other horses. It has something to do with shaving the mane to the length that the ears reach back, which is further than with other horses.
I think that the best part of Michael grooming Po was watching his confidence grow from the first time he met Po. He was enthusiastic, but unsure the first time. This time, besides using the clippers for the first time, he was quite confident.