A Never-ending Game of "Clean Me If You Can"

January 17, 2011
By kryoung09 BRONZE, Rochester, Michigan
kryoung09 BRONZE, Rochester, Michigan
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Dirty animals by nature, horses discover the muddiest corner of the pasture to roll in after they get bathed. The only thing worse than a dirty horse, you ask? A grey horse whose lifelong wish consists of painting himself brown. Cue Brutus, my grey, mud-loving, dirt-finding Thoroughbred. I spend hours trying to keep him clean and isolated from anything that will stain his light-colored body—namely, everything!

Since I have limited time available at the barn, I revise the old, cumbersome methods for cleaning a horse and develop a more efficient system. Step one consists of trudging out to the pasture and trying to discern which horse is mine. It would appear an easy task considering the only grey horse in the field belongs to me, right? Wrong. My horse lurks in the shadows, stealthily slinking behind the “true” brown horses, blending in so well he disappears into the landscape. Trekking back to the barn minutes later, I throw Brutus in the crossties and step back, eyes narrowed, as I survey the damage and strategize. The census: start with the front and work my way towards the mud-encrusted hind-end. Grabbing a hard-brush, I set to work, grunting as I throw my whole body into the motions and try to dispel the surfeit of grime. Minutes later I step back, sweaty and heaving. My triumph at getting ride of the dirt becomes squashed when I notice it has instead found a home on me. Brutus—1, Kelsey—0. Shrugging my shoulders at the irony, I jump right back into cleaning. Have I brushed his mane and tail? Check. Have I picked his hooves out? Check. Have I brushed his face? Check. When the front half of the horse seems clean, I turn my attention to the back end. Shaking my head in defeat, I retreat to the observation room.

After refueling with a granola bar and water, I feel up to the challenge to clean Brutus’s legs and hindquarters. Seconds later I throw my hands up in frustration and head to grab my saving grace—Green Sport Remover. Claiming to remove anything from manure to mud to grass stains, I gladly pay $15 a bottle for the solution. In ten minutes I draw back my miracle bottle much like a cowboy with his pistol. Brutus glares fractiously whilst I grin from ear to ear. Although not grey, he now appears light beige as opposed to dark mocha. I will take it. Brutus—1, Kelsey—10!

The crisp, fall air stings my lungs when I deposit Brutus back outside. Rustling leaves waltz through the air, company of the wind, as Brutus shoots an exalted look my way before galloping off to the periphery of the pasture. Well, he was clean for one hour out of twenty-four. He may win some battles, but I will win the war. (At least as long as Tractor Supply does not run out of Green Sport Remover!)

The author's comments:
I was asked by my AP English teacher to write a process and analysis essay. I chose to detail the effort I go through to get Brutus clean after one of his escapades in the pasture. I tried to add humor every opportunity I got because in hindsight, the situation becomes very funny to any outsider watching Brutus glare at me while I glare at him. Eventually one of us wins the battle. Usually me, however, Brutus has been impossible to clean some days, and those battles he wins. Life is dirty, but fun, when you own a grey horse!

Similar Articles


This article has 1 comment.

on Jan. 25 2013 at 5:37 pm
bookmouse BRONZE, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
1 article 90 photos 251 comments
Made smile! And this is why I'm thankful to ride a chestnut...


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!