Over the Fence: Sweat Scraper Soulmate


Barn Panorama

Have you ever developed an unreasonable attachment to a piece of grooming equipment? If yes, then you’ll know how I feel about my old sweat scraper.

I love its sturdy red wooden handle, its lovely copper arc and the black rubber that makes a soft connection with my horse’s body as I press down, squeezing the water out of his coat with precision after a rinse. Years ago, it was a gift from my husband. He had been in London on business and wandered into Harrod’s looking for a gift for me. He bought a horse grooming kit in a boutique-y burlap bag and ferried it home across the Atlantic. The clean, white bag with a rope cinch contained horse shampoo, conditioner, a beautiful dandy brush and the scraper. I used it. I loved it.

Sweat Scraper Selfie

That scraper was special.

But after a few years, it went missing. I searched every corner of the barn, but it was gone.

My beautiful sweat scraper has been in the back of my mind ever since. I reverted to using a cheap, plastic blue one but missed the weight of my “soulmate” scraper. I understand things go missing every once in a while at the busy boarding stable where my horse lives. A bridle misplaced here, a crop disappears there, a noseband lost here. Over the years, I have looked for that scraper under piles of blankets, in odd corners and in other people’s cubbies when they weren’t around (secretly sure that someone had stolen my prized possession), but no luck.

Barn Sign

In early August, a sign went up in the barn. As instructed, I cleaned up my stuff that was lying around, threw stuff out, and organized stuff to donate. I also painted the inside of my cubby and hung up new pegs to hang my halters on. I took my winter blankets home to wash and organized my vet wrap by color. But still, I harbored a grudge against the universe for never returning my beloved sweat scraper after all these years.

Today I walked into the newly cleaned out barn. There was a feeling of lightness in the tack room, with tons of old stuff cleared out and a distinct absence of old saddle pads and piles of mystery leather straps hanging around. A beautiful breeze blew down the aisle as I noticed one last pile for boarders to look through before stuff gets donated to the local horse rescue. Next to a forelorn pair of abandoned field boots sat an old white bucket that I hadn’t noticed before. I pulled out a beat-up old Cavallo trail boot (just one) and moved aside some dried out leather-cleaning sponges and a pile of dirty longe line. Underneath, I saw a glimmer of red wood.

Sweat Scraper

It was covered in cobwebs and the screws were a little rusty. But — Elation! Reunion! Old sweat scraper, old friend. You have returned. I am happy.

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