It is when the hot, humid, horrible Kansas weather arrives that Gingeris Khan, the supreme empress of Spirit Creek, truly appreciates me, her humble human servant. Oh yes, Miss Thing, the horse that walks away when I am hugging her neck - the haughty, impatient and imperious mare of my humble little acreage - the horse who sometimes shoves me aside with her nose in a fit of royal impatience - looooooves me when it gets hot and horrible and humid. I have the curry comb. I have the fly spray. I have the hands.
As soon as it gets warm flies begin to torment the poor horse. Once she sheds the winter coat they bite her sensitive skin. There is a type of fly that cluster around her eyes. So many flies gather that it looks evil and intolerable. It is why human beings invented fly masks for horses.
It took a long time for Ginger to realize the hissing spray bottle is not a dangerous attack of some mysterious creature. I once had to hide the bottle then spray point-blank or she would dance away. Ginger is not a stupid horse. As soon as she realized she was not harmed at the first spray, she tolerated the rest. But now I can I spray from a distance the first time. She also realizes it means instant relief from the torment of flies.
I liberally apply fly spray, especially in all the areas she cannot reach with her tail or nose. I comb and brush the liquid over every inch of her and the appreciative creature heaves a mighty sigh of contentment. Sometimes she returns this favor of grooming by gathering the material of my shirt in her sensitive mouth and scrubbing along my back or shoulder as I am brushing her. This is the ultimate horse compliment. Sometimes I get the compliment when I have my back to her, raking horse manure, or scrubbing algae out of the water tank and I know her highness is pleased. Sometimes I get the biggest horse compliment of all when Ginger reaches her head over my shoulder and pulls me close in what can only be construed as a hug. In my mind, it is the equivalent of an equine blessing from the supreme ruler of the horse nation here at Spirit Creek. I always graciously accept.