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Sheryl Prentice / The Journal Gazette

Belgian bridesmaids

Sheryl Prentice | The Journal Gazette

Daisy and Hazel, our 12-year-old Belgian mares, went to a wedding Saturday. And like the other bridesmaids, they glammed up with pedicures and a little bling for an important job – providing a carriage ride for the bride, my niece, Amy Crow, and her groom, Derek Lehrman, after their vows at the Pleasant Chapel Church of the Brethren near Ashley.

Both mares needed a bath before the big event. They were muddy messes after all of the recent rain. For some reason, they think it's fun to roll in the mud.

Husband Lowell, son Jeremy and friend Lucas got an early start on the cleanup, not a pleasant task with cold water and the temperature in the upper 50s. The mares stood patiently as they were hosed down, then scrubbed with deep purple-colored liquid shampoo. Lather, rinse, repeat – then each horse is squeegeed from her head to her hooves to remove the excess water from her coat.

The finishing touch – painting each dinner-plate-size foot with Hoof Black for that flawless pedicure.

Daisy and Hazel wore their best outfits – shiny black harnesses decorated with silver pieces.

A light rain began to fall just as the ceremony got under way in the packed country church. Jeremy was to drive the carriage for his cousin, but the rain cast doubt on whether the ride would take place. But as luck would have it, the rain let up by the time the guests emptied the church sanctuary and filed through the meet-and-greet line for the happy couple.

Daisy and Hazel skipped the reception, though. They were happy to get back to eating grass in the pasture and loafing.

And the first thing they did? Roll in the mud!