Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hunter Safety

I am learning quickly that I will be a weekend blogger. Weekend mornings to be specific. Its because my head is clear and I can actually write. 

Yesterday I show up at the barn for a ride around 1:30. I hadn't ridden for 14 days. Yikes!!! Thanksgiving holiday totally rearranged the normal schedule and even though I'd been to the barn since returning home they had not been riding visits. I go out and catch him in his huge pasture with no problem. I put his new halter on him and it looks just as good as I thought it would.

Noticing a pattern with the halter, stall sign, tack box? Turquoise may or may not be my favorite color.

I happened to notice something else...Razz was looking a bit off. His attitude was great. He loves to be fussed over and I could tell he was enjoying the intensive grooming process he hadn't received for two weeks. He wasn't sore or favoring anything, I had my hands all over him and no reaction to anything, no swelling or heat anywhere. But his topline seemed completely gone. Not that he has ever been as muscled as a Grande Prix horse, but at least he had a little something going on. Today I could clearly make out his spine under the skin. And the point of his pelvis seemed accentuated also. And he seemed a little sunk in at the flanks. Damn, anything else? I feel around some more, double checking everything, and finally come to the conclusion that he's just too fat. Razz carries his weight in the lower back portion of his belly. And gravity is pulling things down. Yep, you're definitely getting cut back on that full scoop. And no more two week vacations for you either. Sorry buddy. Its for your own good. I want you to stick around and be my partner for as many years as possible :)

After concluding that everything is ok I start tacking up. The cool weather has me using my sheepskin seat saver. This thing is awesome. And affordable (around $30 on amazon, and its legit wool on hide not imitation). 

Off we go, headed to the sandpits. My husband is meeting me at the trail head. I have to ride past a soybean field and a silage field to get off barn property. On my way out I can see two cars parked next to the silage field which was cut around a month ago. Hmmm. Is this a couple teens getting off the highway for a bit of Saturday afternoon fun? I get up to the vehicles, one of which is a Jeep Cherokee that had shifted a few times on my approach (hehe). Well this is gonna be awkward. I figure just go, get past them quickly and be done with it. And as I'm passing by I see two gun barrels sticking up on the opposite side of the car. They aren't getting freaky. They're leaned against the car hunting doves out in the field. Apparently they hadn't been there long because not shots had been fired yet and the fields are loaded with doves. Poor things. I could never take another life, no matter how small, but I was raised country and I don't begrudge these fellas. I let them know I'm behind them just passing through, and trot off quickly past the field. It isn't long once I get past them that the firing begins. 

I make my way on to the sand pits. Hubs is there just like he said he'd be. I was really wanting to ride by myself but he wanted to join me and I didn't argue about it. I can hear gun fire in the distance from all directions, more than just the two dove hunters I passed. Fortunately none of it is coming from inside the sand pits. I put safety orange duct tape all over my jacket anyway. This is easy enough without investing in my own hunting season wardrobe. We rode down another fork in the trails I hadn't taken yet. This one carried us right up to the main highway, the most heavily traveled artery in the county. I stayed well off the road, realizing where we were headed way before we actually got there. Tried to get a couple pics of me in my new fashion statement. But Razz wasn't interested. I couldn't get him to stand still for anything. As soon as we stopped he'd begin pawing and pulling on the bit. Silly pony wants to keep moving and go back home. 

I guess its true. Duct tape can help solve almost every problem out there. I'm not quite sure what my hair is doing in that last pic, I had it in a bun at the base of my neck when we left the barn. The rest of my ride went well, nothing noteworthy. I give my husband a peck on the cheek and he watches while I make my way up the shoulder of the road and make my left turn back to the barn. Then he catches up to me and escorts me past the dove hunters safely. There are three of them now, one sitting next to a light pole by the road. They are all acting responsibly, putting their guns down as I pass by. Once off the road I canter the long stretch back to the barn. I know its not the best thing to do with a horse that wanted to go back home since the moment we left, but 
I couldn't resist. 

Another ride on the books. We need more of these. Gotta get rid of all that extra weight Razz has gained.

1 comment:

  1. I just had to come over from Beka's to say welcome to a fellow NC blogger! We had quite an adventurous ride down in Croatan oh those many years ago - part fun, part, uh, panic-are-we-ever-going-to-escape-the-death-bog. Also ran across some...interesting characters during that ride. Ahhh, Havelock...

    I don't get to comment as much as I'd like these days, but hi and yay safety and omg yes, sheepskin is awesome. :)