Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dog Days

My summer has been slightly busy, slightly chill. Busy at work (it is tshirt season after all). Chill concerning anything with ponies.

The largest factor influencing the low key riding? The stupid weather. I don't remember ever having a summer so damn humid for so many days in a row. My mom texted me one morning asking how the conditions were. I sent back this pic:

Yep. 98% humidity before 7 a.m. So humid that the weather station thinks it's raining. But there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Later that evening, mom hit me up again asking about the weather and I sent back another pic:

Weather station still thinks it's raining, but it never rained all day. I have the outdoor thermometer installed in the shade. The heat index was through the roof. This was one of the hotter days of the year (and the reason behind my mom wanting to know what's up), but we've had over a month of above 90, miserable conditions and it's affecting everybody's attitude. Enough already!! 

Razz is spending his first full summer out in the elements. Years passed (10 years to be exact) he spent summer days in his stall with a fan blowing. I have been going after work to hose him off and give him treats instead of ride. The boy's favorite afternoon snack is a handful of forage cubes soaked in a cold 25 oz. Natural Light. Feeding instructions on the bag say to make sure the horse has good teeth and feed dry. Are they fucking crazy? These things are legit cubes and need to be soaked. Some poor bastard is feeding them dry, and I'm cringing at the thought of a large cube being chomped in half and lodging in a wind pipe. That's just not cool at all.

Back on topic of handling heat, I roached Razz's mane to let his neck breathe. His mane was longer than his neck is wide. I have a pair of kinder scissors in my grooming bag, the short kind with dull rounded blades for preschoolers, and they took care of it without any real issue. Razz stood super still and I was able to get a nice, close cut. He's gotten two maintenance trims since the initial roaching. I believe he's enjoying the new look.

trying to get a shot of the new 'do, but
he just wanted scritches

so i just collected what was
left over and grabbed a shot
of that instead

Hubby has been accompanying me to the barn on the weekends. I'm so glad he enjoys going, it's nice to have him around after a dry spell all spring. It wasn't on purpose, he just didn't make it for one reason or another. I ask him every time he goes if he would like to ride and he always says "next time" with a grin. We chat about all sorts of things while I perform my thorough grooming ritual and it's time well spent. I've been riding bareback in the rings when hubby is present and striking off around the corn field when he's not there. Sometimes he takes pics of me riding, but mostly he burns up my 4G data since his phone is a flip with buttons. So sad.

trying to get some good bareback work out of both of us

not trying at all, also i look really
tall in this pic or razz looks short

Finally, for the first time in probably five weeks, I threw a saddle on the boy's back. Saturday morning hubs went with me and he hiked while I rode. Razz also wore a new saddle pad. It's a purple and lime Roma pad with a swirl pattern stitched in, and I always figured the purple would clash with the rich chestnut color of Razz's coat. But it looked great. I've had this pad at least a year, should have used it before now. The only thing is it's really big. Almost too big, the girth keeper wanted to sit farther back on his side but the front edge of the pad was plenty far over his shoulder. 

i just love him soooo much

trying to get it right, this is before
i realized how large the pad was

lookin' sharp

We made our way over to the sand pits and the insects weren't all that bad, honestly nonexistent aside from one spot. I haven't ridden any real trails in forever and it felt like the sand pits were just as happy to see me as I was happy to be in there! I knew we were gonna run into some snakes but the only thing out getting their bellies warm were tons of anoles. I was trying a new bit on Razz, a french link loose ring, but it was no good. I thought I would try milder bits to see if he would like any of them before moving on to something stronger. You never know what a horse might like or respond to a little better without testing it, right?

just getting started

guess why they call
it the sand pits

vegetation gets thicker
the farther you go

On the back side of the sand pits is a neat little plateau. This is a nice spot for cantering, it's more open and and the teenagers set some small jumps up last year. They've mostly fallen over or settled down from their original position. Hubs offered to get a video of me hopping over a branch, so I tried to get Razz looking all nice and on the bit, but he just faked it. And I guess Hubby felt like he needed to state the obvious, so I shot him a quick glance of "really?" on my approach. 

It was a great morning. We stayed out for close to two hours and the heat was beginning to really beat down by the time we arrived back at the barn. Razz got hosed down and treated and turned out with his homies.

Sunday morning I was back at the barn at 6:30 in the morning. Me and two other boarders were going out to the sand pits again. We rode the same route through the woods but followed that up with a ride around the tree nursery down the street. The crepe myrtles are in bloom and the nursery was loaded with every imaginable shade of pink and red. 

After our ride, the three of us drove back in to town and grabbed breakfast at a small local joint. It took 40 minutes for us to get a table but that was fine, we chatted and chatted some more.

almost back to the barn

I'm so thankful to have a horse in my life. He make the endless dog days of summer more bearable and brings a smile to my face :)


  1. That is one serious chunk of mane! I really hate humidity I don't know who you ride in it!

    1. We could use a nice Santa Ana on this side of the country right now!! (I think that's what you call those winds off the ocean)

  2. Love the purple and green saddle pad! The aerial view of the new 'do looks awesome :)