Sunday, July 6, 2014

Suddenly Summer

Today was my first time back in the saddle after our first dreadful heat wave of the summer. As our farrier said yesterday, "The only reason to like summer is fresh hay." I have to agree with him, oh and maybe the long daylight hours as well. Of course, that only means we have dinner after 9 p.m. most days!

Why the long absence, you ask? Well aside from the 80 to 90 degree days with horrible humidity and thunderstorms, I threw my back out trying to play plumber and appliance mechanic. I think I finally got the kitchen sink fixed--it had been leaking terribly for months--but the hot water pressure doesn't seem right. Hmm...Then the washing machine croaked. And you all know how many sweat-soaked saddle pads you go through in a week! I watched a YouTube video, took it apart, found the broken culprit and went to my local appliance store only to be sold the "new model" which the parts man said would work. Hah! So aftera morning scrambling under the kitchen sink, an afternoon wrestling with the washer, two trips to the appliance store,my back was toast. I couldn't ride Sunday, and I was sent home from work on Monday. What a wreck!

Saturday morning was spent with the farrier. And I just have to say, Harley was a good boy for St. Butch, better than Rolex! Then we zipped off to look at two properties, only to see both had barns with broken sills that needed A LOT of work. We'll keep an eye out and maybe make an offer on one, taking into account the barn needs to be torn down and rebuilt. So the afternoon of a glorious day was shot. We still needed to go to the feed store and by now it was after five. Day is done, gone the sun--we didn't get home until after 9 p.m. again.

So today, I vowed to ride my 'ole Gnarley Harley! Thankfully, all we received from Hurricane Arthur was a lot of strong winds which cleared out the nasty humidity. The wind still blew like crazy, gusting up the hill and through the trees.   This was a good thing; I hoped it would keep the biting flies at bay. The deer flies arrived with the hot weather so now a ride in the woulds requires a whisk and lots of bug spray.  As expected, he pranced down the street, jumping at thrashing branches, and trying to chicken out on me at the turkey place. "Oh no, you get up there, Mr. Spookypants!" We only did a short ride up towards Big Bump and down the power line since the deer flies were so bad.

 Mr. Spookypants safe at home in the clover patch

So we did a bit of ring work, something I'm so bad at disciplining myself to do. But we made use of some telephone poles Pete had pulled from the deep grass. First, Harley spooked at them--they weren't there before--then realized they were harmless. Since the poles were too close together to jump, but we played "trail class" and I made him walk in a serpentine through them, turn on the forehand, and back up a bit in a line as well. Maybe I can add some other obstacles for fun. I may move one of the poles for a jump! 

Harley has a nice nosh on some clover after a post-ride bath while I scrubbed buckets, cleaned stalls, and put away gear.

Then I had to go attend to our poor Ruffy girl, badly lame on one front leg. I think she hurt herself galloping around in the field yesterday. After being cooped up in the rain, everyone was "hot to trot" and ready for some action! Since they were bred to run, that's what they do best, but our fast girl must have whacked herself or strained something. I hosed her leg and gave her a dose of applesauce and bute. She's on stall rest with lots of hay and a cool fan blowing on her--poor Miss Ruff, she's our accident prone gal that needs a bubble wrap suit!


  1. I agree too about the fresh hay! Recently Bill left the barn to turn hay and it was so hot, I said: Ugh, now? In the hottest part of the day? and his wife Jackie said that is exactly when you want to turn the hay so it dries. Shows what a lame hay farmer I would be! The hot weather really is too much! The humidity is gross! Glad to hear you are getting things done, but at the cost of throwing your back out! Oh dear. Still, I like the summer the best! Hope Ruff gets better soon. My father-in-law says that if no one gets hurts then it really couldn't have been any fun. Spoken like an old athlete!!!

  2. Wow, you are so 'hands-on'!! I don't think I would tackle washing machine repair.
    I noticed Harley's nice new boots in the photo, how are you getting on with them?
    And get well soon, Ms Ruffy Girl.

    1. So far, the boots have been great for Harley. They seem to stay on, even in mud. The key is keeping the velcro cleaned out with a slicker brush. But when they do wear out, I can order replacement cuffs.


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