dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Last Breath of May

this is from last week- the trees are now leafing out nicely

Spring is turning into summer. Our weather has turned warm and with it the black flies have come out. I don't know if it's because of the mild winter but they seem to be especially fierce this year. I had a lesson booked for Thursday evening and I got ready as per usual. I coated Carmen and I in fly spray and there was a nice breeze. I figured it would be okay. 

It was not okay. Carmen was being driven mad by the biting, swarming little demons. And frankly so was I. I lunged her to see if that helped. Finally I looked at her, she was trying very very hard but was barely keeping it together. I decided that it just wasn't worth it. It felt more like torture and I couldn't see what value we would gain. So I cancelled. Shanea was very understanding. We decided that, until the flies calmed down, we'd have to ride in mornings. 
the old apple tree at the edge of the field is in bloom. the smell is heavenly. 

Friday we did groundwork. I realized that it had been a while since I had done a session of just groundwork. When I was done, I slipped her halter and let her graze while I sat in the ring enjoying the warmth. Saturday I awoke with a massive headache. Fortunately the weather was dreary and drizzly so I spent the day in idleness, doing a few chores and reading. 

Irish amuses me- he's been coming with his flymask askew. What
really makes me laugh is that he has his left ear in the right ear cover.
Not even sure how he did it. 
Sunday morning Julia wanted to ride early after her night shift. That worked for me and my head was 100% better. I wanted to try on her new fly bonnet I bought to match my black and blue saddle pad. It was made by Fun Bonnets. I had order from her in the past and really like her work. She did not disappoint. 


When I mounted and we walked off from the mounting block Carmen began to pin her ears and hump a bit. I was surprised because she just doesn't do that. I gave her rein and let her walk. She kept her ears pinned and shook her head. I stopped her and did some thinking. I wasn't sure what was going on but decided to head into the woods to see if she improved. Which she did. Our hack was lovely. 

Back in the ring I found her to be forward and responsive. In fact, I found her to be a bit 'noodley'- which was better than being hard sided and stiff. Despite our start she was actually stretching out over the back and really reaching for the bit. 
random photo of Ripley trying to get her stick into her pool 

We worked on straightness and her adjustability. To the left is was easier to get her forward and back in the gait. On the right rein she wasn't so adjustable so we practiced with trot-walk-trot, gradually shortening the walk steps until it was trot-almost walk- trot forward. 

I know that Carmen's saddle needs to be adjusted (soon) and the saddle pad I used was thinner than the one I had been using. I wonder if she was feeling the difference and, at first, not liking it but then discovering it was more comfortable. Or she was being stung by something. I don't know. 

What I do know is that we had a ride without any fights or blowups. We finished the ride in a happy place and that has been my goal. The sun came out during our ride and the day ended up being a beautiful summery day. I spent the whole day outside enjoying the warmth. When you live in Canada you really appreciate it when things warm up. Even with the bugs. 

and doesn't she look pretty in her bonnet? 

12 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a terrible year for flies for all of us. I'm trying fly predators this year though who knows if they'll do anything. My issue is that each year I get more and more allergic to biting and stinging bugs. I swell like a balloon and rather than taking 2-5 days for the swelling to go down like a normal person, it takes 10-20 days. So... Yeah. So far no breathing issues, but I have my epi-pens. I probably should see if I can get a prescription for some sort of cream so at least I don't need to live on benadryl.

    Meanwhile I love Carmen's new bonnet and I just laughed at Irish's fly mask! Subi loses his every day. It's not because they don't fit or because he wants it off. Nope. Nay Nay pull the them off Subi's face. Drives me crazy! 2 years ago I tried all of these fly masks until I finally founds one that Subi wouldn't/couldn't take off (they would fly off rolling). I found one, bought 2, and they've held up. Now? Every. Single. Day. the mask is off between 3 and 6pm. Nay Nay pulls it off because he likes to put stuff in his mouth. Halters, muzzles, reins, leather, and fly masks. He's stopped pulling at the velcro on Subi's fly sheet so that's progress... Toddlers.

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    1. Geldings!!! They just love to wreck stuff. I think Irish does that by rolling. Carmen rolls a ton and hers never gets off kilter.

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  2. Our bugs have been fierce lately too — plagues and pestilence of another type I guess, bc why not that seems to be the way of 2020! Sounds like you were able to coax out a good ride tho!!

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    1. Honestly, it does seem like the apocalypse is near,....

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  3. Bugs. I have had great success with rubbing camphor oil (bought at pharmacy, 100ml) in my horses ears. I can usually get away with an application once every two weeks.

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    1. It's the rest of her that's the problem. the bonnets and fly masks do great for the ears. It's also another reason why I never ever trim ears.

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  4. The bugs are SOOOOOO bad here too :/

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    1. Now see, I always picture California as perfect and bug free.....

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  5. Jampy was always getting his fly mask spun around like that too! I don't know how they do it!
    I'm glad you had such a nice ride! Sounds like Carmen just wanted to go for a little hack before working. Can't blame her!

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    1. Carmen and I are very similar in terms of liking being in the woods.

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  6. How on earth did Irish manage to twist it and get it on the other ear?! 10/10 for effort there.

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    1. He has so many special talents. So many.

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