Monday, May 6, 2013

Fun In The Sun

Ahhh we in the PNW do not know what to do with ourselves. Normally April - June consists of 90 days of wet, cool weather, with minimal sun breaks. The joke is that summer starts on July 5th.

Well this year, we've been gifted 10+ days of sunshine, with temps in the mid 70's - low 80's. A heat wave by our standards. So its pretty obvious that this weekend we equestrians had to take full advantage of the situation. And we did just that.

On Saturday I had a regular schooling session with Ben. I gave him a good rinse afterwards and then spent a fair bit of time hand grazing him.

On Sunday, however, we had a job to do. A couple of barn mates wanted to take their horses out for a ride around our race track. The first couple of times can be a bit of a hair raising experience- the track is not a quiet place at all. On the first long side, you have all the turn out paddocks and pastures- which can easily stir up activity. On the back turn you have a private property and loud creek- there is a lot of 4-wheeling going on over there, burn piles, etc. On the second long side there is a nursery- again, burn piles, sprinklers, hard-to-see people gardening. On the last short side is the main road- no shortage of speeding cars, motorcycles, bicyclists. The infield offers no haven either. It is split into 2 5 acre parcels. Both have very barkey dogs that run right up to the fence line and chase the horses. Both properties also have horses that like to get stirred up as you walk/trot/canter on by.

This is a lot to take in for a horse. Ben, however, has been out on the track numerous times, and is even schooled out there when the weather is nice. So I offered to take our friends for their first ride out there. Ben was a solid, easy going citizen, and really set the tone for his equine pals. Everyone made it around safely.

It was a nice, quiet ride, much needed after a week of hard work. A gentle hack does the body/mind good!

This week we're ramping up to prepare for the show on Saturday. Lots of grooming to be done, as well as riding, and in hand work (crash course in showmanship for Ben!). Unfortunately our hunt saddle isn't going to work out, so we're planning on going in our dressage tack. We have one more saddle to try before that idea is totally dead...but I'm assuming we'll be DQ's in a hunt-seat world on Saturday :)

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