Summertime Hot

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It has been so hot and dry around here that the grass is starting to look a little crispy. However, as we long for a rainshower that lasts all day and all night, I have been able to get some riding in. But it has meant I've had to get up early to beat the heat.

In fact, on Saturday when I arrived at the barn, all the animals were just starting their breakfast. Rudy apparently is not compelled to stand up while eating. He is one of the only animals (beside humans of course) who plops down to eat. Perhaps he is a gourmand and wants to enjoy his food. Perhaps he is a French alpaca.

Christine was at home and in pain and Jackie K is vacationing on Nantucket, so they were unable to join me and Lilly. However, Bill and Freddie decided to come along. Even at 10am it was hot hot hot. I was using a special saddle pad on Lilly because I found a very weird patch of crinkly skin on her shoulder. It was dry and wrinkled, like the page of a book that has been left in the rain and then dried. It was also pulling away, like a scab. I feared it was some flaw in how she has been tacked up lately. However, only one shoulder was affected.

It was superficial overall, so I put the special saddle pad on her. Here are the blueberry bushes for which the Blueberry Pasture is named. You can see how wild they have gotten. That thing that looks like a birdhouse is actually Bill's trail cam. He is hoping to get a glimpse of a bear on it.

That's Bill and Freddie up there, exiting the Blueberry part of the Blueberry Pasture and heading out to the open part. I took this picture because it looks like a doorway into the most wonderful place in the world. And it is.

Right here when you leave the Blueberry Pasture at this gate to come out on the road, you look right across at the Winter Pasture. Lilly is probably seeing all of that yummy hay and thinking she'd like to go over there. The only problem with riding through a hayfield is that all Lilly wants to do is eat everything in sight. That and I am never sure what might come darting out of the hay as we are riding through it.

As we were riding, Bill was identifying all the trees. Black birch, hemlock, hornbeam, red maple, sugar maple, poplar, the list is endless. I am getting in F in tree identification this summer. But it is only mid-July. There is time to redeem myself. Right in this part of the woods Freddie did an abrupt 180. And then we saw three deer bounding away. I see deer often in the woods, but they are always all does. I have yet to see a big ole buck.

 My Uncle Jim sent me this card. I love it. Just like I love the passage in Frankenstein that reads: And wherefore was it glorious? Not because the way was smooth and placid as a southern sea, but because it was full of dangers and terror; because at every new incident your fortitude was to be called forth and your courage exhibited. On that note, I will tell you that on Sunday.....

...I rode Bella instead of Lilly! I wanted to let Lilly's strange wrinkly skin get better or fall off or whatever it is going to do and so she had the day off (no complaints were issued). Bella is super sensitive to bugs. They love her a little too much. So first I dabbed SWAT over all of her ooozy bug bites. Then I covered her in fly repellent. Then we headed out.

Bella loves to turn around like this and check for treats.Aren't her eyelashes endearing?  At one point on our ride in the woods, we heard Bill in the Big Pasture calling the horses in there to come to the gate. He was quite far off but we heard him. At this Bella was beside herself. She wanted to be with the other horses so bad. She knows that when Bill calls out he has hay or treats or something good. She didn't buck or rear, but she stomped her foot like a giant rabbit. A giant and very powerful rabbit. She tried hard to steer us both back to the pasture...and into some trees. Whoa nelly. I turned her a circle to get her feet moving and to distract her, but the girth wasn't supertight and I could feel it slipping. I had to resort to singing Delta Dawn (Helen Reddy, 1973) to get her soothed. It seemed to work. It's a lot, after all, asking a young horse to be alone with you on the trail and not with other horses, especially when you are near enough to hear them having a good time.

 The rest of the ride was uneventful. Delta Dawn came in handy a second time when asking Bella to go through a creekbed. At first she resisted. I was about to get off and walk her through but at the last minute urged her through with a resounding rendition of the chorus. It gave Bella the confidence she needed and she plowed through. I kid you not. OK, I may have said Bella Dawn instead of Delta Dawn. No matter. It was a success. I should tell you that when other people are riding with me, I would sooner die than belt out Helen Reddy tunes.  Here we are approaching the barn.

Oh what a gorgeous brumby watching us come in!

I love you, Brumby!


Calm, Forward, Straight said...

No way! I was singing Delta Dawn just yesterday. I think all I know is the chorus though. ;)

juliette said...

Me too with the Delta Dawn yesterday. It works everytime with my Foggy boy! Embarrassed to admit I know all the words.

Good for you with Bella. Lilly is the sweetie pie, but good to stretch yourself with the silly Bella girl.

Once Upon an Equine said...

I'll have to brush up on Delta Dawn. I usually try to sing "Hush Little Baby..." but never remember the words...what comes after the diamond ring if it doesn't shine? Nice pictures. Looks like a great ride. I like the quote on that card.

lmel said...

Delta Dawn, now there's a blast from the past!
Yes, the heat has been just unbearable--can't wait for September. Once again, I've enjoyed viewing your trails, especially the blueberries, yummy!

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