August 17 – 23

It was a busy week with some crazy weather. Early Sunday morning I rode Dante, trying to beat the rain. I was out in a far corner of the front field when I felt the first few drops, and we barely made it back to the barn before the proverbial bottom fell out and it started to pour. Thinking that would carry on all day, I went home.

But after lunchtime the sun came out and it was a gorgeous afternoon, so I went back out to the barn and rode Spot. Strange thing was, despite all the morning rain, the creek water level was still really low. I also managed to catch Rocky and Tigger being cute. Or at least still.

Creek this week Rocky the barn cat Grasshopper Tigger on the hay

When I got in the Jeep to leave, a friendly grasshopper tried to come home with me. Actually, I think he was frantically trying to figure out how to get out of the vehicle. Good thing the AC is broken and I drive with all the windows down, because it took him over a mile to find his way out.

Monday morning was the INSANE micro fly invasion. I used to call these scaled-down insects baby flies, but that’s not right because maggots are baby flies. I don’t know if the rain brought them out or what, but the horses were covered in them. And those suckers bite or something because I had a few land on me. No wonder the horses were miserable.

I rode Spot around the fields, after dousing him in fly spray. Thankfully the rain softened up the ground some. His front shoes were loose, and the farrier arrived halfway through our ride to tighten up the clenches, then we went back out in the fields for another 20 minutes or so.

Skipper in the barn aisleAfter that I rode Fairing, also hacking him out in the fields. This worked well because the arena footing was getting evaluated. Skipper got a visit from the chiropractor, who was there to work on a couple of other horses.

On Tuesday I got to ride Arty, and we practiced a little flatwork. Out at Southaven I rode Dante. Both horses were really good. I think Dante was happy to be out in the fields instead of in the boring ring. I know I was. I like the change of scene, and truth be told, it’s easier to get horses moving forward outside the confines of the ring. Oh, and I got a halfway decent photo of Rocky the barn cat. You can see his boxing gloves.

Dante on a hack Rocky's boxing gloves Spot the deer

Wednesday was super busy, as I had Fairing, Spot, and Massey to ride, and I was very proud of myself for getting everything done with a few minutes to spare. Of course, it helped that nobody came out to the barn during the day so I didn’t spend any time chatting or get distracted by what somebody else was doing, which often happens.

Deer were everywhere. Spot and I encountered one on our ride, and when I was on Massey we saw several: one at first that wasn’t scary because it just stood there and then ran away from us, then later on a couple of them jumped out of nowhere (aka the treeline) and took us both by surprise.

Massey see deer Massey meet deer Massey on a walk Massive Massey

I rode Arty and Dante again on Thursday. With Arty, I asked her for a little more lateral work, which she did well, and we also practiced transitions. I have trouble keeping her together going from trot-to-canter and canter-to-trot. I only walked Dante. The ground was hard again, the ring was still in shambles, and it was really hot with a lot of humidity. But he walked forward, with a lot of energy, for a good 50 minutes, so it still counts as exercise.

Friday I worked on that side project adding photos to a local shop’s website. They want to launch the online store on Tuesday, and there were still over 100 product pictures to add. I had to attend a function at my kids’ school that morning, but I had just enough time to slip out to the barn and check on Skipper in between.

Walking Mya They missed a spot

Saturday I walked Mya around the fields for her owner, who was out of town. They finally started cutting hay/mowing this week, and while I could tell Mya really wanted to spook at the farm machinery and round bales, she didn’t, which was nice of her because I didn’t want to die that day.

Field View Partially Mowed Field Field finally gets mowed Henry Halfajob Hay Cutting Service

There was a flock of buzzards, or other scavenger birds feasting on something–likely a casualty from the mowing–in the middle of the front field, and Mya was most intrigued by that activity. Luckily none of the birds flew up suddenly or anything and we were able to pass by without incident. While Mya and I were walking around the side field, I spotted another byproduct of the hay cutting. Poor turtle probably never had a chance. Please pardon Mya’s head shadow in the first photo.

Turtle Shell Turtle Shell Dale Dale's new do

I also took a couple of pictures of Dale’s new forelock do and caught Cutter lying down. He was actually fast asleep, but he woke up when I took the first picture. Please pardon the poop pile.

Cutter Night Night Oops I woke him up Cutter Lying Down

While I was grooming Skipper Saturday afternoon, I noticed that his hair is getting long under his belly and around his chest. I guess that’s the Cushings to blame. So this means it’s time to get my clipper blades back from the tack store (assuming they’re all sharpened and ready to be picked up). Skipper had to be clipped last August, too. It’s like his body tries to grow a winter coat early and doesn’t want to shed it all out when it’s time.

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