Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ignore Previous Entry

Spring/summer has arrived with a vengeance. We went from naked trees to buds to full-blown leaves in about a two day period.

I didn't get to ride last week. My trainer wasn't going to be available on Tuesday but told me I could go ahead and ride if I wanted to. When I got to the barn the horse seemed lethargic and not his usual cheery self. I turned him loose in an arena and instead of rolling, he laid down for about 5-10 minutes. He never does that. He also turned down carrots so I knew he wasn't up to par. I gave him a good grooming and put him away after calling his owner to let her know what was up. Turns out he was running a temperature and at one point she thought she might not be bringing him home from the vet's. They think he picked up a ground contaminate from wild geese that had landed in the pastures. Anyway, he got meds and this week seems back to normal.

I spent Saturday and Sunday at the hunter/jumper horse show. It was fun but I decided to stay home Monday and start working on potting up plants and weeding. Yesterday I had just finished zippering up my half chaps when my trainer called to ask if she could move me from 2:00 until 4:00 as she'd had a flat tire that needed fixing. No problem. I just changed out of my riding clothes back into jeans and worked in the yard. Just as I was stepping out the door for the later lesson my trainer called to say she was running about 20 minutes late. Okie dokie, I'll give the horse an extra good grooming.

So, I get to the barn, let the horse loose and start to gather up tack. His bridle is missing. I knew she'd used it on a different horse at the show Sunday so I called her to let her know. She told me to look in her trailer as it must have gotten left in there. I couldn't find it. I decided to go ahead and groom the horse, saddle him and walk him around in his halter. Did I mention it was uncomfortably warm during all of this? 4:30 rolls around - still no trainer. I am dying from the heat so I untack the horse, put him away and go find a shady spot to wait for her. When she finally showed (after 5:00) I told her I still hadn't found the bridle so we both go to the trailer. Turns out it got put in a cubby on the opposite side of the trailer than the main tack area I had been looking in.

She had already postponed her next lesson to make time for mine so I got the horse ready, mounted and proceeded to have a lesson in the scorching heat. I think my brain was fried. I couldn't seem to remember how to do anything, although apparently the horse was covering for me as she kept saying how well I was doing. Maybe muscle memory? I know I didn't consciously do anything. There was another woman in the arena so I tried to stay to one side. She kept wandering into "my" area and I kept having to detour to avoid bumping into her horse. Anyway, did I mention it was hot? I don't think the horse liked it either because my trainer asked if there were bugs around his ears or if he was just twitching them in irritation? Unfortunately, it was the latter. When the other woman left the arena with her horse, mine did a little crow hop - I didn't fall off! He apparently thought that if the other horse was getting to leave he should be able to get me off his back also. Little did he know that there was another rider waiting in the wings for him.

I drove into Anchorage to have lunch with a friend today and then worked in the yard some more. As usual, I've purchased too many plants so am over planting all my containers. My hanging baskets won't be ready for pick up until next Wednesday. The nursery had told me to call three or four days in advance but they got slammed all at once due to the late spring and are taking longer than usual to accommodate all their customers. I plan to work in the yard all day tomorrow, ride Friday and then attend dressage shows in Anchorage this weekend.

What ever happened to the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Record Setting Snowfall

Ah yes, another first; snow starting yesterday and continuing today. Normally, Memorial Day is our big weekend for putting out plants. Last Saturday was warm, I had the windows open and was contemplating taking advantage of some coupons I had for a local nursery. It wasn't getting below freezing at night and surely I could safely start hardening off the tender young plants. The one thing that stopped me was that supposedly it is safe to plant once the leaves on the birch trees are as big as a squirrel's ear. I haven't even seen a glimpse of green yet. Then the temperature kept getting lower and I decided not to risk spending money on something just to have it killed off by frost. The forecast called for snow later in the week and darned if they weren't right for once. I did see several robins earlier in the day when it was still raining. I bet they're ready to fly south again.

I had switched over to my summer riding boots and my feet were cold yesterday for the first time ever, despite having on wool socks. On the positive side, the lesson was great and I got some extra riding time since the person who normally rides after me had canceled. My trainer put the horse on a lunge line and had me practice sitting trot both with and without stirrups. Surprisingly, I do better without stirrups; I think because I sit deeper in the saddle.

The first show of the season is supposed to be next weekend. Several events to be held over both this and last weekend have been canceled because the arenas aren't dry yet - one is being used by geese which should give you an idea of how wet it is. Good times...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Don't Fruit the Beer!

I just saw a commercial for a canned margarita made with beer. Come on, Budweiser. Don't stoop to this.