Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I was a bad horsey mom for most of June.  I barely had any time for my boys at all, and Red drew the short stick just by virtue of not living right out my backdoor.  So when this past weekend turned up without any plans, I decided it was time for a pony party!

Saturday morning, before the worst of this horrid humidity we're currently sweltering through hit, I tacked Red up and took him for a spin.  As I had with Rhio, I found that I needed a tree branch fly switch to make the ride at all tolerable, but with that at the ready, we had a lovely ride.  I think his right hock might be bothering him again (already!), though, as he seemed a little off at his slow trot.  Of course, at his big trot he felt fine, as all that momentum "hides" the little hitch in his giddyup.  We lucked out and the skies stayed cloudy for nearly all our 7 1/2 miles, but as soon as that sun came out, it was way too hot!
You can see the foaming sweat coming through the mesh of the fly mask ears. 

Red is not my heat-tolerant horse, and he was extremely sweaty upon our return.  The first of the pampering pony party began, and Red got a full bath with shampoo and I even did his mane and tail.  He quite enjoys baths, at least when it's hot, and was then very happy to go stand in a stall in front of a fan.  I brought the rest of the crew in to escape the heat and flies for the afternoon, and left them all contentedly munching hay while their forelocks blew in the fan-generated breezes.

Red spent his nights grazing down the tall grass in the round pen, and the afternoons in the barn trying to beat the heat.  He got his feet treated for thrush (seems to be all cleared up from spring, but a maintenance treatment seemed like a good plan), his bridle path clipped, his mane braided, and just generally preened, petted, and pampered.  He loved every minute of it!  I worried a bit that the boys back at his farm would ostracize him upon his return, smelling sweet and looking all shiny and clean.  My fears were assuaged, however, when Peepers and Jimmy came running & whinnying to the gate to meet him last night.

It was so hot that the thought of riding him the 1 mile home was completely unappealing until about 8:30 pm last night.  It was still hot & humid, but at least the sun was mostly down and it's slanted rays didn't have the power of midday anymore.  I jumped on Rhio with the bareback pad, still in my bathing suit from my swim in the lake earlier in the evening and with sandals on my feet (kids, don't do this at home!), and ponied Red home.  The flies were terrible, and I was trying to swat them from my bare legs & feet, and both horses' heads, while holding Rhio's reins in one hand and Red's lead rope in the other.  You can guess how well that went!  Out of desperation to get away from the flies, I let the boys trot their big trots and we went flying down the middle of the road.  On our return journey, Rhio & I were trotting home beneath a red sky and it was somehow magical.

Red & Rhio enjoying the fans.

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