Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Heat Wave!

You guys in the South and SW are gonna smack me for whining about the 80s but...it's been in the 80s and it's hooooot and huuuuumid and I don't waaaaaant to ride. Or clean stalls or do much of anything else except maybe spray myself with the hose while watering!

The good thing about heat waves is it makes all the green horses safer. After all, who really wants to explode in the heat? Not that Bessie was in any danger of exploding anyway. Bessie is just making us laugh. Tonight was ride #3. I've been trying to teach her to associate clucking with moving forward, since she has no reaction to leg pressure. Honestly, she reminds me of a draft horse. She just does not care HOW hard you squeeze. She can stand there and go to sleep through as much squeezing as my legs can provide. Nor does she care if you smack her on the butt. So now I am working on verbal cues and I think she is starting to figure it out. You can turn her and "unstick" her front end but it's not that easy. She is a big, heavy mare and about as easygoing as a Barcalounger. Which will be great for safety with her 12 year old owner - but we do need to create some semblance of forward motion!

One nice thing is the baby has settled down about Mom being ridden and now calmly walks along behind us. I think this is a good experience for her, too. The big challenge is grooming Mom. Baby is SO in love with being groomed that she squeezes between any grooming implement and her mother. :-) I'm glad she's so people friendly though - maybe she'll forgive me for tomorrow night, when we plan to put them in a stall and get a halter on baby, who wants no part of that idea.

I'm also pleased that Bessie seems to have figured out that she has a reverse gear. The first week, it was truly funny. She just would not back up. I mean, you could push on her chest for all you were worth and she would just give you a look like, WTF are you trying to do? I employed Mugwump's hoof kicking trick and what do you know, we DID get those front feet unstuck. She even did it willingly under saddle tonight!

In other news, for those of you who remember Footloose, the OTTB mare we rescued literally minutes before the truck to Mexico was loading last fall, her new owner took her for her first ride tonight. I'll let her comment on that but apparently she was awesome! Hopefully she will have a new career as a low level eventer. I think she'd like that, she's super calm outside and nothing seems to bother this mare. She is just naturally good minded and no amount of training can replace that! The really cool thing is that she wasn't sound last fall, but after time off doing nothing but eating - she is. Pretty cool outcome for a mare who almost slipped through the cracks.

42 comments:

bluedude5 said...

wohoo im first!
make the most of the heat while u have it!
over in new zealand here its the middle of winter and its freezing!!!!
about 9 degrees celcius today, warmer than yesterday thank god

Princess Jess said...

Yes, Footloose did fabulous. Well, she did fabulous after we had a long discussion about bridling. As in, it's not optional, and I don't care if she's 16 hands and can get her head into the rafters- I'm not letting go and the bit is not going away.

After the bridle was on, however, she chomped it a bit and then just gave up. She stood nicely for mounting, and then walked off like a pro. You can tell she's a little rusty on the steering, but she didn't care either way if I had contact with the bit or let the reins completely loose. So we played with both. Pretty much no reaction on either.

Nothing eventful happened (thank God). A few laps one direction... change rein across the diagonal (sort of)... a few laps the other direction, get off.

She did decide to start walking away when I was halfway dismounted, so that'll be something to keep in mind, but overall she was a saint, and I'm very pleased with her. FINALLY an easy horse!!! I can't believe she almost went to kill! This mare is already worth her weight in gold!

fernvalley01 said...

Hey I hear you about the heat .It is either screaming hot or pouring rain around here lately. I know some people have it much worse but as an Alberta girl I am not coping well with the humidity!

LongBranchFarm said...

You're right, we here in the southeast are just staring at you in awe. It was 82 degrees at 6:30 this morning, with 90% humidity. By 2:00pm, it will be 96 degrees. With humidity, it'll feel like it's over 110.

All we are doing right now is standing around and sweating. I got home last night, and the horses were standing in the field under a tree, covered in sweat. Poor things. I've been hosing everyone off every night. We haven't been riding hardly at all. My two year old isn't even getting ground work. He has been getting a lot of practice at standing for a hose.

We are waiting impatiently for September....

Francis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Francis said...

And in the Southeast, we do what we do every year in August when the temperatures are over 100 and humidity is too (yeah, I know its impossible, but come vist, you will see!).. we go to the HAYFIELD!!!

Eeesh.. there is nothing pleasant about riding around raking dry, prickly hay when its this hot and humid!

But come January, I will be loving all my pretty round bales of hay!!!

Here's to Fall!
Frannie

crazyhorse said...

Yeah 95 here in central Florida and our horses are still willing and fresh. I look forward to late fall when it turns 89 degrees and stays that way for a few months. We just came from a huge show in Virginia and these people were falling over at 85 degrees! Suck it up, kids!!

mulelisa said...

I just came in from doing the morning chores, it's not yet 10:00 a.m. and I'm wringing wet. Time to rinse off, load up the kids and a picnic and go to the beach in New Smyrna or over to Alexander Springs (still trying to decide). The horses, mules & donks will spend the day in the shade of the loafing (describes what they do best!) shed swishing the flies off each other. C'mon September -- late September.

BritnieAnn said...

Ugh, I'm with everyone on the 'heat sucks' mobile. But I'm sure gonna miss it when its 35 degrees come winter.

Glad Bessie is doing good!! And congrats to princess jess on her great ride on footloose :)

LuvMyTBs said...

Here in Pa.it is usually HOT and Humid for most of July and August.
We ride really early in the AM or after 7PM at night.Nothing like going out to ride and being soaked in sweat before you get on!!

We caught a break this week and it has been in the low 80's with real low humidity.It will be in the 70's for the weekend.Perfect riding weather and I'm off from work all this week (thanks God!!).

I also have to do hay again in a few more weeks.I actually like it HOT HOT HOT when we put the hay away cause it's a great workout,you sweat ALOT and everyone wants to get done as soon as we can.

BuckdOff said...

I'm jealous, it's been raining every day here in Massachusetts, or overcast and threatening. I think we are barely 70 degrees. I just want a little sun so hubby and I can go get our saltwater taffy near the ocean, we do this once per summer. I ride tomorrow, hopefully it won't rain. But try to paint your house in this weather,it doesn't work...

Redsmom said...

Congrats on the riding adventures. Its over 100 "real feel" every day, here. The AC is out at the office today - oh joy. Question: I don't want to get the vet out and look like a doof, but if a little bit of chalky looking white stuff is coming off the hooves in the region of under the shoes when you pick them, is that bad? I have Kopertox to put on if I need to.

Karen V said...

I'm getting on the Heat Whine Wagon too!

Yesterday when I got home at 5:30, it was 96 degrees and 60% humidity. The humidity is BAD for where we are - the norm is around 17%. REALLY DRY - so ANY elevation in humidity and we melt. I'm all for September!

equus said...

redsmom: are your horses standing in alot of mud or water? moisture usually causes the chalkiness. be sure that your horses' feet can dry out by stalling them in clean, dry stalls during part of the day, or at least making sure they have a dry spot to stand in. while i have not heard that the chalkiness itself causes harm, the indication that the feet are too wet which could lead to other more serious problems, i.e. thrush. imho, i would leave the kopertox alone unless you are SURE you have thrush. hope this helps.

manymisadventures said...

Yup, the heat sucks. I haven't even been going out to the barn much lately -- it's hot, it's really really hard work to move over gravel and soft dirt on crutches, and I can't do anything but feed anyway. My mom and I usually go out together, so she doesn't really need me.

I'll go out this weekend just to visit with the mare, though. I miss being out there every night.

Does Bessie respond to go-forward cues with the whip on the ground? Seems like that'd be an easy place to establish both a whip response and a voice-cue response.


It's great to hear about Footloose, too! What did the lameness turn out to be? Fugly mentioned in the original post about her that she was off in the hind end, but it sounds like that's cleared up.

Redsmom said...

Thanks, Equus, so you're saying the chalkiness IS an indication that they are too wet? I'm in South Louisiana, so there are only a few dry places. LOL. I ordered the Kopertox, but the directions look scary!! The farrier is due next week when he gets back from the giant motorcycle rally in South Dakota, so I'll ask him. Sorry to hi-jack, Cathy. Carry on! I'm off to google signs of Thrush.

Redsmom said...

Oh, one more thing

http://www.thehorseshoof.com/gallery_healthy.html

good photos of healthy hooves. Mine look pretty much like horse # 4, kinda black and peely, but not smelly or gooey. Plus, an article said harsh chemicals CAN do more harm than good; i.e., errode existing frog, and to try a Lysol soak first if suspect thrush. I grew up having horses, but I never paid attention to their hooves. My dad trimmed them himself, so I never even met a farrier till I had my own two horses. My dad passed away so I don't have anyone else to ask my "dumb" questions to but you guys. Thanks again and sorry for the hijack.

Karen V said...

redsmom - in addition to all the signs you posted, you can tell my the smell. IT STINKS!!! Worse that when you dog eats a hoof and then yaks it up on the carpet! You'd be able to smell it without even picking up your horse's feet!

I've used Koppertox. It's not a big deal. Not sure what the warning was all about. After the foot is cleaned out, use a stiff bristle brush to remove any "leftovers", then let the bottle drip drops onto the hoof. No need to squeeze, or you'll have a mess. Let the drops spread, then more drops and let it spread. It's not as scary as you think.

I had one mare that kept getting it in one front foot. I had the farrier put pads on her, then packed the void with cotton, as poured the Koppertox in to saturate the cotton. We left the back open for it to drain.

As for finding a dry spot, haul in a couple yards of 5/8 crushed gravel and make a hump. The water will "drain" and you'll have a dry area. The gravel really won't hurt the horse's feed, though if you DO have thrush or their feed are too wet, the frogs will be soft and you may need to pick their feet out more frequently.

Danse Macabre said...

OMG. Must be freakin NICE to bitch about a heat wave! I live in New England. I can't find my sunglasses because it's been weeks since I've been able to wear them. My umbrella, though, I know exactly where that damn thing is. We have had twice as much rain as we normally get. So much so that the storm drain in the parking lot where I work is no longer draining. There's a huge puddle of water directly over it, but the water is perfectly still. I used to have a dark tan. Now my tan lines are barely visible. It's so irritating! I just want a FEW fricken days of summer! I envy you. Seriously. I LOVE hot summer days. At least I think I do...I can't quite remember what those are like. Sunburns, either.....

Count your blessings that you're not drowning like we are. And they're predicting rain for the next 10 days (it's probably more...the forcast only goes out 10 days.)

Redsmom said...

Karen V, thanks -- no stinking, yet. I will keep vigil.

Nurse In Boots said...

I usually am just a spectator on this board, but I would kill for 80's AND rain...earlier this week we hit 109 and are dry as a bone. (This is in N. Texas) Although I know that when you are used to 60's/70's, upper 80's is hot, so I do understand! I dream of moving to the PNW someday.

beautiful morgan said...

Well I am excited that a cold front came trough here. It has been in the 100s and is now in the 90s. I got to say the 100s make the 90s seem soooo nice!

Fugly did you ge a chance to look at the logo I sent you? What do you think? If you hate its ok.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

I'm sorry, they block my yahoo mail at work and I'm 1200 emails behind...I have to do something, not sure what, LOL!

>>It's great to hear about Footloose, too! What did the lameness turn out to be? Fugly mentioned in the original post about her that she was off in the hind end, but it sounds like that's cleared up.<<

Most likely all I was seeing is a temporary issue - could have happened in the trailer on the way to the sale or she could have slipped in the concrete sale yard. She has not looked off at all since then. She was just walking in the sale ring like she'd strained something behind. Of course we shall see as her work increases. She has an old bow but that's from the track and is years old...should not be a concern.

Pipkin said...

well, ironically I'm down here in the SW, and it's raining! Too wet to ride! Boo!

MsFoxy said...

I just left you a PM on the SAFE board.......I'm freaking out because I need to move Foxy right away and don't know of anywhere to move her to.....help!

Anyone know of any horse boarding in Eastern Tennessee (namely, Knoxville or Loudon county)??

Whoa Mare! said...

We've been in the 100's for a month, lol! I have no sympathy 4 U! But I am glad to hear that the training is going well. It always makes you feel good when you actually see some progress, doesn't it?

It's going very well for me and Pixie too! We went on our 3rd trail ride ever and although she was acting a little obnoxious at first (slinging her head, wouldn't stand still, wanted to go faster than I wanted her to- nothing too bad), she did calm down. We even crossed a scary wooden bridge today- TWICE! She only snorted at it a little bit before deciding it wasn't going to eat her. AND- she figured out how to back up with her chin tucked instead of up in the air (we had to back up several times to keep from crashing into the horse in front of us). I'm finding out that the more I act like stuff is a non-issue, the better she rides.

So accomplishments all around I suppose!

On another note, my mother bought a skinny old mare from the auction on Monday. We were told she is TB/TWH cross and she is gaited. Poor old girl was just sad sad sad, but we took her in to be vetted (teeth floated, shots, check up) and she is actually in decent health and should recover. She's a cute mare and will be gorgeous when she puts on some weight. She already acts like she feels much better and seems like she's just a sweet old gal. There's pictures of her on my blog. It makes me feel good to know that we are giving a horse a chance who might otherwise have continued to be neglected.

Kim said...

A must see! Lorenzo National Horse Show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9_mdwvU1Gc

Horse Rider said...

I've joined the club ... I am not a trainer... I am almost 50 years old... I love to ride... have a little horse sense... sprinkled with a dash of fear -- okay, a scoop of fear! I prefer an easy riding horse w/no problems. But, I have one "kind of" large colt in my pasture that has had a good start with a trainer, some miles following & then nothing. Simply too many horses & not enough riders. The more he wasn't chosen to ride, the more no one wanted to ride him. The circle begins.

So I have 2 choices. 1) Keep him or 2) sell him. And with either choice, there is one thing he needs: TIME.

Following your lead, I have been spending as much time in the evenings with him as I can. The first night, he was pretty rank on the lunge line. But every night, he has been getting better. Tonight, I rode him away from his herd without so much as a flip of his ears. Willing, eager & fun!

I don't necessarily think he is an easy horse. Perhaps I'm just getting lucky. But he hasn't forgotten what he learned in the early days. And I am learning that the more successes I have with him, the more I want to work with him.

So thank you for urging me on through your VLC blog. And thru the FUGLY blog, helping me to understand that they need to have an education to have a future.

klgalland said...

ok. i currently live in Georgia, and used to ride in south Louisiana, and I can assure you even the horses down there are laughing at you! ;)
80's? I wish!

4HorsesandHolding said...

VLC said "You guys in the South and SW are gonna smack me for whining about the 80s but...it's been in the 80s and it's hooooot and huuuuumid and I don't waaaaaant to ride."

***SMACK***

***SMACK, SMACK, SMACK***

It was 96 yesterday, and our LOW was 77.

And at around noon, I was ponying kids around the yard on one of our horses.

barrelracer20x said...

OT-
Fugs, you're going to be extremely pleased. There is a new association for team roping horses, called the National Team Roping Horse Association. They're putting together an amazing group of professionals, and you know what they have posted on their website? "IT'S ABOUT THE HORSE"
How cool is that? Even better-they're having futurities--for 5 yr olds!! Check them out: http://www.ntrha.com/

Jewil said...

What I would give for for that temp! It is over 100 degrees here in Texas EVERY day with the heat index of 110! I wait till about 7 to go ride/feed/water. Every horse gets a bath first to cool down. The sweat just standing in their pastures...

manymisadventures said...

>>I'm sorry, they block my yahoo mail at work and I'm 1200 emails behind...I have to do something, not sure what, LOL!<<



Hire an assistant?? ;) Ooh, here's a good one -- find someone who wants to ride a lot, and is pretty good, but has no money for a horse. In exchange for the opportunity to ride your horses, they answer your emails!

Hmm, emails answered AND horses exercised...sounds like a pretty sweet deal!

If I was a little closer to you I'd offer to help you exercise the horses, at least. If I'm ever up your way, can I come visit and meet the VLC?

Joy said...

First, yay for footloose!!!!

Second, I'm in So Cal, and WTF is up the humidity??? This is supposed to be a freaking desert. This is BS. I can handle the 90+ temps, but the 80% humidity????? I want a refund or something.

Redsmom said...

Cathy, sounds like you need some barn rats that are computer savvy (all kids these days are somputer savvy, right?) I would send you mine, but school has started up already. Maybe next summer you could have "Aunt Fugly's Sleep Away Camp for Interns" and we could send you some of our littlest trainers to help out. They eat a lot, but they love Taco Bell.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>If I'm ever up your way, can I come visit and meet the VLC?<<

You can come ride him. :-)

robyn said...

It's finally cooled down here, from a high of 103 on Friday, and I-don't-know-how-many-weeks-of-90s and no rain. whinewhinewhine. But we were out of town, in the mountains of Pagosa Springs, CO. Someday we will live there, but unfortunately we had to come home from our trip. But at least back to cooler weather. And we got rain too! First time since early June.
But now I have zero time to ride. :(

Sagebrusheq said...

Just in case there's anyone here who's not watching I thought I'd note that at this writing Mary King (47) GB is in 9th place after phase I in the TDE. XC this evening. King, a personal favorite, has been so close so many times it would be great to see her finish well at these games. Now what was that you guys were saying about aches and pains?

LostSoul said...

A draft that doesn't move? The only draft I ever rode was so sensitive in the seat and sides it was scary for beginner me.

I'd trade you!

manymisadventures said...

I would love to ride him! You've talked about his beautiful lope so much I can practically feel it ;)

Got your email, responded -- just let me know!

whywouldyouknitthat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna said...

uh, yeah. We're averaging 103 here on the Gulf Coast for the last couple of weeks. And then it rains and it's 103 plus eleventy percent humidity.
lol.
I'm with Francis- forget riding, even just hauling hay and mucking is like...real work or something.

it doesn't really cool off a lot here until late October/early November-