Friday, May 7, 2010

The Summer Conundrum

This week did not turn out to be that much milder. It was in the eighties every day and a little humid. More like summer than early spring.

Every summer I face the same decision: Do I work the horse in the morning/evening when it's cool, but the mosquitoes and biting flies are out, or do I work him in the afternoon when it's blazing hot but the bugs are hiding? I hate that decision, it's pretty much a lose-lose. I don't mind the heat and sun, but it makes the horse sluggish. The biting flies make him shake his head and are distracting. Maybe I should give up this horse training thing and take up a nice indoor activity. Table Tennis anyone?

In spite of the sun and bugs, I have been getting Spider out to lunge. And I've been trying to mix things up a little, since I suspected he was starting to get bored with cantering around in a circle. I know I was. I've been playing around with the cavaletti, putting them close together to encourage shorter strides, then farther apart to encourage him to lengthen. It's really quite tricky to get the distance just right with only one person. I have to stop, reel Spider in, adjust the cavaletti, then hope they're right. If they aren't, then I have to repeat the process. On the bright side, it's good exercise for obedience and transitions. Spider also has to pay attention to where he's putting his feet, since the distances between cavaletti change frequently. He tripped several times in the beginning, but he's figured it out now (mostly).

Yesterday we did a little in hand collected work after our regular lunging session. Just at the walk, but he seemed a bit sore from it today. Not surprising, considering that he hasn't done any collected work in months. I gave him the day off today and we'll see how he feels tomorrow. It's supposed to cool down and be in the sixties next week. Perfect horse weather.


  1. Izzy hates bugs!! I got her one of those cheapo eat net things and she's totally happy now. Or at least, she was last year. We haven't really had them yet this year.

    I'm glad Spider's figuring out caveletti. It's a useful skill. ;-)

  2. I have a full set of Bug Armor for my Boys including a face mask. They do not concentrate when the bugs come out around here.

    I've often proposed croquet as a replacement for riding so we could utilize the pasture. However, table tennis does have the benefit of possible indoor play....*G*

  3. Bridge, much cheaper and we are seated we can work on our posture ;-)

    I use anti-fly spray and a little "bonnet" for ears while riding.
    It is not far to ask the horses to concentrate while they are under attack of these horrid insects.

    I do not remember are your horses shod or barefoot? I have just unshod my mare, I am asking for any ideas support.


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