Rhiannon of The Horse Is Not Black started blog hop of 10 questions; since I’m making time to write more regularly again, I thought these would be fun to answer!
1. What are your summer goals?
Summer might just be my favorite season, despite it being hot as hell here in Oklahoma. Show season winds down in the summer months, which means I spend a lot of time trail riding. This summer, I’d like to take Candy on 5 trail rides, at least 2 of which are at new-to-her locations. I’d also like to take her cross-country schooling. Non-riding goals include taming the out-of-control weed growth in the gravel near the barn and remembering to wear sunscreen every day.
2. Do you have any tips or tricks for fly control?
Oh man, I absolutely do not. I like both the water-based Pyranha fly spray and Endure fly spray, but have mostly given up on fly masks and have never used fly sheets thanks to the heat. Keeping the manure in pastures and the barn picked up helps, but doesn’t totally eliminate flies.
3. How often do you bathe your horse?
When it’s hot, the horses will usually get rinsed off after they’re ridden. Full-on bathing happens before a show or when they’re especially disgusting from self-bathing in the pond. So, on average, about once a month between April and October.
4. Do you have any upcoming travel plans? Equine or otherwise?
Always! I’m headed to a dressage show in Kansas City for work in July and will be taking a regular old personal vacation east of the Mississippi in August.
5. What is your favorite way to beat the heat?
Sitting in my air-conditioned house, haha! I like lounging in the swimming pool, too, and am very excited to get our pool opened up for the summer.
6. Do you do anything to prevent your horse from sunbleaching?
I avoid this problem by acquiring horses who don’t really bleach. 😉 Moe is chestnut and always looks sort of orangey-red, regardless of what time of year it is. Candy and Gina are blood bay year-round, though their manes and tails get a little reddish during the summer.
7. How hot is too hot for you to ride?
Ugh, I stay off the horses when the heat index is over 120 or so, and usually try to do low-key activities like riding in the shade, walking, or swimming when it’s super hot.
8. How important is sun protection for you riding or just in general?
In theory, it is very important to me. In practice…I frequently forget to apply sunscreen to my arms/body. I’ve purchased a few sunshirts, which has helped, and I have a great sun hat that shades my face and neck well. I also stash sunscreen all over the place (in my bathroom, next to the door, in my car, in my tack room, in my trailer) in an effort to remind myself to use it!
9. Have you ever gone swimming with your horse?
Yes! Gina has been swimming at Oologah Lake a few times, though she sort of prefer to stand instead of swim. Candy swam at Oologah last year and was really into it! I can’t wait to take her again this year!
10. And because shopping is always on my mind, what’s on your summer wish list?
My summer wish list is almost all barn-related! I would like to get a layer of gravel screenings to improve the stall flooring, as well as interlocking stall mats for them. I’d also like to to get screenings for the sacrifice paddock behind the barn, as it turns into a mud pit when it rains.
Are y’all looking forward to summer, too?