Sunday, August 17, 2008

Riding in the Rain

I miss the blue sky seen in the picture above taken this past spring. The day began unbearably hot. Each movement I made was like sludging through mud. I was too tired to ride a horse, only to regret my body's resistance come noon. Thunderstorms rolled in and it alternated between raining and heating. I spent most of the afternoon cleaning out water troughs. I found yet another drowned bird in one of the stall troughs. Fortunately, I haven't been putting the horses into their stalls at night. The drowned bird explained the funky smell and why there were so many flies hanging around.

Once the thunderstorms finished the majority of their wrath, the airplanes started flying overhead. Obviously, lightning strikes must have started more fires in the Sierra. I hope they can put them out quickly, because I am in no mood for another four weeks of smoke.

By evening, I had enough energy to ride, and Lostine needed some exercise. I tacked her up, lunged her for just five minutes because more dark clouds were headed our way, and as soon as I put my foot in the stirrup to mount, it started raining. Being a true horse riding addict, my first thought was that I had better get my butt into that seat of the saddle to prevent the leather from getting any wetter.

Lostine and I had a grand old time cantering in the rain. I have never had to worry about her picking up the correct lead. She's very well trained, though I have no idea who trained her. I felt comfortable enough in my seat on Lostine that I was able to concentrate on getting those toes in, heels down, and legs back at that speed. For the first time in history, I actually wore her out instead of the other way around.

I also practiced posting on Lostine, which was much easier than on Bombay. Unfortunately, the big old blister I got on the inside of my thigh behind my knee on Thursday started hurting, so I had to end with a nice long walk. By the time we finished, the sun was out, but setting behind the mountains. I'm thinking that Lostine is confident enough that I should try a trail ride with her. Bombay is still afraid of his own shadow and trying to get him past that has been a slow, painstaking task.

My riding instructor encouraged me to go riding at the Fairgrounds by myself just to give the horses more practice being off the property. I'm contemplating it. If I got hurt there, someone would eventually come along even if it's a quiet night. It's not like being deep on a trail by myself.

I bought a new "cell phone holder" this weekend since my cell phone kept falling out of my old case. I put "cell phone holder" in quotes, because it is actually a camera case. My phone was too big for the cell phone cases designed just for horseback riders that I featured in my "Cell Phone Holders for Horseback Riders" post. I searched high and low at Target, Best Buy, and a number of other places, but all the cases had big enough holes for my phone to slip out. I wanted something that I could zip up, turn upside down, jiggle and jolt without worrying that I'd leave my cell phone in the dust. I settled for a camera case that has a clip, but no elastic band to put around my arm or thigh. I plan to sew one on, and once that is done, I will feel more comfortable about riding alone at the Fairgrounds.

My daughter sometimes accompanied me and read a book on the bleachers while I rode, but I won't be seeing her until Christmas. (Sniff!) Tomorrow is her 18th birthday and the very next day I am flying with her to her college to help her move in. The day after that, I'll be flying back home. This is going to be a very emotional week. Also, it's supposed to be 106 degrees the day we move her into her dorm room in Arizona. She had to pick one of the largest university campuses in the country, so I'll be doing a lot of walking in some very high heat. I wish I could bring a horse with me on that plane to help me get around campus.


Twinville said...

I'm so happy to hear that you had such a great ride with the rain no less. You go girlfriend :)

I hope there will be no more fires for your area. Are you not getting enough monsoon rain to cool things off?
With our monsoons, in New Mexico, it's turning everything so green and the temps are staying below 70 degrees during the day wile they drop down to the 40's at night (brrr!) In August! :O

What a great idea using a camera case for your cell phone. With some elastic sewn to the back it will work perfectly.

Oh man! I am shocked that it's already happening. I remember you talking about your daughter going off to college this summer, but it just snuck up, didn't it?

I know this is going to be such a difficult time for you. She's your baby girl. But also how exciting for her, and your entire family, too.

Please wish her a Happy Birthday from us here in New Mexico.

And a huge hug from me to you, too. :)

OnTheBit said...

awww...I am sure it will be tough to say good-bye but Thanksgiving break is only a few months away! When you move her in make sure to sneak away at some point (so she can hang out with her roommate for an hour or two by herself) and you can go and buy her something special, like a t-shirt from the college or a DVD or something. That way she will have something new to enjoy that you gave her (and no...the hundreds of dollars of other crap that you already bought in preparation of going to school is not enough). Have a safe trip!

Flying Lily said...

Oh NM my heart goes out to you with the college move-in process! It is So Hard to leave them there! I so clearly remember putting sheets on their dorm beds and choking back the last 'mom' gesture for many months. Hope your daughter is excited and happy through it all, and loves her room-mate. Good luck!! and stay strong.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I'm not looking forward to Megan growing up. I keep telling her, she don't have to move away-she just sort of 1/2 smiles.

Don't worry about the AZ high temps-it's a "dry" heat-LOL. I always told them that it don't matter if it is wet or dry-over 100 degrees it HOT damnit!!

Andrea said...

What a great ride! I love to ride my old faithful mare and work on my equitation. I have never really ridden in the rain. I rode in a small drizzle the other day. I am too weird about my saddles getting wet.
I hope you have fun visiting your daughter! Sounds hot and fun!!

Katee said...

I hope the trip with your daughter goes well. I still joke with my mother that she dropped me off in a puddle at the side of the road when she drove me to college.

Instead of September like normal kids, I started in January. I went to school in Wisconsin and there was a blizzard on the way so my parents were in a big hurry to get back on the road and headed home. To be honest, they did take the time to carry my bags to my dorm room and my mother even put sheets on my bed, but there was no long, drawn out good bye.

Think about my snow storm when you're in that heat!