Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Caught a Break

I woke up this morning to the sounds of power company trucks, construction noises, and doors slamming.  I figured that if I want to ride a horse, I'd better be at the top of my game.  After chores and breakfast, I bicycled out onto the bridle trails to see how far along they were with the project of replacing power poles.  A little less than halfway.  I've probably got at least another week of this activity.

I took the paved roads home and noticed that The Mad Pruner had transplanted a cactus across the street from his house.  It suddenly hit me that he's probably going to fill in the whole area with cacti so that drivers can't turn around there.  That means they'll be turning around in front of my house instead.  This same thing happened in my old neighborhood.  Our street was the shape of a "U" until one neighbor built an RV garage at one end of the "U".  Then all the lost tourists started turning around in my driveway because he blocked them from getting out.  We had to install poles and a chain to stop drivers from doing that, because every time the dogs heard tires on the gravel of our driveway, they'd have barking fits.  I was working from home and often times on conference calls, so the barking was really disruptive.

A little further up the street and I suddenly realized that the trailer the campers were living in was gone along with the car that towed it.  They were there when I left on my bike ride.  I could hear them slamming doors repeatedly.  Last year they stuck around for three weeks, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they cut their vacation down to just one week this year.  Also, as a bonus, the snowbirds are going back to Michigan tomorrow!  With the campers gone and with the power company trucks gone as well, I saddled up Lostine for a trail ride.

I had to nip off the flared hoof walls on her front feet a few days ago, and since I don't know anything about hoof trimming, I put Renegades on her just to be safe.  I didn't want her feet hurting because I did a cruddy job trimming them.

I also put a different saddle on her.  The Circle Y Arabian saddle has been fitting her better lately, but I got the Tucker Trail saddle when her back began changing as she aged.  However, now the Tucker doesn't fit her so well.  It's narrow in the withers, and sits up high, so I measured the gullet, and it is only 5" at the narrowest part.  I was trying to figure out if it was a medium or wide tree.  I rode her in the Tucker since I hadn't ridden in it in a while just to see the sweat marks.  After our ride, I could tell that it was putting pressure on her kidneys.

She was a little on edge heading out.  Despite that, the round-tailed ground squirrel that shot out from behind the gate she was stepping through did not phase her.  Lostine lets bunnies graze underneath her while she eats, so she's used to critters scurrying out from under her legs.

I've been taking the trails that avoid the majority of Palo Verde trees, which have been thick with bees lately.  I'm pretty sure the trees were in full bloom yesterday, because I was sick as a dog.  I had a headache and was sneezing and blowing my nose every few seconds.  I took a non-drowsy allergy medication, but it did nothing for me.  Then I took a shot of DayQuil.  Still nothing.  I hated to take an antihistamine, which would put me to sleep and make me lose another day of my life, but I was losing a whole day of my life anyway by having to stop everything I was doing to blow my nose every few seconds.  Each time I took the dogs out, I had to stuff my pockets with tissues.  So, I just took the antihistamine and slept it off.  But I woke up feeling great today.

Lostine got upset with me when I turned her away from home when she thought we were headed home.  I ignored her hissy fit and just kept insisting that she stay on course.  Then she started limping.  Crap.  Now I had to figure out if she really hurt herself or if she was pulling my chain to get out of work.  I halted her and just had her stand for a minute to see if she could do that much.  Then when I asked her to walk, she backed down the trail toward home.  Yup.  She was jerking me around.  I got her going forward again and then a little while later I realized that we were headed toward the crane truck that was raising power poles, so I casually cut across to another trail and headed for home on my own terms.  I don't think Lostine saw the crane, because she was so happy to be finally turning toward home.

Lostine in her little Mary Jane shoes...

Every time I ride her I give a big thank you for getting to spend more time with her.  With all the trouble she caused me when I first bought her, she sure has turned out to be my favorite horse.  It just makes me sad that she's at the tail end of her life span.  If only she were this fun to ride when she was younger.  But her maturity and confidence have a lot to do with why I enjoy her so much now.


Breathe said...

mary janes. hehe.

I'm so thrilled to see you riding. :)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

My husband pointed out that it isn't the Palo Verde trees that are in bloom right now, but something else that looks just like them. If any locals know what the name is of the brush/trees that are releasing the yellow pollen right now, let me know. Thanks.

achieve1dream said...

Mary Janes made me giggle too. She's so cute and such a good mare. Arabians are very long lived so maybe you'll have a lot of good years with her still. :)

achieve1dream said...

Oh and I feel you on the allergies!! I'm blowing my nose constantly. I quit buying kleenex and just use rolls of cheap toilet paper. It seems less dusty than most kleenex (the dust on them makes me sneeze worse) so it works great. :)