Thursday, June 25, 2015

Just Breathing

I have officially completed all of my responsibilities, appointments, chores, and errands for the week, and now I am just remembering what it is like to breathe.  One of the downsides of living in the desert is that anyone who needs to come to your house to do an outdoor job during the summer months always wants to come between 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM before it gets too hot.  If they are coming to work with the horses, I have to wake up between 4:00 AM and 5:00 AM to feed them and give myself time to get ready.

This morning I thought I gave myself plenty of time, but managed to not get my hair combed out, go to the bathroom, or have a cup of coffee before the farrier arrived.  When he showed up I greeted him and asked how he was doing.  He let out this sigh of disgust and said, "Tired."


He just had to roll out of bed, load up his tools and drive over.  I had to feed four horses and three dogs, clean up 12 hours worth of manure for those four horses, give out medications, and take a shower.  Last summer I got into the habit of waking up that early most days because P.S. was coming over early to ride Gabbrielle.  I wasn't much into riding in the heat, but she's young so it didn't phase her.  This summer it is an anomaly for me to wake up that early, which makes it that much harder to do so.

After my appointments and errands, I walked the dogs outside and there was a nice breeze.  I thought, "I could ride in these temperatures."

I put the dogs away and walked down to the barn only to discover that the cool breeze was a very short lasting gift, and now it was stifling hot outside.  I knew that if I took the time to groom and saddle a horse in that heat, I'd expend all of my energy before I could ride, so I opted to just take a horse for a hand walk.  I hadn't been in the desert for weeks and wanted to see if anything changed out there.

I chose Bombay, because he has been super good, sweet, kind and innocent lately.  Last night I chased all the horses out of the barn so that I could clean.  When I was done, I gave them permission to go back in.  They charged into their stalls, eager to eat.  I turned around to find Bombay standing at the barn entrance waiting for me to say his name.  He wasn't sure if I had specifically given him my permission to go in.  How sweet is that?

He's also been letting me know when he needs to poop, so that I can catch it in my fork and save myself a little extra energy in cleaning it up.  He's so considerate.

And when the farrier was trimming his hooves, Bombay was super relaxed and he kept nuzzling the farrier until both of us had the giggles.  Bombay usually isn't a very affectionate horse, but he's gentle with smaller animals of other species, and I think his nurturing side came out with the farrier, because the farrier has a bad back and sits on a stool while trimming hooves, which makes him appear smaller and more vulnerable.

So, Bombay and I headed out and I turned up the widest trail to avoid disturbing snakes curled up under bushes.  Bombay began doing something funny with his feet and I was trying to figure out if there was a pattern of lameness.  Then it hit me:  Because he just had his hooves trimmed, the fresh sole on the bottom of his hoof would be tender, and the ground was probably pretty hot.  I turned us around to head back, and I could feel the bottom of my own feet burning right through the soles of my boots.  In the future, I'll boot up any horse I take out in the summer and I'll make sure I do it at the coolest part of the day.

The other evening I tilted up a water trough to pour out and clean, and a small non-venomous snake slithered out from underneath it.  It then ducked under a different water trough.  I suspect it was either trying to keep cool or it was eating all the bugs that live under those troughs.  So, now I'm being more gentle when I move the water troughs.  I don't want to kill anything down there, unless it's a scorpion.  One summer a very aggressive scorpion charged me and tried to attack me while I was dumping a water trough that it had been drinking out of.  They are hard to kill, and after one got into the hay and stung Gabbrielle on the inside of her cheek, I don't want them anywhere near the horses.

I know this blog has been lacking in the picture department lately.  I'll make the effort to get some new pictures now that my time is starting to get freed up.


Crystal said...

I cant even fathom that heat. Its been hot here but nowhere near as hot as down there. I would get up I wouldnt lol Id do stuff at night Im not much of a morning bird even though I try, I really like mornings just cant get to bed early enough.

Cheryl Ann said...

I hear you about having to get up early! I'm up now every morning by 5:30. Then, I go out and feed the cats, feed the birds, and feed the dog. Then I put the coffee pot on, for us! :-)