Bombay has been standing at the gate all week begging me to spend time with him. I kept promising to ride him and then forgot or get busy doing something else. Today I remembered. It's 85 degrees F. The weather did what I was worried it might do. It stayed wet and cold most of the winter and then suddenly jumped up into the 80s. So, we are sweating like pigs and not yet acclimated to the heat. The horses still have a lot of fur to shed.
I wanted to ride in the arena before my neighbors bring in their friends and gardeners to get rid of all the weeds in their yard, which is something they do every spring that takes several days. Some years they bring in a bulldozer. This year they are spraying poison.
I had to clean up all the manure out of the arena in order to ride there, and that tired me out right away. I pushed through my exhaustion and wormed each of the horses. Gabbrielle was being a stinker, undoing everything I was trying to do. For instance, when I finished cleaning one end of the arena, I'd move to the opposite end to clean, and Gabbrielle would walk to the point furthest away from me and the manure wagon where I just cleaned and leave a fresh, steaming pile for me. I was already melting, feeling like I couldn't take another step, and I'd have to walk all the way back to clean it up. I was also locking horses in stalls as soon as they went inside, and Gabbrielle was coming up behind me, letting horses out of the stalls. I thought I was never going to get to ride Bombay.
When I led him to the hitching post to groom him, he was breathing rapidly and looking around nervously. I was like, "Seriously? I just took you 20-feet away from the barn and you're freaking out already?"
So, I lunged him in the round pen until his nerves settled. Then I rode in the arena.
It's so green outside of the arena that I considered buying a portable pen that I could move around and let the horses graze in. However, with this heat, most of the grass will be dead in a few days.
The other day I left Gabbrielle in the round pen after lunging her, because I wanted her to get used to being separated from the herd. Once the heat sets in, she's going to start beating up the boys, so the round pen is going to be her new home. I went down into the arroyo, called out her name and waved to her. She flipped out and started running around with her tail up over her back, neck arched, nostrils flared, snorting and crashing into the railings. I hoped my trespassing neighbor was sitting on his porch watching, because he claimed that he doesn't spook my horses when he's down in the arroyo. Gabbrielle clearly knew it was me, because she could see me and hear me calling her name, and she was still freaked out.
Then I went up onto the porch of my house, which is the same distance away as where I stood in the arroyo, and I called her name and waved at her, and got no reaction at all. Unfortunately, it turned out that the trespassing neighbor wasn't home to witness it. He came home later and set off his car alarm right when I was leading Bombay past the back of his house. I suspect he did it on purpose. Now that I've told him that he spooks my horses when he trespasses in the arroyo, he's been trying to spook them on purpose. Bombay didn't react at all to the car alarm, so the neighbor didn't get any satisfaction out of his actions.