Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summer Snippets 2

The Blessings and Curses of a Wet Heat

The humidity hit our area a couple of weeks ago.  Interestingly, my leg has been improving with the extra moisture in the air.  I'm still in pain, but it's a pain I can ignore for the most part.  I've been able to do my barn chores and go to the gym without a cane to take the brunt of my weight.  I even walked to the barn and cleaned stalls using the old wagon last night, leaving the Mule parked in the garage.  All of this gives me hope than when the temps cool down, I will be able to ride horses again.

Of course, the downside of the humidity is that there's no point in taking showers, because you get a sweat shower every time you walk outside.  Your hair sticks to your head and face, and your clothes get molded onto your skin.  It's like diving into a lake.

Also, we haven't had any flies until the humidity set in.  I've been skeptical that all the money I've been sinking into fly control has done any good, so I'm doing an experiment this year of using nothing more than fly masks and fly spray.  No Fly Predators.  No Fly Eliminators.  No fly traps.  Amazingly, this has been the best fly season ever.  But that could have more to do with the weather than my fly management decisions.  I'm just glad that I haven't been paying for bugs since February, only to have the first flies show up in July.  I saved myself a couple of hundred bucks.  I know the worst is yet to come, though.  September is the worst fly month in Arizona.

Horse Training is Easier Than Dog Training

In all fairness, all four of my horses have their health, their hearing and their eyesight, while two out of three of my dogs do not.  My big training effort lately has been to get animals to give me my space.  Apparently, Midge and Scrappy are somehow tuned into movement, so every time that I get up to walk somewhere, they appear out of nowhere to block my path.  They are notorious for blocking the narrowest spots on my path, usually doorways.  If I go outside, I can't get inside, because they stand in the door frame and refuse to move.  If I take them outside and then bring them in, I can't get the door shut, because they stop in the door frame and refuse to move.

It hurts me to have to bend over and physically move them, so I usually shove them out of my way with my foot.  Their stubbornness is exasperating, because they always come right back to the same spot before I can push through, so I've had to get aggressive with them and keep pushing them down the hallway until they give up and run under a table.

Then there's the horses.  They gather around my Mule or in my direct path when I'm trying to drive it, and all I have to do is say their names, cluck my tongue and point.  They immediately move to the spot where I am pointing and get out of my way.  I don't have to do anything physical beyond lifting my arm.  It's wonderful.

When things get to a point where I'm tempted to punt kick a dog across the house, I usually gather my purse and keys, get in my truck and go somewhere to get away from them and cool off.  Unfortunately, taking walks in parks has not worked in my favor since my goal is to get some space and alone time.  There is almost always some stranger with a loose dog who spots me and makes a beeline for me, and next thing I know I've got someone else's dog doing figure 8's around my legs.  That's what sucks about living in a retirement community.  Everyone is looking for someone to socialize with... except for me.

I miss being able to ride my horses.  That was the way I used to get away from the dogs and get my alone time.   I hardly saw anyone on the bridle trails this past year, and the few people I did meet up with were just like me... looking for some alone time.

Another Horsey Video Game

I found another video game in which your character rides horses, only this one is more complex and realistic than games I've played in the past.  THE WITCHER III - WILD HUNT measures your horse's fear level while you are in combat, and if you don't manage your horse properly, it will dump you and take off.  I've been dumped when I tried to get my horse to outrun some wolves.  I guess it's better to dismount and fight.  The horse is also not an entirely obedient animal in stress-free situations.  Sometimes you ask it to go, and it balks.  They have dialog programmed in where the rider talks to his horse to get it to behave.  I'm continually astounded by the advancements being made in video games in order to strive toward a more realistic feel.  They certainly did their research when it comes to horse behavior.


Grey Horse Matters said...

My horses listen better than my dogs too. We didn't do the fly predators this year either. Honestly, I don't think they work and are a waste of money. And, hey, if you like heat and humidity you should be here in N.Y. we're having a heat wave near the 100's and plenty of humidity and thunderstorms to go with it almost daily.

Linda said...

I've done the same thing with fly control, except I did keep the strips. In my opinion, they are the best. The smelly traps, apparently, attract flies to your property from far away! Didn't see any difference with predators. But I love to see the actual kill #s on the strips. Though, I need to find a way to install them that is easier than using a ladder.