Dog Days of Summer

Warning, this is a media heavy post…

 

We’re in the middle of a heat wave on the east coast and what better way to to cool off than with swimming and baths?

This is mostly true and 4 of my 5 outdoor or indoor/outdoor animals have appreciated my efforts to help keep them cool. The dogs have spent most of their outdoor time in the pool (we joke we have the pool for them).

And on Sunday I braved the scalding sun and 95* temps to give the big kids baths.

Batty was mostly tolerant.

 

I mean, he’d have appreciated the bath MORE had I not washed his face (face washing = no grazing ) but whatever.

He was gross. I need to wash his tail but that’s another days project. FYI the Rambo SPACE ALIEN MASK still has stayed on. BEST. FLY. MASK. EVER.

While Batty was drying off, Marble took a brief dip in the pool (better the pool than my water trough… her pool when the real pool is off limits…)

I’m pretty sure I skipped giving Subi an actual shampoo bath last year…

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Terrible mother that I am. But he was very appreciative. I skipped washing his face because was being perfect and I didn’t want to stress him.

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Kindest old man in all the land

I could tell his stifle was bothering him based on how he was standing. But, he ran around a bit before and after his bath so… Ugh. Going to keep watching and chat with the vet later. Might be time to try something beyond MSM, but he’s so damn picky… one wrong thing and he’s off his feed 100%. But he’s fat and happy and looking good for a muscle-less retiree.

 

Then there’s this little punk ass.

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Don’t let this face fool you…

Don’t let his face fool you.

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So. Much. Anger. Anger Eating is a sport…

Jiminy does NOT like water.

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Focus on the ears.

Jiminy HATES water.

Jiminy thinks water = DEATH.

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So much anger!

Baths are my way of slowly trying to murder him.

We both made it out alive, but post bath? It was necessary to wipe ALL WATER from his body.

I could have kept him grazing until he dried, but I was hot, lazy, hot, annoyed with him, hot, and didn’t feel like getting his grazing muzzle because he’s fat and didn’t need that much more grass (I let him graze until I was dead). So into the paddock he went.

Let the drama ensue.

Unfortunately, Subi had to join in, though thankfully only for a brief canter and twist.

Jiminy is a punk ass child who had a “mild” temper tantrum. Water is deadly dontcha know?

 

Weekend Adventures

So I have a lot to blog about, including trying to put my 19 year old thoroughbred back into work after a cold winter and super wet May, but I’m just going to focus on the incredible Batthorse this post.

A friend of mine came down from NY to visit me and Batt so we decided that Sunday would be a day spent at Marsh Creek State Park. Of course, after being in the 50s last weekend, this past weekend had temperatures up near 90 with lots of lovely humidity. Teaching Saturday was pretty awful and the heat really got to me before I had to lead out a trail ride in the afternoon. That said, it all went well but the day in the heat really hit me Sunday.

So we left around 9 on Sunday morning after my “OMG trailer! I’ll die!” Batthorse walked on the trailer without batting an eye. Actually, Sandra was throwing the brushed in the trailer tack/storage while I loaded and managed to miss the entire thing. ::knock on wood:: but he seems to be mostly over his issues and rather comfortable with our trailering arrangements (aka riding backwards and not being tied). We actually stopped at Wawa on our way down to pick up lunch (something I wouldn’t have dared to do before) and Batt happily watched all the commotion around him. He seemed quite entertained.

Anyway, once off the trailer at HSF, again, it was as if he was there every day of his life. Now that we’re actually going places, I just cannot get over this horse’s brain. He doesn’t even look around, he just acclimates instantly. It’s pretty insane. Those of you who know Subi know that showing for us always meant riding my horse for about 4+ hours until he was quiet enough to go into the ring without having a meltdown. Batt is just the complete opposite.

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“Hi Mom!”

After I gave Sandra a lesson on Boston and we all died in the heat, I hopped on Batt and we headed down to water to explore/splash along. While Boston wanted NOTHING to do with the water (though he was happy to stand at the edge and watch), Batt splashed right in (no hesitation today!) and considered laying down… We instead moved around before heading back to the farm to hack in the ring.

In the ring I had  a super happy and super sound horse. Truly amazing. He was probably sounder than he’s been in years. After all of his hoof issues and resulting soundness issues the last couple of years, it’s nice to have my real horse back. We’ve been taking it easy which sucks for me since I’d like to and need to ride more, but it’s been the best thing for Batty. Anyway, we hacked around, worked on our corners at the canter, especially the dreaded right lead, but he was great, picked up all his leads immediately (this horse has NEVER had perfect upward transitions ever) and even managed a nice right lead canter. After popping over a few crossrails (suddenly he sees his spots too?), I hopped off (the head was starting to get me me again) and let Sandra ride.  She jumped him a little bit more and he had fun.

After the “I want to lay down and roll” in the water incident, I decided to take him back down to the lake bareback to play. Of course, there were more people at our little “beach” including some random guy laying in the later and 2 people with kayaks and a dog. Of course, this time, without tack, Batt felt no need to roll/lay down. Of course not. Which means that next time he’ll roll while tacked up because that’s just what will happen. Anyway, Batt pretty much thinks that water is the Best.  Thing. Ever. and thoroughly enjoyed himself. He tends to make strange noises when he’s happy (moaning and humming) which he did a good part of the time we were in the water. Though we did have a kayak come right up to us to take a picture which was interesting. After commenting that he’d never seen a kayak before, the people on the shore ask if that was because he was a baby. Um, yeah, OK.

After lunch and grazing and offers from a boarder to trade horses (nope, not happening!), we headed home and I pretty much crashed from 2 long days in the sun.