|Cruce displaying how stressful life is as one of my dogs.|
Right now, my summer goals are as simple as working my horses as frequently as I can while trying to find balance in my schedule. If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time (or know me in real life), you know that I go through periods of focus followed by periods of aimlessness. Currently kind of in an aimless period, but I’m okay with that. I’m having fun with my horses right now (on the rare occasions I get to ride), and that’s the most important thing to me. And the rest of my life is reasonably balanced -- DH time/family time/work/sleep/etc -- now just need to reintegrate more riding.
2. Do you have any tips or tricks for fly control?
I’m not sure they’re really tricks or tips, but we try to practice aggressive manure removal practices, and I sprinkle DE on the manure pile and in my stalls. We also have a timed mechanism that releases fly spray into the barn when the horses are inside, although I turn it off when they are out because otherwise I have to replace the batteries frequently. I currently use concentrate fly spray and mix up my own bottles – this is more of a holdover from when I had 8 horses at my house, but most commercial fly sprays are too $$$ for me to be able to justify buying at the rate I need to keep my crew comfortable. I also have fly masks and fly sheets for everybody to wear in turnout. Liz posted a really interesting fly spray recipe that I'm planning on trying out whenever I have a spare moment!
|Fly masks for all! ;)|
Full-on shampoo baths are rare (usually only before horse shows/events, or if a horse is REALLY dirty). But during the summer they get hosed almost every time I work them, because it’s the fastest way to cool them down and get the sweat off them.
4. Do you have any upcoming travel plans? Equine related or otherwise?
Nothing concrete. I don’t have any clinics or shows on my immediate agenda (although I am pretty mercurial so that could change in an instant), and I don’t have any non-horse related travel plans set in stone either. There's a remote possibility that I will be flying out to Hawaii to help pack my grandma up and move her to the mainland this summer, but no absolutes.
|If I do that, would be great to squeeze in another beach ride!|
Stay out of it? Haha. In all seriousness, my goal this summer is to do all my riding/working horses in the early morning, when it’s still relatively cool. I switch to night turnout this time of year so that my horses are inside in front of fans when it’s hot, and outside grazing at night. I was kind of lackadaisical about this for a long time until my geriatric OTTB stopped sweating last summer, and being able to control his environment got WAY more important.
|6 am workouts FTW.|
Nope. The fly sheets do offer some UV protection so that helps, but I’m using them to keep my horses more comfortable in fly season, not to preserve their coat color. Ruby doesn’t fade much, and Cinna and Trigger are light enough that it’s kind of a moot point. Jack gets insanely faded (almost to the point of looking buckskin some summers), but switching to night turnout and using a fly sheet actually did a lot to preserve his color last year.
|UV protection fly sheets FTW.|
Although there are some areas of the country that are blessed with minimal humidity, Missouri isn’t one of them. So for me, it’s less about the actual temperature, and more about the “feels like” temperature when you factor in the humidity. And particularly now, when I’m not aiming for any specific competitions or goals, I’m not going to push myself into riding when it’s miserable out. One rule of thumb is that if the horse is sweating just standing still, I’m probably not going to be riding… haha.
8. How important is sun protection for you riding, or just in general?
This is going to be so cliché but it’s definitely gotten more important as I’ve gotten older. I try to be very mindful of sunscreen if I’m going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time, or during the peak hours. I also have picked up quite a few Kastel shirts and while I don’t seem to find them as “air-conditioned” as some people do, I do appreciate their sun protection qualities!
|Trying out Kastel for the first time last summer.|
Yes! Definitely one of my favorite memories with Jack, and wish I had a place I could do it now.
|I don't have any pictures of me riding him in the water, but this is how I introduced it to him, and he LOVED it!|
I know some of you only follow me for the shopping…. Haha. I have my eye on a Kastel sunshirt that almost exactly matches the peacock LeMieux set I bought earlier this year, so if anyone sees it on sale in a size medium, help a sister out. I am also eyeballing C4 belts and Ogilvy dressage pads, since those were some of the things I was hoping to find deals on at Rolex (but did not, darn). So if you have any you want to part with, hit me up!
Fun story -- when I initially drafted this post, I had an Ogilvy on the way to me (thanks Grain Before Groceries!), but still wanted a C4 belt. Annnnnd then C4 ran another BOGO sale. And we're not going to talk about the... life choices... that I made. But I'm sure there will be an upcoming post!
|New Ogilvy! Love it!|