I tried out my new very blue Just Chaps half chaps from The Distance Depot on this ride and they were great. I wasn’t really aware until I was half chap shopping but apparently I have short calves; I have tried a few pairs since my Terrain chaps died, only to discover the new pairs were all too tall and skinny. The Just Chaps are very light, it was getting into the 80s by the end of our ride and they didn’t hold unreasonable heat, as they shouldn’t since they are essentially 3/4 colored mesh. I think technically you would say they are too short for me, as they are maybe an inch below the actual bend in my knee, but then I am used to things being too long, so my perspective may be skewed. They sit comfortably on my legs, anyway, and didn’t rub anywhere or unzip. There are pretty secure straps at the top and bottom to prevent unzipping, actually. Overall I’m happy with these chaps so far!
I’ve been working outside on the property a lot in the last week which uses different muscles than my usual riding and gym muscles, so not even a mile into the ride I could feel how stiff I felt in the saddle and hopped off to stretch out and walk for about a mile. Desire has a great big walk on her and (mostly) doesn’t spook when I’m on foot and I felt much better back in the saddle after warming myself up, too.
As for the ride itself, what can I say, there was a lot to spook at out there! I realize now that I usually ride Blaze on this neighborhood ride, and there’s a reason for it. There are about 2 miles of pavement involved in the ride (not fun to spook about on), as well as countless barking dogs, most of them large and in Guard mode, not all of them contained. Today was really bad for that actually, aside from the endless barking contained dogs, a spot that usually has one loose dog today had 4 loose Pitbulls that came charging out past their gate, across the road at us and stopped within inches of Desire’s heels as I roared at them and circled around to chase them if necessary They did it on the way out and back, of course, but fortunately were deterred by myself and the owners screaming at them. I’m riding all roads, pavement or dirt, so there is of course traffic, including four wheelers and dirtbikes. Blaze is generally quite unimpressed by most of it, except donkeys and baby animals, but hey we all have our Thing(s). He will walk or stand quietly wherever I want when a vehicle passes, while today Desire danced around and swung her butt out into the road if I stopped or grew a foot and pranced sideways when I let her just walk with the car coming. Basically our 11 miles around the neighborhood is a lot of walking and a lot to look at, with relatively few safe places to move out and blow off steam. A well suited 11 miles for Blaze, not Desire!
Between spooking, a handful of sustained trots, and clapping her Renny’s down like a percussionist, there was grazing. As much grass/weeds as she could conceivably stuff into her mouth at once, generally! No boot issues on our spazzing about, just a spunky mare who was still chewing, pulling and jitterbugging as we headed up the hill for home.
I tore apart my saddle and washed the breastcollar and saddle packs, as well as the usual girth, splint boots, boots, and pad. I even oiled my saddle as it was getting rather sweat crusted and stiff in spots. Kind of funny, we had some electrical and well pump issues earlier in the week and when I was cleaning up my tack today the hose suddenly died like it did the other day when the pump went. My denial today was instantaneous. No, it can’t be, the pump is fine, that didn’t just happen. I finished hanging up and organizing things, made sure Desire was fly sprayed and enthroned with groceries, and only then went to investigate, my heart in my throat. Fortunately it was just the big storage tank filling taking the water pressure, Phew! Home ownership is rarely boring and the little water scare really only made me more grateful to hop in the hot shower and shed the horse, sweat, and sunscreen afterwards!
While we didn’t have the best ride ever it’s always good to spend a beautiful cool morning in the saddle and I’m quite pleased with my half chaps! I plan to spend my Saturday afternoon in the shade of the big oak tree with my dogs and a good book. Hope you are all enjoying your weekends too!