September! ..?…!

There is perhaps no cliche more true than “time flies,” with the accompanying notion that every year goes by progressively faster as you age. Yes, yes they do. I find myself now in the month of September simultaneously enthused for the cooler weather, mind blown it’s already this month–and, upon any real reflection, totally exhausted and ready for it to be a new year. The year so far has been may I say mired in “learning experiences.” From multiple herd member lameness to absurd Sheza drama to health issues on the home front, 2016 has been kind of a stinker. But here’s another irritatingly accurate cliche for you, one that I used to struggle and flail against, and ultimately have grudgingly embraced:

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And so here follows the latest record of the shenanigans of RHE herd. It is not bloodless, because well..it’s 2016?

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Winter hay supplies are a definite Happy Moment..except when the herd realized it was low sugar grass 😉

Because she’s Sheza, her shenanigans cannot be encapsulated in merely a sentence fragment. There are many theories on what will cause a horse to not do something unwise again, and I’m pretty sure 5 years into Sheza’s life I have heard them all in attempts to explain her…Shezaness. Once they’re discouraged/feel pain/learn/think/age they won’t do it again, or something. Meantime, Sheza rocks unpredictable pull backs, including once in hand, just after the photo below. Only, pulling back suddenly in hand means you flip entirely backwards and up on your feet, as there’s nothing solid to pull against.

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*blink*Blink*

I am constantly warring in my head with the amount of strain put on mind and body considering age, how to warm up and cool down a complete spazz who goes from pasture zero to galloping hero, etc. And then you have her doing backwards somersaults and tearing up legs on her own accord. Let’s just say I have my horse chiropractor on speed dial and my vet supplies are full. Also, I continue to believe that the more she sees at a younger age the better, so despite growing voices in my head questioning the wisdom of riding this red beast, we continue to sally forth.

A few weekends ago, we went to a Pirate Treasure Hunt ride and believe you me, I was prepared to just hike her in hand if necessary.

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where in the woods are we?

Fortunately Kenny’s former mom, the fearless T, joined me with her much more reliably-minded home raised chestnut, a 5 year old Morgan; not only did I ride Sheza but T did as well for good measure! It went really well, with spooky flags, randos cantering at us around blind corners, and a last minute pull back at the trailer when Tera touched Sheza’s halter *eyeroll.* Sheza leaped forward again almost immediately of her own accord, for what that’s worth.

Another theory I’ve heard lately is that 5 is the worst year behavior wise, equivalent to extreme teenagerdom, and I can’t argue that last bit, anyway. Sheza for sure does better with a liberty arena warm up before whatever she’s doing, some space to move where she can unleash her size and speed and attitude before she’s expected to think. Moving from the round pen to the arena was a positive choice for her as well, the round pen is just too small for her explosiveness.

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Kenny and Sheza on arena work duty

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work one sassafras while the other waits

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oh, hello brain

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Sheza at the tree of patience watching Kenny and I work

We’ve had a couple of really fun brain and butt building (read: slow and steady) rides with N and her TWH mare Josey, some mare faces occur but not many and they both have nice stretchy walks. Both girls are getting great about EDPP, and N throws some good stuff at Sheza like only sharing snacks if Sheza will reach into the scary plastic bag for them.

Meanwhile in gelding land, aside from his arena work outs, Kenny did a few ponying workouts with Blaze to stay loose, and then we all went jumping!

There’s a very nice riding facility not too far from us called Camelot Equestrian Park that has been working diligently over the years to build up their grounds and reputation. I had been a few years ago to a gymkhana before they became more official events and since then they’ve beefed up an impressive cross country course and have multiple jumping arenas, a dressage court, wash racks and bathroom facilities, and boarding. T brought a friend and I brought Kenny, Blaze, and N to ride Blaze, and we had a great afternoon!

It was a great day doing something different and Kenny is quite a fun jumper once I got up the confidence to really go for it. There will more of that in our future for sure! Unfortunately on the drive home that night I hit one of the many gnarly bumps in our tiny 2 lane country road to home, at 20 mph mind you. The next morning I noticed a tire tilted at an alarming angle and through some investigations I have learned that I have torsion axles on my horse trailer, I bent the torsion bar, and because such a set up of is all of a piece, I need a whole new trailer axle. The list of 2016 Surprise Expenses is rather absurd at this point, but okay then, that’s the next thing on it. I may or may not have my rig back in time for Chamberlain Creek LD where I am supposed to escort N and Josey on Josey’s first ride, but I’m pretty sure I can hitch Blaze and I a ride.

And just because Apache hadn’t had had enough fun this summer, I woke up yesterday morning (with a head cold! yay!) to this:

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Mind you, we don’t have barbed wire and he was in the safest no-climb fenced recovery paddock. *HEADDESK*  I still haven’t decided whether he tried to go over or under or through it. This horse..sigh.  Fortunately I still have salve left from his last genius escapade, and he’s fairly sound (since again, still recovering from last thing). He’s the type to be a total nutter once released from stall rest so we went off that as soon as possible..but that clearly doesn’t keep this one out of trouble.

So yes..”learning experiences.” Many. Exhaustingly many. At least things will soon be entirely less sweaty, as we now enjoy our very first week of temperatures below 90 degrees in months. And there is always beauty, and a whole lot to be grateful for.

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6 thoughts on “September! ..?…!

  1. Too much drama, must stop summer! I hope that fall will bring cooler temperatures and cooler behavior from your herd.

    But Camelot looks like a great adventure. Kenny seems keen on being a jumping pony! Going through the cross country course and water hazards looks like fun!

  2. So sorry about the setbacks, but hoping to see you on the endurance trail again next year.

    Wanted to let you know how impressed I am with my Renegades- bought them several years ago for winter riding (before you were a dealer!) and actually had not used them recently, but threw a shoe at Cuneo Creek and was able to finish the second half of the ride with one. Also have been helping with clearing and marking trail for the South Fork Trinity ride (gnarly country!) and the boot has been wiring great! April will be setting us up with new shoes for the actual Trinity ride, but I am re-impressed with Renegades for winter after we pull shoes and certainly plan to continue to carry one with me at all times. Never really thought they would hold up to the rigors of endurance ride speeds, but glass to be proved wrong.

    Happy trails always, Robin

  3. Pingback: Autumn Catch Up | Redheaded Endurance

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