Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Thursday, October 14, 2010

In the Arena #29 - Bugging out - again

Let me paint a picture...

Sunny and hot, no wind, and about 50 mosquitoes per square inch. Not kidding. Bug spray, even the very expensive very toxic kind, barely makes a dent. Poor Val's face is covered and I had just sprayed and wiped him. They're biting me through my riding pants and shirt... flying into my ears, and mouth if I leave it open long enough. Hellish mosquitos. No one here can remember anything like this.

None the less Val and I persevered and had a great ride. We built on our last session, concentrating on transitions - the accuracy of my aids and the sharpness of Val's response. Smooth and flowing. Another nice aspect was that maintaining my legs and seat seemed to require less attention today. I can only hope that correct position may s-l-o-w-l-y be sinking in (please, please, please).

Since Val had several large hives where the saddle hits, plus tenderness on either side of his poll, we stopped after half an hour as all in all it was pretty unbearable, but I'm really glad we rode. He enjoyed his pre-ride grooming but kind of protested when I curried his poll. I am guessing that snapping his head around at mosquitoes for the last several days may account for the neck issue... I hope so. Scheduling a massage for our next trip to the trainer.

It's really hard to take your own picture...


  1. The mosquitoes sound awful, I really despise those bugs. I'm glad to hear you soldiered through and had a great ride anyway. Val is such a good boy, hope that his bites (and yours) heal quickly and you get a cold snap to get rid of those bugs.

    I think you took a great picture of you and your guy.

  2. I've heard that Off! bug repellant works really well for horses, but I've never tried it. A nice gallop is usualy pretty good at getting rid of the buggers, in my experience. Then you just keep moving so they don't have a chance to land again.

    Regarding the neighbors target practice: I used to board across the street from the SWAT team's training grounds. I can tell you, from experience, that horses get used to gunfire pretty quickly. Even Thoroughbreds! ;)

  3. Arlene-

    Cold snap coming tonight - yay!

  4. Shannon-

    My vet said it was okay to use human (deet) bug spray if you keep it where your horse won't get his mouth on it - however - no spray, human or horse is working right now. They maybe last 5 - 10 minutes. The mosquito problems here are epic at the moment...

    As far as the target practice goes, both horses seem used to the gun sounds now... but the hunters lurking around in the adjacent woods is the issue. Val will drop the mouthful of food he's eating to obsess when he hears the hunters... he pays extra good attention :)


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