In case I haven’t mentioned it 10,000 times already, it’s hot as balls in Texas right now. Like… 30 seconds outside and you can literally feel your skin melting off and your eyeballs shriveling up. That type of hot. If you’re unfamiliar with Texas summers, go turn your oven on and stick your head in for a while. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
I usually try to give Henry a decent “vacation” period every year anyway, so it wasn’t exactly a hard choice to do it after Chatt when we came home to triple digit temps. Pretty much the same thing we did after Coconino 2 years ago, really. People who live in normal climates do winter vacations for their horses… but winter is way more pleasant here. Very early mornings are still kind of bearable for riding (I mean, compared to afternoon, anyway) but still, the horse has earned some downtime.
Of course, Henry being Henry, this doesn’t mean that he just gets to be turned away for a month in a pasture. 1) HAVE I MENTIONED IT’S REALLY HOT? He spends days snoozing in his stall in front of 3 fans. And even then he’s fairly miserable. 2) He doesn’t actually do well when he isn’t ridden at all. He loses that SI and hind end strength pretty quickly, especially since he’s fairly sedentary in his pasture at night, so I’ve been getting on him bareback with his sidepull every other day and going for a 45 minute brisk walk hack out in the big fields. 3) He would die without a dozen cookies a day and his 10 minutes of currying, pretty sure.
Henry actually quite likes his walk hacks, I think he enjoys getting out of the barn area for a change of scenery. I’ve been taking Presto with us too, hoping to get a little bit of “conditioning” on him before FEH Championships. I mean… walks in the field won’t hurt either of them. Keep the event horse loose and retain some fitness, and try to put a little bit of a badonk on the baby. I think the only part Henry doesn’t really love is that Presto tags along, but… thems the breaks, kid. Big brother duties, that’s just how it goes. It doesn’t stop him from spooking at every bird that flies within 30 feet of him. The yearling is less spooky than the 11yo.
Also Henry gets SO sweaty with this heat that I have to hose him off and put skin stuff on him regularly or he would be totally hairless. As it is, I’m barely keeping the rest of the hair on his face. He’s just so gross right now, he gets sweaty and crusty and itchy in an endless cycle. He does seem to enjoy his afternoon baths too, though. He seemed to be handling the mid-90’s temps decently enough, but the 105-110 degree days have just been killer.
He’ll get a couple more weeks off and then I’ll slowly start putting him back into his regular program. I don’t have any show plans for him until October, so no rush. He’s already getting a little fat though… might have to cut his food back a bit!
We’re all just laying low right now, taking a bit of time to recharge the body and mind, and dreaming of some cooler temps.