You’d think that since it’s 9000 degrees here in Texas, these horses would be subdued and well-behaved. YOU’D THINK. But no, both Henry and Presto have been up to no good, in their own unique ways.
Henry has been… honestly kind of wild. Which makes no sense because it’s so hot he can barely breathe. Apparently oxygen isn’t really a necessary component? I’ve been riding him fairly lightly since I don’t want to actually kill him in this weather (the high today is 105. Not the “feels like”, the actual friggin temperature.) and he got an extra day off last week. I came out a little earlier than usual yesterday to jump him before it got too hot and good god I was riding a bronco. He squealed and leaped his way through almost every corner before and after every jump. It’s kind of hard to see a great distance when your horse’s head is between his knees most of the time. He seemed completely non-plussed by it though… *squealleapdolpinwheeJOMPleapsquealdolphinJOMP*. I have nothing but eye rolls for him right now (he’s lucky that I find his particular brand of naughtiness to be pretty amusing). He might spend most of his days huffing and puffing because of the heat but clearly he is not suffering.
I did do an ACTUAL dressage ride on him last week, like… in my dressage saddle and with his dressage bridle/bit. I thought he might be terrible since that was our first real dressage ride since… coughFebruarycough… but he was actually pretty good. He’s not as strong and as fit as he was a year ago when he was show-ready (we were at Coconino a year ago, btw. Sob.) but otherwise, he honestly felt almost the damn same. I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I mean it’s awesome that he hasn’t regressed, but also… for real, we can go 5 months without taking this very seriously and it doesn’t really matter? I used to do dressage 3 times a week for what reason exactly? Ha. Hahahaha (more sobbing).
Presto, on the other hand, has been excellent under saddle. Yesterday I took him out for his second solo hack, but this time I skipped the arena work and just got on him at the barn and headed straight out.
He definitely had more pep in his step this time, just heading out “cold turkey”, but he was still really well-behaved. His ears get so busy as he tries to take in everything at once, it’s pretty cute. He seems to really enjoy exploring, because he marches right around there by himself like he’s totally entranced. This time we didn’t really have to stop to take in any scary things either, he was pretty bold. The only thing I didn’t really love was that he has this tendency to want to trot DOWN the hills for some reason, which… he’s super narrow and he’s 3, thus it kinda feels like you’re gonna tumble into a heap and die. So we had to do a few halts on the downhills. The first time I did it, I kind of forgot that his verbal “whoa” is REALLY sharp (I almost never say whoa when I’m riding him, it’s mostly a lunging cue. Usually when I’m riding I stick to his gait cues “walk/trot/canter” or if I need something to steady the tempo I tend to say “easy”, but his whoa from the seat is pretty solid so I just don’t really use the verbal cue) and when I said whoa he screeched to a halt on that hill so fast that I about lost my balance. Note to self: be real judicious about the use of “whoa” under saddle, it works like an e-brake.
While Presto is the better-behaved one under saddle right now, surely you know he’s never exempt from his own personal brand of naughtiness. And this time, it came about in the form of murder. Not just murder, but terrible gruesome murder complete with dismemberment and an attempted framing.
Those are the body parts of Ball #3. Ball #1 lasted months before he finally bit it hard enough to put a quarter sized hole in it. Ball #2 lasted about the same amount of time, and it just had a slow leak from being rolled through a cactus, nothing dramatic or violent. Ball #3 just debuted last weekend, and I came out on Saturday to find this particularly horrific crime scene. I dunno what the hell Presto did, but he did it very thoroughly. I can’t be sure of who actually popped the ball (I found a hole that looks suspiciously like the same teeth marks that led to the demise of Ball #1, though, which would point to Presto since JB tends to play with it more with his feet than his teeth) but there’s zero doubt at who mutilated the body. That’s TRADEMARK Presto. He ripped the cover apart, pulled the dead ball out, and then tore chunks off of it before depositing the largest piece over the fence into Henry’s field, as if dumping the body on Henry’s property would somehow shift the blame. It was in 9 pieces. Total massacre.
So, ball #4 is on it’s way. I apologize in advance for what’s going to happen to you, Ball #4.
Clearly this terrible disgusting heat hasn’t taken much out of the horses, if they’re both still managing to be cheeky. Me, on the other hand. I feel like a walking swamp creature.
You know it’s bad when you have sweat dripping off your second chin like a faucet before you’re even done tacking up. Ugh. Is it October yet?