Or so it would appear when we woke up this morning:
Yep, that really was the colour of the sky when the sun came up. Orange. Beautiful, yet very surreal.It's getting worse out there. #yeg #yegwx #Apocalypse #smoke #MadMaxFuryRoad pic.twitter.com/BBtABTCtPZ— Cake Raptor (@Raptor_Chick) August 15, 2018
Unfortunately, it's this colour because the air is full of smoke from forest fires in the neighbouring province. The air quality is very poor - a 10+, which is the highest rating on the scale. Everything is hazy and smells like smoke.
So I planned on giving the ponies a light day. I know Phantom has respiratory issues and Cisco has had an inconsistent cough through the summer. No need to make them work when the air quality is this poor.
|On my drive out to the barn at 10am. That should be a beautiful blue sky.|
I took the opportunity to take Cisco for a hand walk to new places. On our last hack down to the neighbour's place, he got really worried about a trailer parked next to a shed that was just past the point I wanted to get to. We made it to that point, but I don't know that he would have gone further. I wanted to be able to get past that point without issue.
So we went for a walk. And for almost the whole way, he led. As in, I walked next to his shoulder with his head and neck out in front and he walked on a loose lead. Which was exactly what I wanted.
We stopped on the way back and had to check out the trailer, and the burn pile and a pile of pallets on the other side of it. Those were scary, and he hid behind me and let me be the brave one, but he came up and sniffed them and got to take a mouthful of grass.
|Cisco taking me for a walk. No filter on this - which was at 11am.|
Then we went down past our barn and turned down the road away from the horses. Again he led most of the way, and didn't speed up when we turned around and headed home.
When we got back home, I pulled out the clippers so that I could do his bridle path. The previous couple of times that I've tried it, he's not been happy about the clippers up by his ears. Rest of the body, no problem. Ears, nope.
Apparently Cisco remembered our previous sessions. The good parts of them. Like when you drop your head, you get a cookie. The third time I moved the clippers (without actually attempting to clip yet) up to his ears, he dropped his head. I didn't ask him to, he just did it. So he got a cookie. And he continued that way. So I was able to clip his bridlepath with his head down and I could actually see what I was doing. Last time I stuck the clippers up there kind of blind since he was a giraffe and of course it ended up longer than it should have been. This time I got it just the right length.
|I also washed his tail and spent 1/2 hour brushing the knots out. I didn't expect it to look this fluffy!|
I had intended to take Phantom for a walk under saddle out and about. She had coughed some during the warmup walk in our ride the day before so I figured the smokiness might be affecting her. When I was walking Cisco, the flies were terrible. Like I was constantly swatting them away from my head terrible. Phantom is a princess who hates flies. A hack out on a loose rein would not be a relaxing event for either of us. So she got lucky and just had her bridle path trimmed and fed and fly sprayed and turned back out.
They're hoping that the smoke will dissipate over the weekend. The fires in BC are still burning though, so the air quality might be a problem for a lot of the remaining summer. There might be lots of slow work in our future.