Monday, 26 July 2021

It's Summer

 Well, it's been a hot minute since I've blogged!

Here's what has happened over the last three or so weeks.

  • It was hot. Too hot to ride. 
  • It was smokey. Too smokey to ride. 
So yeah, I have barely ridden over the last three or so weeks.

We went from about 10 days of temperatures that were over 30 (or at least felt like it) to dangerous air quality due to the forest fires in BC. The good thing was that it significantly dropped the temperature - you know, since the sun couldn't actually shine through the smoke. I don't think we saw clouds or the sky for four or five days in a row and it looked like it was about 8 pm all day long - it was kind of weird to finally see the sun when the smoke finally disappeared!

I had managed one ride between the heat and smoke on Cisco. Unfortunately, he was coughing for some reason that day. I timed my ride poorly and ended up in the arena with about three other people and the footing was extremely dry and dusty - I'm sure that didn't help Cisco. I did a short ride, mainly at walk, that day. 

Except for this:

I have used a flag a couple of times for desensitization stuff with him on the ground - he was never overly concerned about it. (For a spooky horse he's actually quite sensible about a lot of things.) One day this spring I was doing some groundwork in the round pen and was using a "flag" (handkerchief sized) on a whip - you know the kind that people usually use to get their horse all riled up and snorty? Well, with my spooky horse, the last thing I want to teach him is to run with his head and tail straight up in the air away from flappy things. He already knows how to do that. 

So on that day, I taught him to chase the flag. He figured it out right away and thought it was a fantastic game. Head down, nose stretched out reaching for the flag as I ran in front of him.
Other things that happened - I tried archery for the second time ever and actually started to figure it out! This was my final attempt - 5 out of 6 arrows in a nice grouping (the stray one was because I tried to move my aim towards the center and totally missed it). Don't ask how far away the target was though! And no - I have no intention in trying this from horseback!

So I figured I'd bring out my schooling flag again and see how that went, with the goal of riding him with it. 

The chase the flag transferred over very quickly, and after one groundwork session with me holding the flag over his back and having him trot around running next to him, I thought I'd give it a try under saddle. 

He had no concerns. The biggest issue was trying to steer with one hand - those left turns were a little sticky!

The ride from the video was his second time with me riding with the flag. We haven't cantered yet - I should probably practice the one-handed steer without the flag first - pretty sure that's going to be a gong show. 
My dad was presented with the Governor General's Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers, the highest award for volunteers in Canada, for his work with Scouts Canada. I thought it was kind of big deal, I don't know that he does!

I hopped on him yesterday for the first time since the flag ride and he was a very good boy and there were no coughs. The smoke broke up on about Thursday last week so I'll be taking it easy for the next little bit still. I'm trying to figure out what I can sell so that I can buy a nebulizer - why do they have to be $1500 CDN? Ugh. I also have to do some more research into the various treatments and what they treat before buying one, but with Phantom's asthma, and Cisco is apparently sensitive to something, I have a feeling that it would get used. Not to mention that smokey summers are apparently now a thing. 


  1. we had a day of smoke haze all the way down here in maryland, it was wild!

    1. You were probably getting smoke from the fires in Northern Ontario. That heat wave did some damage up here!

  2. We've still got zero rain in the forecast, and another heat wave warning starting Thursday. It's insane :( Hope your two are feeling better soon - it's tough with all the dust and smoke.

    1. We're also getting heat again this weekend. We might just be walking for a few days.