Thursday, August 13, 2009

When is your favorite time of day to ride?

Do you have a time of day when you like riding the most? My favorite time of day to ride is mid to late morning, before it starts getting too hot — and before the bugs get too bad. I also like riding earlier in the morning, but since I'm not a morning person that doesn't often happen.

Occasionally I try to ride in the evening — it's a convenient time because my husband and I share a car, so if I don't feel like taking him to work I can ride after he gets home. But it usually ends up being an exercise in frustration, because as much as I personally like evenings, Panama usually fusses about the bugs so much that we don't get much done.

Last night was just such a ride. We only went on a quick ride, across the field and up to the trail. He was fussing about the mosquitoes the entire time and as a result I found it supremely difficult to relax, which of course made him tense as well as fussy. Not a good combination.

Anyway, we only went about 50 feet down the trail, turned around, and came back. We also practiced going up and down the hill again a few times. He's getting better about not trotting, but he tries to "fake" walking with that trot-almost-in-place thing horses do sometimes. Silly pony — as if I wouldn't notice.

We had a couple of issues:

* Panama tried to break into a trot after watching someone jog by us on the trail. It was as if a light bulb went on his head, and he thought, "Oh, we can run here, too!" A bit annoying when I spent almost the entire ride trying to slow him down, but rather amusing too that he is so easily influenced by other people on the trail.

* We had a brief moment of panic about a bike. Two bikes passed us — a kid in front, and perhaps 50 feet behind, an adult. The kid was riding hard, smiled at us, said hello, and passed without slowing down. Panama didn't so much as flinch. The adult came riding up just as hard, but didn't say anything. As he approached, Panama started backing up, even though I actually had him parked off the trail on the other side from the bikes. The guy slowed down, apologized, and said he thought he'd be okay with it. I said, "So did I." I'm not sure whether it was because the guy was bigger and therefore looked more threatening, or because he didn't smile or say anything. Nuzzling Muzzles has said before that if she talks to people her horses are less likely to get freaked out by them — I guess I'll have to start saying hi to people on the trail!

* We had the same issue as last time with wanting to speed up on the way home. This time he was less receptive to efforts to slow him down, probably because he was fussy and I was tense. We trotted some circles in the field once we got back, but he was all over the place, speeding up and not going straight. Again, it's probably due to him being fussy and me being tense.

I am going to go out there for a ride later this morning, and we'll see if some of the problems go away with the different time of day. It's a lovely day so far — partly cloudy and not too hot. Should be a perfect morning for a ride!



At August 13, 2009 at 11:38 AM, Blogger jane augenstein said...

I like to ride in the morning but can't ride at all now. The huge horse flies are so thick that it is impossible to do much of anything outside. Gilly hates them and spends most of the day in the barn, as does Pokey. They don't seem to bother Pokey as much as they do Gilly. I wonder if it's because Gilly has that REALLY GOOD horsey smell and Pokey doesn't have much smell at all. Guess I won't be riding until the horse flies are gone, in another 3 or 4 weeks!!! They are out at first light and don't go away until dark. GRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!! No fly spray that I have tried works either.

At August 13, 2009 at 2:22 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Jane, that sucks. Makes me so glad I live in Colorado -- no horse flies. We had a few last month because of all the rain, but they're gone again. It's too dry for them here for the most part.

Have you tried all the cowboy tricks, too? I've heard that feeding garlic to your horse keeps the flies away, but I have to admit I'm a bit skeptical. ;o)

At August 13, 2009 at 6:39 PM, Blogger jane augenstein said...

tried the garlic, it stinks up the barn and Gilly liked it at first but then it got old, he turned up his nose at it. it didn't seem to work either, sure did make the feeder all gummy and ucky, had to do a lot of scrubbing. Guess I could just move to a place that doesn't have the nasty flies, like Arizona!!!


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