Monday, 26 May 2014

Chainsaws, Shampoo, Sunburns and Tack

Saturday was a full barn day.  I stopped by the Beaumont cross country course to watch Sarah ride in a clinic.  Pony did really well and the clinician spent some time with Sarah working on keeping Pony out of his favourite spot, the deepest spot possible.

Sarah and Pony (yes, he has a name but no one uses it)

After I headed out to the barn to hack out the mare.  Since we had the x-country derby on Sunday I wanted to take her for a good ride to take the edge off.  We started off with a brisk trot and before I knew it we had trotted almost a mile and a half!  After a short walk break, which was more for me than my horse, we started back at the trot.  We were trotting by a yard when some idiot started his chainsaw no more than 5 feet from us!  Mare reared up, did a complete 180 and took off the other direction.  Thankfully she did it so gracefully I had no problem sticking with her.  I got her back under control and turned around to go back the way we were going.  I gave the guy a piece of my mind and all he had to say was "I didn't think it would scare her".  My response may or may not have been "It's a F@*^!ng CHAINSAW!"

After that incident my ride went downhill.  She just wasn't focused on me.  In total we went 9.4 miles in 1hr20min but it wasn't until mile 9 that she stopped acting like everything was going to jump out and hack her legs off.  Needless to say it was a challenging and difficult ride.

Beautiful day for leather therapy
Once we got back I gave her a quick bath because she's not great to hose off so I am aiming to hose her every chance I get (I also don't want her to get all sweaty, stand in the sun and turn a faded orange).  Bonus was it took off a bunch of the winter hair that has been hanging on.

I let her hang out and graze while I gave all my tack a deep clean and oil.  There is something therapeutic about cleaning tack.  I may have had a difficult ride and a challenging bath but an hour spent cleaning tack does wonders for the mood.

In all I think I was outside for about 4 hours.  I am a fanatic about sunscreen since I have the complexion of a redhead without the actual red hair.  I was wearing a SPF 30 on my entire upper body (I spray myself, then get dressed so that I don't miss spots) and a SPF 60 on my face.  My face survived the day with nothing more than a few freckles but my shoulders and back were not so lucky.  The picture is from shortly after I got home and the burn proceeded to get worse well into the evening.  I've now invested in SPF 60 for my body and have added a bottle to my brush bag so that I can apply right before I get on.

Not fun, not fun at all
Next up, the challenge of finding the right bra/shirt combo for the derby on Sunday that won't irritate my shoulder and back.

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