Questions from The Horse is Not Black this time.
1. What are your summer goals?
Start running through Second 1 consistently, get my 60%+ score for First 3 at a rated show so I can do my freestyle, and take Theo to his first h/j show. My goals are pretty modest this year since I'm still adjusting to life as a commuter. As evidenced by my complete lack of posts and perpetual exhaustion.
2. Do you have any tips or tricks for fly control?
Not for New Hampshire. Seriously, they're a force of nature. As the months roll by, the species change and make it even more impossible to manage. Black fly season now, horse flies and deer flies starting in mid-June, then regular barn flies to close the year out. Oh, and mosquitos all the time. I use Ultrashield religiously (the red bottle), a fly sheet with a neck, and a fly mask with ears and a long nose.
3. How often do you bathe your horse?
Not very often, actually. He's black bay, dirt doesn't show much on him. He usually gets one the week of a show, so about once a month for half of the year. The other half it's too cold and he gets no rinse shampoo baths. He gets hosed down after most rides during the summer and sometimes mid-day when the heat is bad and he's struggling.
4. Do you have any upcoming travel plans? Equine related or not?
Nope, my work trip is done and I'm home for a good long while. My next possible trip is out to Minnesota in October to visit the family.
5. What is your favorite way to beat the heat?
Ride early or ride late and accept that some days just have to be days off/trail ride days/walking lateral work. Theo does not do well in the heat, so we have to pick and choose our ride times.
6. Do you do anything to prevent your horse from sun bleaching?
His fly sheet does a good job of keeping him that lovely black through the summer. I also sunscreen his magnificent tail.
7. How hot is too hot for you to ride?
We have relatively high humidity out here, so Theo starts to struggle at 90*. Heat index hits 95* or higher? It's not safe to ride him for more than a leisurely trail ride.
8. How important is sun protection for you riding or just in general?
Crucial. I'm pale and burn easily. I also have some premature aging due to wearing polo shirts outside for so many years without being good about getting that little patch of skin that shows when you leave it unbuttoned. I'm usually really good about sunscreen on my face, but I missed that spot one too many times in my 20's. Now I'm the queen of long sleeve sun shirts, SPF 50, gloves, and sunglasses.
9. Have you ever gone swimming with your horse?
Nope, and not really interested. I don't like swimming in natural bodies of water, I have too many fish tanks. I KNOW what's in that water.
10. What's on your summer wish list?
A navy browband from PS of Sweden, a new halter for Theo (completely wrecked his leather turn out halter), and new tall boots specifically for schooling. Something I can walk in all day and not hate my life afterward.