Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What Puts the Snort in the Horse?

Yesterday was a c****y wet day here in the valley. I've been playing the rotating turnout sheet game trying to second guess the weather as we transition into spring. I love Phantom's "onesie" which covers him from ears to tail, but when the temperature pushes 60 degrees it becomes a bit warm. So I switch him to an older turnout sheet that leaks at the shoulder and is losing its waterproofing status. And of course, the weather chooses not to play along. So yesterday I brought in a dampish gray horse following a fairly dry weekend.

Activity at the barn is difficult to predict at TF. Yesterday turned out to be one of those days when the boarders seemed to show up one at a time. Sally was leaving as I arrived, which meant it was just me and the barn crew (Juan and Filberto). I tacked up my damp horse, took him into the longe area, and my quiet little gray guy turned into a snorting trot master.

Was it the rain? Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, my little Arab should be used to it after 16 years. The barometric pressure? Those storms barreling in from the Pacific Ocean sometimes pack a wallop. Sunspots? Not that we've seen much of the sun for over a month now. The alignment of the planets? Looks like I'd better buy a horoscope for Phantom's sign.

Whatever causes the snort, it calls for an extended period on the longe line. And no napping in the saddle, since the "horse eaters" can appear in the arena at any point during the ride -- generally after Phantom has begun to relax and lulled me into a sense of accomplishment. Darned if I can see the "horse eaters," but they're there. Ask Phantom.

After eventually getting bendy circles and serpentines I say "mission accomplished." Phantom has managed to dry out a little -- all the better to shed all over me. And I again switch turnouts before returning him to the Big Boy pasture.

Who knows which horse I'll have for my next ride? Generally the pre-ride longe session reveals energy-conservation Phantom or snorty Phantom. But I wonder if tarot cards....

Missing shoe update: Juan found the shoe in the arena and placed it on the front of Phantom's stall. Brian the farrier was able to replace it the Monday following it's Friday disappearance. Needless to say, Juan and Brian are my heroes.

1 comment:

Rising Rainbow said...

I don't know where the snort comes from either. Had some pretty major examples of that floating trot on Sunday thanks to the added snort. LOL

A found shoe, how cool is that. Here they usually show up a couple of years later. LOL