I am really beginning to feel like a character in Grapes of Wrath. We are now in the worst single year drought in HISTORY. On top of that, we’ve now had, I think, 15+ consecutive days of triple digit temperatures, and have had 26 total days of over-100 temps this summer. Normally we only have about three. There is little relief in sight. It looks like we’re heading to break the all-time record — which was 32 days back in 1980.
Truthfully, this summer didn’t seem so bad until about three weeks ago. The horses weren’t coming in at night covered in salt from dried sweat. But now they are, and the humidity has been oppressive the last few days. Fortunately, a nice breeze usually kicks up by 7 and riding hasn’t been miserable. But anything after 8 a.m. or before 7 p.m. IS miserable.
I am also very worried about our large trees. I’ve been watering the ones around the house, but we have three large oaks in the pasture and I am afraid they will die. They look OK now, but experts say it takes several years for a big tree to die, so the damage may not be apparent. When I had the water truck for the arena, I went out and watered them, but that’s been several months ago. This week I will try and cart our 30-gallon tank out in the tractor’s front end loader, but I’m not sure how much good that will do. But hopefully every little big will help.
We got a few small showers a few weeks ago that saved the grass JUST in time – but we’ve not had a drop of rain in at least a month and we are again in danger of losing our entire pasture.
I am still riding almost every day – but only riding one horse each evening, because by the time it’s bearable, I don’t have time to ride more than one. Hopefully that will be enough to keep them fit so they’ll be ready to do more when the weather breaks.
The cause of our drought and high temps has been a massive ‘high’ that’s been parked over the entire state and it’s sort of a vicious cycle. The drier it is, the less likely the ‘high’ is to move – and the longer the ‘high’ sticks around, the less likely it is to move.
The experts are now saying that weather patterns are such that they think by the end of August we’ll ‘escape’ from the high and get some much-needed rain and much-appreciated lower temperatures.
I have vowed to NEVER whine, moan, bi*ch, complain, pout, etc. EVER AGAIN when I can’t ride because it’s raining, or too wet. Promise.
In regular news, I am riding Faeryn up and down my small ‘hill’ to get her rear end stronger, and even backing her down the hill which she HATES. I figure if she hates it, it must be hard, so I make sure to do it several times! I am attacking the flying change issue again with Fling and we’re back to getting VERY excited and strong at the prospect. This will be our life’s work! Last night I got to try some passage – in that she got very excited because Faeryn and Faxx got a burr up their butts and ran around like idiots – in the heat! I used her extra energy and excitement to try the exercise Marie told me about to try and get piaffe. Fling thought I was crazy, but I got more steps in place than levade than usual. usually when I try to push her forward while holding her back, Fling goes UP instead of stepping in place. It’s just what she thinsk I want and seems most logical to her. I could EASILY train her to levade. Anyway, I praised her to the skies whenever she just MOVED her feet – in any sort of rhythm – without coming up off the ground. I got it several times, so maybe she’ll make the connection next time I ask and she’s NOT super wound up.
Although it all seems a little pointless because we can’t do fourth level until we can get more than one flying change at a time! She’s doing a good schooling pirouette (to the right anyway!) but the flying changes are a challenge. Go figure!