warm weather warriors

It’s summer here. It’s been summer since April. But now it’s really summer, which typically means oh-dark-thirty wake-ups to get in a semi-decent ride before your brains gets baked out of your head.

even Tevis crew needs heat conditioning

But that’s just kind of a factor of Arizona life. I won’t say I love it…but I’m used to it. And I object to the idea of shoveling myself out of 5′ snow drifts even more than I object to convection-oven summers.

And I get Tevis heat conditioning just by existing, and doing things like doing my short-distance errands without air conditioning. (Seriously. I drive a Suburban. Sometimes the drive time is shorter than interior vehicle cool-down time, which makes running the a/c pointless.)

“Mom, I’m sleeeepy.”

Yesterday, I had to make an impromptu barn visit to drop off my monthly board check. It was a busy work day, so I waited until the evening hours after dinner to make the trek down there. Yes, it was hot…but darn it, if I’m going to drive half an hour each way, I’m sure going to get more out of my trip than just sticking an envelope on a cork board. So along came the saddle.

I also needed a live-model photo demonstration for a boot-fitting concept as well, and it just so happens the pony is an excellent hoof model.
By the time I got down to the barn (fighting rush-hour evening traffic, yay) and took the photos I was after, the sun was hanging lower in the sky, a nice breeze was blowing…in fact, it really wasn’t too bad out. 103* without direct sunlight is much more pleasant than 103* with full, blazing sun.

ride off into the sunset…

However, I don’t know how some endurance riders ride in shorts. It was hot and I was lazy, which meant I stayed in my running-shorts-t-shirt attire all day, including down to the barn. I figured I wouldn’t ride for long, and I have a full sheepskin on my saddle…it would be fine. It was fine…but not comfortable. For one, I felt weird without my tights. Two, that sheepskin isn’t as soft and fluffy on bare legs as it is with a fabric layer between skin and sheep.

I spared y’all any photos of my dayglow-white legs, but suffice to say, I’ll be sticking with my ridiculous tights.

“Oh, look, activity next door.”

My little warm-weather night-owl pony was downright sassy. She really does prefer warm weather, and she hates early mornings even more than I do. She’d been snoozing all day long, so by the time evening rolled around, she was ready to party.

I’d barely swung my leg over the saddle before she was striding off. Ummm, excuse me??? Standing still to mount is one of my cardinal rules of horse behavior, and last I checked, that hasn’t changed for the past, oh, 16 years. Ahem. 20 years old and still testing the limits…

shadow chasing

While we just did arena work, she was in very cheerful form, lapping the arena with her perfect 7-8mph endurance horse trot. A couple of times, I tried to slow her down into a Western pleasure jog, and she was having none of it. Nice to know I took my perfectly trained show horse and turned her into a perfectly trained endurance horse.

for warm weather survival, add e’lytes

And I finally tested the Purina Electro-Ease paste. Response? Meh. I think I prefer being able to mix my own custom doses with powder and whatever base I choose. The paste sticks to itself really well, but it doesn’t squeeze out of the tube very quickly or easily (fast syringe work is the key to the pony), and because it sticks to itself in a big glob so well, she was able to just spit it out onto the ground. 

Plus, the taste is very, very concentrated. Yes, minty flavored, but once the flavor and coating wore off, the saltiness was very strong. I was able to syringe enough into Mimi on round two, after knowing what to expect from the consistency, that she got enough to thoroughly taste test. Her reaction? Initially, okay, since she loves mint. But the saltiness lingered so much that I had to rinse out her mouth before she was willing to take a bite of apple afterwards.
So, overall, probably won’t be adding this to my e’lyte regimen. Jury is still out on the powder form…that one isn’t as strong and mixes well in liquid bases.
Pony says, “No thank you for making me your guinea pig. Pick on someone else next time.”

2 thoughts on “warm weather warriors

  1. “103* without direct sunlight is much more pleasant than 103* with full, blazing sun.”

    I think I'm melting just reading this. I'm in northern coastal California. We broke a heat record this Saturday – it hit 71*. I have no idea how I ( or my pony) would survive in that heat. Think Ill stick to fog, rain and mud. ( :

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