March 9, 12, 13, 2012

Garden Guard

*

I’ve been busy and that means I’m falling behind on logging my notes for each ride. Not that there’s all that much difference from one ride to the next right now. The ground is still pretty sloppy at times and I’m having to pick a choose my rides accordingly.

On another note, my husband is suddenly struggling with what sounds like might be a bulging disc in his neck. Nothing specific happened to cause this, but he’s had problems on and off for a few years … though nothing this acute. I know he hurts and can relate having struggled with back issues for over 25 years, but what freaks me out even more is that being disabled myself, I depend on him to do some of the bull work around here. I can help with things like unloading hay and daily chores, but there’s no way I can keep up with some of the other stuff that needs to be done …. especially in the spring, when just normal upkeep is a constant battle.

Last night my husband tossed and turned until 2 AM, whereupon he finally just got up and moved to his lounge chair in the living room. I felt bad for him, but there’s little I can do to help besides remind him to take some ibuprofen on a regular schedule. He saw his massage therapist on Monday and the Chiro yesterday. (No adjustments, just some massage and electrical stim.) Nothing seems to help. I guess today I’ll be calling around to see if we can get him into see someone because he really needs some relief, especially at night. You can’t operate heavy machinery on little to no sleep. It’s downright dangerous. So that’s weighing heavily on my mind today as I write this. (3/14) I also have another eye appointment today which means I’ll be dilated and lose the majority of my ability to see all afternoon. Sheesh  ….

Now, back to my regularly scheduled program:

3/9 (Friday) was a nice long ride down the AL trial. We had an excellent hack with no real sticking points. When I got to River Road where I normally turn around I wanted to mix things up a bit so I had Dharla go down a very steep path to the road below. She was a bit hesitant and we ended up circling the approach several times before she decided she could do it. Thus far we’ve only taken this path coming up, so this was new for her. On about the fifth approach she stopped, looked down the steep incline, then committed to it. I made a big deal out of encouraging and praising her. The rest of the ride home was uneventful.

Distance: 6 mi.

Time: 2.5 hrs.

3/12 (Monday) Another nice, almost hot day. We’re breaking March records all week I guess. I decided to combine a couple of woods loops in hopes that by staying in the shadow of the hills and ridges it would keep us out of the direct sunlight. Dharla is still pretty fuzzy and with the unseasonably warm temps I don’t want to over heat her. It’s very early in the season and neither horse is conditioned to working in the heat yet. Besides, I’m pretty bored riding the AL trail after using it almost all winter. Dharla seemed happy to be off riding something different too. We didn’t encounter anything unusual or have any issues. I worked on using my seat to navigate in some places. It always amazes me, how responsive Dharla is to the slightest shift in my weight.

Time: 1.75 hrs

3/13 (Tuesday) Today started out with rain and lots of clouds, but the forecast called for mid-day clearing and then rising temps. So I kept a close eye on the weather, then shot out as soon as it stopped raining and saddled up. The sky still looked threatening and I was slightly under-dressed for the wind that picked up mid-ride, but eventually it cleared up and got nice. We rode the AL trail today, but I had limited time due to a mid-afternoon piano lesson so we kind of hoofed it. Mostly trotting, but a few short stretches of loping thrown in for kicks.

Dharla seemed a bit spookier today than she’s been lately and I also thought she  seemed a bit logy. Not sure why because that’s certainly not her norm. She might have just been having an “off” day, but crap … I so worry about Lyme. The ticks have been horrific already. I go over the horses with a fine tooth comb at least twice a day, but it’s a useless battle and both have had several nasty bites and swollen spots already. The dogs I can protect with that nasty Vecter and Advantix stuff, but the horses are so screwed. If anyone reading this knows of ANYTHING I can use that’s safe for horses, I’m open to suggestion. We live only a few miles from Lyme, where the notorious Lyme Disease first got noticed by the medical community. So far one dog has had it three times, the other dog has had it twice, Beanie had it twice, Tia had it once, Bullet has had it once, and I had it once. My husband has never been tested, but I bet he’s been exposed and no doubt, Dharla will be too if she hasn’t already. Ug. One more thing I don’t like about living in the North East.

Anyhow, it was a nice ride and we made pretty good time.

Distance: 5.5 miles

Time: 1.5 hrs.

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