Hairy Spring (March 14, 15, 2012)

Who you callin' hairy?

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It’s been freaky-warm for March. Like, the horses are sweating (and shedding). I’m sweating. (Nothing unusual there, unfortunately) Things are bursting into bloom that shouldn’t oughtta. (My blog, my rules: as of now, that’s a word.) I’m not sure what to make of all this. Sometimes the weird weather is working to my advantage, other times … not so much. Take for instance the fact that I can ride more comfortably. Well sorta. There’s that “I’m sweating” thing that keeps cropping up. I’m pretty confused about how to dress for a ride and inevitably, at some point during the tacking-up process I end up having to run back inside and change my clothes. Twice.

Then there’s the sweating, hairy horse thing. It’s weird to have to worry about overheating your horse in March, but they’ve had no time to adjust to the high temps. Being as hairy as they are, they’re uncomfortably warm and itchy. Oh, I forgot to mention itchy. Yeah. Like, right now everything within reach is a potential scratching post, including me. When I’m done riding I can’t get my horse’s bridle off fast enough so she can rub her head on something nearby. Anything. Nothing like having your horse catch the throat latch of their bridle on the corner of their stall and nearly turn themselves inside out before you can get it off. (And hey, please don’t suggest I use cross ties because that would just be too damn easy, OK?)

Shedding is just part and parcel of owning hairy animals. I should be used to it by now. Cattle dogs are said to “blow coat” twice a year. Well, I’ve had my current two Cattle Dogs for eight years and they’re still blowing coat every month. I guess they’re trying to decide which two months of the year work best for them. Oh, and whats with wanting to rub up against me like a cat when they’re shedding? If my house was bugged the dialogue would go something like this:

“Hazer, come!”

“Good boy!”

“OK, don’t rub up against me, please!”

“Hey! Don’t DO that!”

“Stop it!”

“I SAID stop it … NOW!”

“Okay, get away from me … “

*Sigh*  (Followed by the sound of me getting up and moving away from him.)

Rewind, repeat 100 times.

Pretty pathetic, huh?

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I got out and rode on Wednesday and yesterday. Nothing spectacular to report other than the fact that Dharla and I had two really nice rides! Thursday we did another double loop through the woods. This ride is a combo of two trails that I splice together to make one ride that lasts about 90 minutes. This ride has a nice variety of ups and downs, which I like. Depending upon which way I take certain trails, I can choose to work my horse more on the uphill or down. This ride gives me both, with a bit less rockiness than some of our other more over-used trails. It used to be that our trails were somewhat rocky in places, but now that we’re having to share our trail system with a gazillion mountain bikers and hikers, the erosion has seriously degraded many of the longer trails. This really sucks for the horses. For now, Dharla is barefoot and I’d love to be able to keep her that way if possible (Less work. I’m NOT a barefoot zealot). But it will depend upon how rocky the trails get. Glacial activity in this area left layer upon layer of rock beneath the surface of the soil. The more traffic the trails get, the more these ancient glacial deposits are exposed.

The hubby isn’t doing too great. Not much I can do about that except fret and push him to advocate to get his needs met. Today, you have to literally fight to get a doc to cut to the chase and address your pain issues. God damn if the medical system doesn’t piss me off. As the daughter of a physician and speaking as someone who worked in the field, I have NO tolerance for where medicine has gone, particularly when it comes to treating acute and chronic pain. Don’t freakin’ get me started!

Too late ….

The medical community would like to have the public believe they’re ready and willing to treat acute and chronic pain, but when the rubber really meets the road they’re nothing more than a bunch of big weenies. They’ve allowed themselves to be bullied into a position where, on one hand they have the tools and are perfectly capable of helping patients cope with pain, but they’re afraid to commit to actually DOING it. Too much prescription abuse, too much over-prescribing, blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile, people with perfectly legitimate needs for pain treatment are being forced to beg and jump through countless hoops just to get minimal, often temporary relief. Now it’s one thing that I’ve been forced to continually go through this degrading, demoralizing process for the last fifteen years, but to watch family and friends have to struggle with it is entirely different. It makes “going postal” start to feel like a viable option.

If what they say is true and being angry is bad for your health, I’m so screwed.

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