Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Into the Woods

And Once Quite By Accident

I decided to ride in the woods today. It was and still is, moderately hot, but not overbearing. I didn't get my act together until the afternoon anyhow, for no reason at all.

The key to all of this is the Cashel Bug Armor and Mosquito Halt bug spray. The Bug Armor is really fantastic. I've seen some less complex to put on riding fly sheets on eBay, but I don't know how they'd work. The Bug Armor has two pieces and it takes a little while to rig everything up. I add a fly face mask with ear protectors made of the same material so my horses are nearly covered head to belly. I spray them on their legs, under their bellies, and try to put a bit on their noses.

Then off we go. Chance had a blast. He loves hacking out and was enjoying himself grabbing leaves along the way. I rode the middle length trail with him and he was just great. I hadn't put the spray on his nose, so he did flip his head a little, but otherwise he was bug free.

Then I dressed Tucker and out we went. He was foot perfect the whole ride. That was particularly impressive since he hasn't been out in more than a month. He was nice and solid and moving right along nicely.

However, when I got back, something was wrong. Chance was on the wrong side of the fence, browsing in the woods!! Toby was frantically running back and forth in the arena, whinnying and whinnying. I had left the woods gate unchained because I'd closed the arena gate. Foolishly, I fear, since I forgot the two gates to the pasture were open, and the broken fence was not yet securely mended. Needless to say, opportunist Chance had inspected the woods gate, wedged himself through and escaped to the trees.

When I got Tucker into the arena, Chance decided to start frolicking which riled up Toby even more which, in turn riled up Tucker. I had my hands full of nearly 17h Thoroughbred, one frantic herd boss, and one loose horse in the forest.

Fortunately, Tucker has some good ground training, so I managed to get him into the barn, to strip off his tack, and to lock him in a stall so I could go catch Chance. Luckily Chance is a good boy who came readily to a bucket of feed and I led him back in, much to Toby's relief.

Once more a little carelessness on my part and an underestimation of my horse's cleverness cost me a quiet afternoon.

Well, the hacks in the woods were nice, anyhow. Shady and pleasant.

Still have my swim on the agenda.


  1. It's amazing how if we leave them an opening, they'll take advantage of it! LOL!

  2. I have a few Houdini's too, but Blue is the champ, if there's an opening he's gone.
    Glad you had a few good rides. I remember a few years back they had some fly spray in a dispenser (sort of like Wet Ones) and you just took the sheets and rubbed it on their faces. I haven't seen it for a while, but then again I haven't been looking for it either. If they still sell it, you might want to give it a try.

  3. Oh Geez! I feel your pain!!! Yesterday, I went into a paddock where 4 boys are for their morning grain before leaving for work; lo & behold a certain sneaky stallion I had allowed a roll in the connecting arena had followed me!!! Now, mind you, he had to duck under three lengths of hotwire, but I had partially left open those 3 gates the hot wire streches across!
    The end of the story is all lived happily ever after, aside from a few scrapes & bites, four boys who remember why the stallion is the stallion (think 1000lb screaming children with the bed monster in hot pursuit) and a chagrined owner (also VERY late for work).

  4. They must search around all the time for something different and we think they just graze or doze.

    The ride in the woods sounds so relaxing and good for all of you. Too bad you have to take such extreme measures to keep the bugs at bay but you just can't have a good ride with bugs bugging your horse.