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.