We’ve been suffering through typical Kentucky July weather, hot and humid with just enough thunderstorms to curtail outdoor activity, but not enough to keep things from drying out. The ground is so hard that horses don’t seem to keep shoes on for more than a couple of weeks, and it’s hardly worth tracking down the farrier to keep them shod, because it’s too stinking hot to ride anyway. But today we got a little bit of a break in the weather, no rain and it stayed below 80, so I decided it was time for a hack around the homeplace, in spite of the fact that Arthur only had one shoe (he had three when I talked to the farrier Sunday, but I told him we might as well wait a week or two, since I wasn’t going to do any serious riding anyway).
When I got home from work, I looked at the lawn and realized it needed mowing badly, and the weather wasn’t giving me an excuse to ignore it. So I had to find another excuse, and riding seemed to be a good one. I could call it a health decision. My blood pressure reading yesterday was 138/102, and I thought some quality saddle time might help get it back in the safe range. (I know some people would question whether riding Arthur is more relaxing than riding a mower, but it sure makes me feel better).
We had a nice little fairly uneventful hack. We did manage to scare up a couple of deer back behind the lake, providing great sport for Norm and Chowder. Their reaction was interesting. We were a fairly good distance away from the deer when they bolted, and for a minute I thought the “hounds” were going to chase them (I don’t try to deer-break my pack). But instead, they ran into the covert that the deer had come out of. At first, I thought they had given up on the first ones, which were long gone, and were looking to see if there were more where they came from. But then, like any good hounds, they picked up the line and followed it. It was definitely a hot scent, and they were running it fast and breast-high. The only sign that they were following a scent at all is that they ran the same zig-zag path that the deer had run. Since we were running out of both country and daylight, I opted not to follow. Not being a hard-core huntsman, I headed for home without my hounds, knowing they’d return eventually.
Aside from occasional homeplace hacks like this, there hasn’t been much horseplay to report here. As mentioned previously, I did spend last weekend at the Horse Park for the Champagne Run Horse Trials. I was originally just drafted for Saturday, but my tour of duty got extended. And somehow, the bosses managed to get a full weekend of work out of me while avoiding any embarrassing stalking incidents; I guess they know which riders they need to keep me away from. Actually, it was an educational experience as I got to spend some time in the control tower for one of the x-c divisions. It’s interesting to see the chaos behind the announcer’s mellifluous British eloquence (Note: Niko may sound like Nigel, but don’t call him Nigel).