Harley's vacation is officially over!
I finally got to ride him again, and it was twenty minutes of pure bliss at 9:30 am on a Sunday morning in temperatures quickly approaching unacceptably hot. So I am finally able to ride my horse again and a heat wave hits the east coast. I made the most of this short ride, but now I am as eager as ever to get back in the saddle and start conditioning Harley (and myself) back to the wonderful level of fitness and dressage oneness we were enjoying last fall. The flying changes have been put away since I found out that I was expecting, so I am/Harley is excited to take those out again. Unfortunately, the weather is not cooperating with my fun and getting away to the barn is very difficult.
Please allow me to rephrase that...VERY, VERY, VERY difficult.
I am breastfeeding our daughter who demands sustenance about every two hours, even as we approach the two-month mark. Of course, feeding is only one element among the myriad of activities that surround our daily lives at the moment. Exhaustion has become a permanent resident at our house, but that has not made me want to see my horse or ride him any less. It is the logistics that are a problem. He lives a mere eight minutes away, but trying to fit anything horse-related into a two-hour window (which has to include me cleaning up when I get home) is next to impossible for me. It doesn't help that the July climate absolutely requires that Harley have a shower after we work, even if all we do is walk in the shade and trot for five minutes and this leaves almost no time for hand-grazing, about which Harley has already expressed his displeasure. The summer months usually afford him thirty minutes of grazing after a workout, something that he counts on as part of his "Val-time".
I also have to try and fit other horse-care requirements into my "Harley-time" like replenishing fly spray, detangling his beautiful tail and now-partially-rubbed-out-mane (HARLEY!?!), washing tree-sap out of my horse's coat (a very messy two-step process), and the most-time consuming of all: trimming his feet. For the first time ever, I wish that I wasn't trimming his feet myself. It is extremely time-consuming and when all I can think about is a few minutes in the saddle, an upcoming trim becomes a figurative killjoy. BUT I have made a commitment to my horse's feet. Just add it to the long list of commitments that I am trying to balance right now and I am not even back at work yet.
Have you ever noticed that every horse chore or activity takes at least ten steps? What is up with that?
Let's just say that Harley's bridle will remain moldy for the near future. Thank goodness my saddle has a cover!
In the meantime, I will be banking as much Harley-time as possible, but the deposits have been slow-going so far. Once or twice a week just ain't cutting it!
|Our first ride in 93 days exactly!|