Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Walking Ride!

Prelude ~
On Monday, when I tried the new saddle pad on Farah - it seemed to work Great.  At home, after her bath - I sprayed her with fly spray (she was still damp) & turned her out.  When Butch came in from feeding, I asked if he'd noticed the improvement in the waves on her withers?   He replied;  "She has bumps on her back..."  Hearing that - I went right up to see what on earth could have changed in a couple hours?  There were bumps!  On both sides of her back - but not a rash type of bump. They were irregular in size, no particular pattern & though they were on both sides, there were more on one than the other.   Certainly more like bug bites!  I sprayed them with Schreiner's.  (Butch had mowed the pasture over the weekend & I'd seen Farah rolling & rolling...) Yesterday morning I sprayed her back again before I left.

This morning I went up to saddle & as usual started with the shedding blade - since she seems determined to shed out her dark summer coat.  Then the body brush & I noticed that she swished her tail a couple times while tied.  I tacked her up with the new pad, she loaded & we were on our way.

Meeting up with Joyce at Bracken, there were already four rigs parked.  Joyce said a large group of ladies riding bareback had just left with two German Shepard dogs.  With Farah in the lead, we started out.  On the road Farah wanted to trot so I was letting her move out when Joyce asked me if I was in a hurry?  No - not really :-)  So I slowed her back.  Once the trails she tried to shake, then shake again from a trot.  Next, she turned & tried to bite her side, next - a big hump in her back!  Something Not Right!  I got off - having explained about the new pad, bites etc. to Joyce, she offered to switch pads with us.  OK - we stripped saddles & swapped pads.  Both mounted up - but within just a few feet - Farah was again acting up & letting me know she was unhappy or uncomfortable.  Target on the other hand - was fine with the pad.  We were only about two-miles out - I wasn't planning to carry a saddle back - so we decided just to walk & Joyce said she could loop us back!
Joyce with Target & Farah~
We were hiking along when we the bareback bunch came out of the woods, having a great time & said hello.  Since Farah was by now walking along with her head low & looking comfortable - we mounted up again.   Beside another little shake - she seemed better - or over whatever had been going on...  We by now were up in the middle of the farm & heard someone up ahead.  It was a logger with a broken track hoe - active logging is now taking place!
It was heartbreaking - at least to me, to see one of the few remaining stands of older timber going down...  The shade & coolness was always so beautiful & welcome.  One of those destination areas that you like to include in a ride here.  That - it will be no longer...  Instead of the coolness & beauty of the big woods, it will be the wide-open, heat & invasive weeds in no time at all.
Joyce & Target
You can just see the logs that have been cut laying off to the side.  Joyce reminded me that it is a "Tree Farm" & my mind knows that - but my heart tries to ignore it...  We finished up a nice, relaxed five-mile loop.

Now I'm out to wash down Farah's back, apply some of Dean's Blue Cream & wash the new pad.  Joyce thinks it's the bites & I do too.  Maybe once her back was all sweated up - whatever itching or pain stopped.  Doubt I'll have time to ride tomorrow - so I hope by Fri. the bites will be better & I can use that pad again!

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