Saturday, January 7, 2012

Heat wave

I was browsing around the national and regional climate office websites trying to find you a good chart. (Because nothing makes a blog page more interesting than a good chart, right?)

But here's the thing: It actually would be a pretty neat chart. Our daytime temperatures have been averaging 10 to 20 degrees above normal since before Christmas. I'm a bleeding heart, Save-the-Whales liberal... but even I am starting to see the upside of climate change!

Today for instance, I got three-quarters of the way to Heather's house before I realized that I had left my gloves at home in the dryer. In a normal January, that would be a deal-breaker. I'd have to drive all the way home and get them or take a chance at losing fingers to frostbite.

Instead, this happened:

Hello, I'm the sun. And I am going to BEAT DOWN ON YOU RELENTLESSLY.

So, I decided to go to Madame Dorion. No particular reason. I was debating where to go even as I was pulling out of the driveway. East or west? East or west? I picked west, and it was time to do a little pre-HOTR prepping.

When you go to Madam Dorion, there are certain choices to make. You can ride on the nicely groomed gravel roads...

...or you can go Hidalgo-style through the sand dunes.

I'm not actually trying to bow a tendon. This spot is by far the deepest, loosest section.

I'm partial to the sand for a few reasons. For one, back in the days of Naughty Otto, a hard ride in the sand was about the only thing that would slow him down. (And honestly, shortly before I sold him to Laurie, he was so fit that sand wouldn't even do it.) I also like the sand trails because they ask a horse to do a lot of different things. The sand itself is challenging, but a lot of the trail is also slaloming through the sagebrush and juniper bushes. It's kind of like doing pole bending for three or four miles. Horse and rider both have to be light and alert to do it right.

We had the added challenge of tens of thousands of geese and ducks ready to fly at any moment. You would not believe how loud they are!

Blue still had gas in the tank, but the sun was setting.

Look how sweaty! We'll be doing a trace clip in March for sure. Lucky for me, my wonderful husband bought me clippers for Christmas.

Tomorrow, we're planning a 13-mile road loop with Heather and Bunny. I'm not exactly looking forward to it, but our options are limited by Bunny's trailerphobia. When I got back from MD, we spent half an hour putting her in and taking her out, but Bunny still panics when you touch her bum. I'm sure actually closing the back doors would inspire a meltdown. Still, I see progress. She goes in a lot more easily than she did a week ago. And she will eat once she's there. Next step, closing the door and letting her figure it out.

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