Harley and I are now collectively 51 years old having both recently celebrated another birthday. That said, we are both doing pretty darn well despite our mutual arthritis 😉 I have lost some weight, which is helping us both, and Harley is sound, shiny, and happy with his work.
We have recently been forced to take a brief hiatus from riding because another horse at the barn developed a high fever. To be safe, any horse that could have had potential contact with the sick horse was quarantined and monitored closely. Harley does not share a pasture with the sick horse, but his stall is right next to a temporary feeding “stall” that the sick horse uses daily. So, Harley and his stall mate got to be 24/7 pasture horses for two weeks and all of us were prohibited from taking our horses up to the main barn and arenas. I think he loved his break. I was bummed at first because the quarantine started right before the holiday weekend but as it turned out, I got my own nasty sinus/cold bug and have been down for the count ever since. The quarantine has been lifted after the other horse went one full week fever free so we all hope we are out of the woods and maybe it was just an isolated incident. Harley never temped high and was in great spirits. I spent the holiday weekend almost entirely in bed but I did emerge to visit the pony on Memorial Day to fly spray, check temperature, and stuff with cookies.
*****PUBLIC HEALTH ANNOUNCEMENT******
I want to take a minute to explain a stupid thing I did in hopes that no one else does this. I was recommended an essential oil to use with Harley and I don’t have a ton of experience with essential oils but acquiesced to giving it a try because even if it didn’t help, it smelled good. I cut or diluted the oil with coconut oil per the directions and had a little container of it in my car. On Memorial Day when I went to visit Harley, I noticed a spot of dry skin on my hand and rubbed a bit of the oil on the spot before I got out of the car at the barn. I was out there just for a quick visit, being sick and with sun blaring down, I stayed out there for maybe 20 minutes before I noticed that the spot where I had rubbed the oil was bubbling/blistering. I thought it was a skin reaction because it never hurt so I immediately washed it off my hand. Well, the damage had apparently already been done and that oil BURNED THE EVERLOVING SHYTE out of my hand. The bottle warned against it in tiny print that I didn’t read. I have since learned that many essential oils, especially citrus based oils are EXTREMELY PHOTOSENSITIVE meaning they react with UV light and produce a phototoxic reaction in the skin. It’s pretty much a chemically induced exaggerated sunburn.
My skin thankfully never hurt from this burn but it did hyper-pigment because, as I learned later, bergamot based oils like the one I used, are notorious for causing extreme skin reactions when exposed to sunlight. I am thankful I didn’t rub this stuff all over my face or neck because…could you even imagine?!?! Anyway, don’t be like EquiNovice, carefully read about any essential oils, and don’t make margaritas at the barn- because apparently the oils from the limes are photosensitive as well and there is such a thing as a Margarita burn.
So… yeah… aside from that…..
While I was sick I bought some barely used stirrup leathers on eBay. They were supposedly “unbranded” but they are clearly branded, they are Albion calf wrapped leathers that I got for $13.
Like, I feel a little guilty and bad for the seller.
I rode Harley for the first time post-quarantine and was worried he would be feral. I lunged him to start and he lunged like a pro and was a perfect gentleman for our ride as well. I focused on the canter in our ride and it has been a while since I have really worked much in that gait but he looked so steady in his canter on the lunge that I just had to ride it. It was productive and he surprised me by being more relaxed than I thought he would be after his spring break. I would think it is about time for his hock injections but he is just moving so well right now, I don’t know if I should wait or go ahead and get them in.
We are chugging right along and I told myself that if I hit my initial weight loss goal, I would look into starting lessons with the other trainer at my barn (my current trainer’s trainer). This sinus/bronchitis thing hasn’t helped, but hopefully by next week we’ll all be feeling fine!