Thistle Thursday Heat

The kinds of heat.

Of all the hundred different kinds of snow, there are only about five different kinds of heat.

First, the kind of heat that’s welcoming.

Balmy, wavering, not entirely convincing.  Beneath it all, there’s a promise of 10 degrees cooler at any time.  As soon as it’s past 6 pm, a small shrill around your shoulders in a thin tank top.

thistle dressage

Next, there’s beginner heat.

Fooling any winter hardy to think it’s actually hot.  Sweaty, over-warm, super-hot, how-can-we-go-on?!-kind of heat.

It’s the heat you think you’re in when just visiting someplace warm from up north, realizing it’s only May…

riding outdoors

The third type of heat is where fingers sort of puff up, legs feel heavy, wet hair dries in 10 minutes, and anyone who has a choice plunges into a pool.

riding in thistles

Quick break in the heat study – how awesome is Valiosa here?! For every crazy difficult ride, this makes up for it all.


more forward horse outside

The fourth kind of heat is the humid type.

Drenched, dripping, breathing heavy, after just picking out four hooves and grooming.  Clothes clammy while tacking up, strange green growth pops up on the barn wood and on any tack almost overnight.

Georgia, Missouri, Florida – any place else you live inside a sponge?  Walking feels like moving in molasses.

horse in thistles
Marquise Muffin Top and prickly thistles.

The fifth kind of heat – The dry, lizard-like hotness with birds gaping, panting, with open beaks.

Exterior walls radiate heat, steel shelters are like little ovens, even in the shade inside, and metal burns to the touch.  No cooling even if the air moves.

Wind is a hairdryer down the throat, eyes crackly from no humidity at all.

We’re not quite there yet – this year has been the easiest spring/summer.

Gray mare, being a little gem!

riding on uneven ground

16 thoughts on “Thistle Thursday Heat

  1. V looks fabulous! Yes, multiple kinds of heat. Down here in the southern half of Texas…types 3 and 4. Mostly 4 here. That is what the Gulf of Mexico does!

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  2. Nope nope nope! I would die! It’s going to be 95 here this weekend, with high humidity on top of that, and we’re all considering scratching our horse show because of it. 😛 Heat wimps, to be sure!! I’m glad I am not riding…but my students are, and one of them is on a horse with COPD issues. They’re under control currently, but this will be the hottest day so far this summer, so we’re going to be watching him closely. I don’t know how you stand it! But of course, that’s what everyone from warm places says to us about the cold/winter…My answer is, “I don’t know…you get used to it…and you go to FL in February.” 😀

    V-Lady looks so fantastic here and so do you! I think she likes being outside the confines of the arena! You can see the energy flowing through her. Have you considered dropping your stirrups a hole? Your leg just looks a little constricted. Might help you find that feeling of a very deep seat and draping legs if your thigh could lie a little longer and flatter. I went through a phase where I rode without stirrups more than with stirrups, and after I took my stirrups back I found I needed them two holes longer than before. And I found a whole new level of seat-connection and core-activation. (Not trying to be a backseat trainer!! Take my observation or leave it!! :))

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    1. My answer is: You place yourself in the heat, as often and as long as can, and slowly the blood thins and your mind becomes convinced you’re not going to die after all, even though it feels like it… (Then I celebrate like crazy at the end of Septemer!)
      Yep, she likes the outside! Although, she becomes a lot more distracted of course. The stirrups – longer no can do! They’re already on the verge of getting me on the fork sometimes. It’s my constricted “reach back” aids that need help. No-stirrup work would still definitely be very helpful for us!!! I’m guilty of a clamping leg, and I hate it!

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      1. I feel your pain. The number one thing that helps release the leg from its urge to death-squeeze your horse is to work on getting said horse “hot off the aids”. As in, sensitive to your leg. They need to KEEP GOING after you’ve stopped using your legs. If you feel her engine die when you relax, you know she has trained you nicely to clamp onto her and she thinks she gets to quit when you stop clamping. You should be able to ride with relaxed legs the entire time, and your leg aids should be “thoughts” rather than actual squeezes. Ha! Right! Right? I know. But I have been working on this a lot with Clay and mannnnnnn does it ever make a difference. “Nature keeps the horse going, not the leg.” Let that be your mantra and don’t be afraid to use that whip. 😉

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        1. Love that! “Thoughts” instead of actual harder palpable squeezes.
          I want this now! Need it! 😂 Spurs are off again most rides now, and concentrating a little more on Leg Off!
          I really think we need LOTS of halt to trot. Been neglecting that 🤔

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