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

Short Read, Day 2 – Summer Drought


Maybe we can spot symmetrical structural beauty better with age.

Better able to instantly recognize the stark simplicity?

Driving by, we immediately see the clear allure of bare winter trees.  Lost on the younger ones.

Or did we see it then, too?  But can’t remember?

No naked trees here yet, but we’re really dried out in the foot hills now.  

Here it is, in case you’d like to see, from your side of the world.

trees in gold country california

foot hills california

golden hills in amador county shenandoah valley

30 Second Summer Recap

Lots of camping.

Sums it up without getting too much off topic.  Quick peek at a fraction of a luscious summer, then back to horses.

Started with the tell-tale Boot-Tan Foot.  Here, at our lake close by.

pale feet and tanned legs

It was beautiful this year, finally full of water, after years on end of drought.  The lake, not the foot.  Is there a written rule you have to post pics like this on social media?  Exhausting…


In Crystal Basin, Union Valley Reservoir, above Silver Creek Falls.  An unmarked trail, you can sort of hoof it through the brush, leads to the creek that feeds into the Reservoir.

union valley reservoir creek
Family dogs may or may not throw themselves into deep water on the side, almost drowning.  Depends on your breed and how exciting the day is.


Summit Lake, high above Donner Lake.

summit lake above donner lake
Easy hike. (Depends; your 8-year-old will want to die. Return 4 years later:  The 5 mile climb is nothing, and only a 20 mile mountain bike ride the next day will ensure regular bedtime hours.) Lake will be all yours to swim in, only Loon Birds.


Best smelling secret meadow at around 7,700 feet.

meadow above donner lake


No one around.


But wait!  There’s something moving!


dalmatian jumping in flowers


Black Bear by our cabin.  Brown, because that makes sense with the name.  Blurry pic, because even if just last year’s baby it felt sort of.  Close.

black bear at donner lake

Hope you’ve had a beautiful summer!

Next week, back with some special posts, inspired by Avery at AHA Moments.  She writes about simple things, with her horses.  And stays positive about it. That’s what we’ll do too, for a week.

Crazy Heat Week

It’s ON!

As soon as the heat sets in, Gray Mare shows up to work looking like a dead rat. Poor baby.

horse sleeping in cross ties

Who would work a horse in weather like this..?  Half the U.S raise their hands.  The rest shake their head.  I’ve got one foot in each boat.

bridling tired horse

Truly, she falls asleep as soon as she comes in to the cross ties.  And yes, this is before 10 am.

preparing to ride in heat

Luckily, she perks up once we get going.

This will be an interesting week… Wide tree SDL has been upgraded to an even wider all new County.  We’re going to ride, and sweat, and maybe, possibly, still feel even better.  Yay!  Both of us.  (Say it loud and then it’s true.)

riding in hot weather

Oldest boy – off to week #2 of adventure.  Youngest boy, stuck at home with me.  Later this week, some blurry riding shots from him.

avoiding heat exhaustion with horses

Stay cool and have fun with your horses in the heat wave!

There’s no denying it – summer heat is ON

It’s on, and it’s here to stay.

Valiosa had a ride with the bareback pad.  Mostly at the walk.  It still got clammy.  Yep, summer!

riding with bareback pad in summer

I’m trying to save up on my elbow joints, helping them heal.  So, some alternative work here and there, without lifting the saddle.  Not sure we’re really all that productive, but Valiosa is having fun!

Your favorite tip for beating the heat in the barn?  Now would be a great time to hear it!

liberty work with horse

horse playing with barrel
Thinking no one was looking, mare flew her weird flag


Dog Days Of Summer

Many, many weeks of summer fun ahead.

Valiosa will have several extra rest days during the next 10 weeks.  She will turn 5.  And she will enter her first rated show.  In the middle of all that extra resting.

Enough to make the pilot choke.  But possibly enough to increase the Impulsion score.

Happy Memorial Day every one!  Hope your summer is starting out great!

Happy Memorial Day

I’m looking forward to spending even more time with my quirky boys.  They are funny, make me laugh out loud every day, and I’m privileged to have them.

Our dog is also looking forward to more crazy adventures.

Hands down the best dog

Although he won’t get to go on the 5 day backpacking trip to Yosemite.

I hope this summer will have Valiosa sniffing at 1st Level.  Maybe she can.  As long as we have enough saddle time.

Don’t know about you, but a show is sort of great motivation to keep it going through all those long months of sticky summer riding…

Dressage On A Dime