Here is a hysterical picture of me on my sweet pony, Dimples, and my mom with a tail!!!! (Click to enlarge.) How funny is that? The date on the photo is January of 1971 but it must have been taken sometime in the summer of '71. I was four years old. Mom and I are sporting our favorite matching outfits - made out of old curtains. I am not kidding - we have older photos of my mom from her high school days and those curtains are hanging in the living room window!
It looks to me like it is Maizie on Dimples. She really looked like that when she was four. Sadly, Maizie is terribly allergic to horses, but she does help me graze now and then. I had her take riding lessons last summer to learn basic horse safety, but her allergies made her face and eyes swell and kept her sneezing through the whole lesson. Fortunately, she did learn some important horse handling skills which came in handy last week when Foggy and Sovey got loose! I was leading Pie out of the ring gate and because it was so buggy and hot, Foggy decided he was leaving too. He slipped through the gate on the off side of Pie. Sovey hesitated a moment while I was reacting and he also slipped out! Both brothers were completely loose and without halters. Maizie calmly walked up to the horses as they headed toward the barn and detained Sovey while Foggy investigated the wagonshed thoroughly. Meanwhile, I was freaking out like a chicken with my head cut off trying to figure out what to do with Pie. He was very cooperative and allowed me to stick him back in the pasture. I ran up and grabbed two halters. Maizie put one on Sovey and I got Foggy. She really saved the day with her calm demeanor and quick thinking - unlike me!
I am struggling to find the perfect time of day to ride now that Maizie is home all day. I tried evenings for two nights. The honeysuckle smell has been heavenly and I love the soft pink evening light, but the bugs are just too bad. Last evening Pie went crazy even though I sprayed him thoroughly. I thought he was going to buck me off because his belly was getting bit. Tonight's ride on Sovey was exactly the same - not pleasant because of the flies and gnats. I was bareback and poor Sovey shook so many times and his skin was flicking and twitching the whole time.
I bring the horses into their stalls if it is 90 degrees or above during the day and they really don't want to go back outside in the evening because of the bugs. I am probably going to go back to morning rides and hope that makes a difference. I give the horses garlic, spray them with different products, and use fly masks, but this year nothing is working. Tonight while I was putting the bridle on Sovey in the forebay, he pushed the screen door open and walked back into the barn before our ride. Talk about giving me a complex! My horse disappears and hides in his stall when it is time to go riding. Ugh!