Slight Detour

I’ve been pretty nose-to-the-grindstone since we got back from Holly Hill. Coconino is the big bright neon sign on our radar this year, and I have a one track mind (as I’m sure everyone has noticed). But then I got some reminder emails about schooling shows between now and then, and that one track mind went on a slight detour. Normally I wouldn’t enter anything in Texas after the beginning of June, it’s just way too damn hot/humid/miserable.

Or, ya know… FLOODED

Henry has been doing fairly well with our extraordinarily awful humidity so far though; definitely much better than the past two summers. I don’t know if it’s the Lung EQ or just the fact that he’s much fitter than he’s ever been, or both. He still huffs and puffs on really humid days but it takes him much longer to get to that point and his respiratory rate returns to normal much faster. He doesn’t feel dull or lethargic at all (well… not when he’s pointed at a jump anyway) and he’s still sweating like a champ. At this point it seems more like something to be aware of rather than a reason to coddle him.

We had two schooling HT options: Pine Hill on July 3, or MeadowCreek on June 18. They’re both about the same distance, close to the same price, and they both use the same courses for schooling shows as they do for recognized. He’s jumped around about half of each venue’s Training course already.

Basically, they’re equal on paper. But considering we’re hitting the road for Coconino on July 6, I didn’t feel right about having him run a full HT in the heat just a few days before we leave for 2 weeks of showing. MeadowCreek it is.

So he’s entered at Training level with Trainer on board to give him a run around the level and let them get better acquainted (since she’s only sat on him twice) before we get to Coconino. Plus MeadowCreek has this giant ledge of a down bank with a downhill landing that I’m not particularly eager to jump Henny the Rocket Launcher off of. She can do the honors of being the first one to experience that particular over-exuberance.

She loves this
Really loves it
This is what excitement sounds like

It’s a legit T course, probably harder than Coco’s, so if he can jump around there he’ll be extra ready for the recognized at Coco. Hopefully between keeping the warm-ups minimal and me following him around with a bucket of ice water and a sweatscraper, he’ll be able to manage the heat just fine for the day. If not, we can withdraw without really caring. Yay for schooling shows!


There’s the Rub

No, literally… THE RUB. Fair warning, this is probably way TMI, but the struggle is real.

Ever since I’ve been upping the length of Henry’s conditioning rides, I’ve been having a problem. Not with the horse, he’s a gem. Not with my tack, that’s all fine. Not with my ability to trot for 45mins straight without losing my mind, although it’s been close a few times. No… my issue is, ahem… chafing. Of the… er… lady bits. Especially now that it’s hot/humid and I’m sweating like a faucet.

I’ve tried just about everything in my arsenal. Being a cylist, I have a drawer full of creams and powders meant to reduce chafing. None of those really helped. Being a lover of a sale, I have a drawer full of underwear in different styles and fabrics. Some are better than others (oh god, the time I didn’t plan ahead and wore lace for conditioning day there was so much screaming in the shower it sounded like a remake of Psycho) but still none of them really help either. I even tried raising and lowering my stirrups and dressage saddle vs jump saddle. There has been no magic bullet.

So, endurance riders and fellow eventers, what’s the secret? I think the elderly lady is tired of watching me fidget with my underwear while I trot around her hay field.