Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Summer Show............Getting Ready in the Heat

Part 1

Record temperatures were posted for the weekend. Since I don't get along with the heat, I had even considered not going to the Daffodil All Arabian Horse Summer Show. Looking at the schedule I thought I could avoid showing the hottest part of the day by picking and choosing my classes carefully. I think that's one of the reasons I'd even picked that open class to show.

Now that the temperatures were beginning to rise and the morning session hadn't even begun I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of that choice. Just the walk to the show office had sweat running down my face.

I needed to do something to Legs' gross back feet because even a good scrub and steel wool had not lifted the debris. Normally I don't do much in the way of sanding or ever extra rasping on my horses hooves. I don't even apply polish except for regional or national classes but normally my horse's hooves don't Legs' did on this day.
The very thought of climbing around on the floor scrubbing on feet made the sweat pour.

It's times like these I that make me feel old. Most of the time I can avoid the reality of my age but the heat and the physicality of horses quickly reminds me I am no spring chicken. I was really wishing I was home sitting in my air conditioned house instead of wiping body fluids off my brow and contemplating what I was going to do to clean up those back hooves belonging to Legs.

As much as I love white markings, it didn't take long into my show career to realize that hind white hooves are the pits. Because the hinds are responsible for the horse's impulsion, they take the brunt of the work making them the most beat up. Trying to make them look like finely manicured nails is an that must start with clean hooves.

I had asked my farrier, who just happened to be part of our group, if there was any chance he could clean up Legs' hooves with his rasp. His response had been "if he had time." About now I was thinking if he didn't find time, I'd be showing the dirtiest hooves I'd ever seen. Luckily for me, the farrier came through and he did the sweating instead of me.

After he was done I really should have buffed out the scratches with some fine sand paper. Instead I applied a thin coat of wax polish and called it good. Even with that little effort I had sweat running from my armpits clear down to my waste. I was really wishing I hadn't entered an afternoon class if the morning was already this warm.

The next step in getting my horse ready to show involved saddling him up. When I came through the doorway with the show pads poor Legs let out a groan and I must admit I sympathized with him. I was thinking coming to this show had been a big mistake but I'd paid my money, I was going to show.

Once the horse was saddled, I went to getting myself ready to show. I changed from my heavy jeans into the lighter stretchy pants I've been riding in the last couple of years. While I've not appreciated their lightness before now, there was an obvious advantage to that in this heat. Even with my chaps over the top, I had less fabric on than with my jeans alone. At least that part was good.

I waited until the last minute to put my show shirt on. That thing out weighs my tank top by about 5 times, I swear. I knew that thing would be hot and I didn't want to deal with it until I had to. Instead I sat in front of Legs' stall listening to the class calls.

My silly horse was nuzzling my hair through the stall bars as we waited. I couldn't help but laugh although I probably should have been thinking about what the horse's show makeup was doing to my hair. It wasn't until later when I stuck my hand into a glob of goo that I realized letting Legs mess with my hair wasn't wise.

As I sat there in front of my horse's stall, I could see the heat rising off the asphalt outside. The temperature seemed to be rising much faster than time was travelling. I was going to be fried before I ever made it to the ring.

To be continued.....................

Warming Up

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  1. We really haven't been having a horrible hot summer like folks in other parts of the country but even with normal summer temperatures I've been riding either super early in the morning or late in the evening. It never bothered me as a kid but now it just zaps the strength out of me.

    Heat + Show Attire does not mix, mind you I tried the same thing as you at my show this year, with the stretchy pants instead of jeans and I was sure thankful! They were actually the pants from my old saddleseat outfit but who could tell under chaps? :)

  2. Yuck! sounds awful, I would be sweating any way with nerves. Add that heat and yikes!

  3. I really feel for you. I hate working in the heat, and am so thankful that it isn't me having to dress in show clothes on a super hot day! There is nothing worse then that.

  4. I am okay with the heat as long as the humidity stays down (when that gets too high, my goose is cooked :o) I can't imagine trying to show in those long-sleeved shirts during the summertime though (ugh).

  5. Oh my gosh, STOP. It's first thing in the morning and you've talked me into a sweat already.

    The actual temps here have hovered around 105° or more, with the heat index around 110°. I try to be done and the outdoor work done by noon.

    It's hard to look "crisp" when you're wilting.