Temperatures finally cooled today and N and I had a chance to meet at Lake Oroville for a morning ride. There was inexplicable, fairly heavy smoke over the lake and enough smoke for pretty decreased visibility over the valley. The air didn't smell smoky and neither of us were aware of a wild fire. You can sort of see the grey tinge in the sky over the lake in the photo below. Also pictured, the spooky horsey obstacle course. Fortunately Scrappy isn't very spooky and just slowly walks past this sort of madness with his head low, snorting softly.
We rode about 13 miles and took Scrappy up Sycamore Hill for the first time. He picked up a slow jog of his own accord as we headed up and motored nicely on a loose rein except where I slowed him on a few really rocky parts. I am still riding him with front Renegades and barefoot in the hind as I focus my experimenting on figuring out saddle/girth issues, but will eventually have to work him in hind boots too. He is moving well with the hinds bare but gives a few ouchy steps on rocks per ride and at speed I'd like his hinds protected for more miles.
Today's tack testing included a new fleecy girth and a fleecy noseband cover. I Desitin-ed Scrappy's armpits just to be safe, and the fleecy girth didn't give him those weird lumps or rub any hair or skin off, woohoo! Also got a great, even sweat mark with the Woolback and western Abetta again, with not even the bat of an eye on back palpitation. I noticed the S-hack rubbed some hair off his nose last time and the fleecy noseband cover remedied that issue nicely today. We did a fair amount of relatively steep up and down riding today and the saddle didn't seem to slide at all. I'm amazed how well that small Woolback keeps saddles in place with no keeper straps at all!
Here is Scrappy ready to sign the trail log at the top of Sycamore Hill:
Why is this thing in your hand not food to be crammed in my mouth??? Scrappy wonders
Here is Willow washing her eyeballs after the ride:
In other news, here is my lovely miss Desire enjoying breakfast the other morning. I rode her out the other day hoping to feel improvement after her hind hock injections but she was no sounder than before the injections, unfortunately. The quest continues..