Monday, July 16, 2012

Thundering Hooves

Actually, it was more just thunder.  In the Pacific Northwest, we experience our fair share of rain but it's usually annoying drippy constant rain and the ever present cloud cover.  This week though, the weather went all ex girlfriend psycho on us.  We had high winds, muggy days, thunderstorms and hail.  If Mother Nature could have, she would have slashed our tires and left notes written in lipstick on our car windshields.  It made for some good weather watching...from inside.

Friday I had an appointment with the saddle fitter because my saddle isn't fitting.  It slides forward during my ride.  This is what happens when you order a saddle in March and receive it in July.  The pony's shape has changed.  We had some thunderstorms earlier that morning, but the weather outside my window was pretty blue skies and sunshine.  At the barn, it was a bit muggier than at my house.  I brought Tessa in from the pasture and put her in the cross ties.  I could hear thunder rumbling in the distance. Outside, the wind picked up, sending a cool breeze through the aisle.  I looked outside.  Sunshine.  

I got to work brushing her.  I would like to mention, for the fourteen millionth time, how amazingly clean my grey pony is.  It's like she wears a bubble when she goes outside.  The only place she gets dirty is on her hind legs where she gets poop from her nervous pooping habit.  So, I'm doing a quick groom while waiting for the saddle fitter.  I look outside and notice that it's darker out.  Again, highly unusual for weather to change so quickly.  There is a sudden flash and before I can turn to the other woman out there to remark on it, it's followed by a huge crack of thunder.  Followed by hail.

Shockingly, my pony puts all four feet out and trembles for a moment.  Her head goes up and her eyes roll around a bit.  She's on full alert.  The hail is making crashing noises on the barn roof.  I put her lead rope on and take her out of the cross ties.  She's looking around a bit anxiously, but her feet are still.  There's an empty stall next to us so I put her in the empty stall.  Thunder shakes the barn again.  She looks around the stall for a moment.  "Oh!  Hay!"  And that was that.  She put her head down and got busy eating the hay and ignoring the weather.

The saddle fitter was running really, really late so I ended up cancelling my appointment.  Partly because I didn't want to wait and partly because I know my limits.  And riding in a thunderstorm is a limit for me.  What's cool though, is that I don't feel bad about that.  It's okay that I'm not brave enough to ride in a thunderstorm.  It's okay that I put my pony in a stall because I was worried and so was she.  I'm learning how to take care of BOTH of us in the best way possible.  Without shame, without guilt.  It feels good.  Really good.


  1. the thunder has been CRAZY! no idea why it's the one thing my mare doesn't seem to care (at all) about, but I'm moderately thankful for that... For the record I'm terrified that my saddle isn't going to fit either. My previous dressage saddle which didn't fit AT ALL when I ordered the new one is now... fitting. Funny what 4 months of muscle can do. Makes me nervous.. I hope yours ends up working out!!

  2. Good for you for trusting your instincts and doing what you are comfortable with! The old saying 'pick your battles' works with horses too...not just human kids.