Monday, July 12, 2021 — (In 11 days, July’s fullest moon [“Thunder”] will rise.)
I’m struggling about taking along dogs when I’m horseback riding.
My friend Bill, a physician who loves dogs, points out dangers to dogs from heat exhaustion. We’re into a stretch of intense hot weather that’s almost overpowering.
Another worry about dogs and horse trails is that my dogs are showing signs of early arthritis. That’s not good in relation to miles of running.
Last week while riding with the dogs, there were problems with my smallest, Louie. He clearly didn’t want to be on the trails.
The next time out, and that time riding without dogs, I enjoyed not having to keep track of them. I also missed their companionship.
It’s interesting that the dogs accompany me okay on hikes. A good hike can cover one- to two miles. While I’m walking, they’re running, and I wonder what’s the difference?
That suggests a new plan. Keep the horseback rides shorter and keep them cooler.
Today, I’ll include the dogs and go for a shorter ride. The forest has trail loops that can average two or three-miles. If the horses just walk, my dogs shouldn’t find moving more hard than hiking with me. If today’s ride entirely is among trees, it’ll naturally be cooler than using the dusty roadways.
A major goal for long rides has been to exercise the horses. That’s not so necessary if horses are being driven, which is great exercise. As part of this new plan, in a week they’ll receive shoes and I’ll start to drive them.
Horses become arthritic, too. This season I’ll keep a close eye on mine, especially as they’re pulling.
I have arthritis, too.
Nonetheless, all of us must keep getting out, keep going, and keep pacing ourselves appropriately.
Dear Friends: Having horses is a no-brainer, they force householders to stay active. Diana