Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hot Stuff

After a light week thanks to his mild (but still scary) bout with colic, Aaruba was full of bounce for today's conditioning ride. We took on 10 miles of hills in the midday heat. I really like this route for its rolling quarter-mile and half-mile hills. Aaruba trotted the whole way, with me riding up the hills and jogging down. He finished strong and pulsed down to 60 bpm in 7 minutes, three of which were spent walking the last quarter mile toward home.

When I took off my helmet, my hair was as wet as if I'd just stepped out of the shower. Tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter -- up to 103! But I'm not complaining. Nope, not one bit. I'd rather condition in heat (it's good for an endurance horse to be able to manage his temperature in summer weather) than deal with the rainy, windy weather we endured throughout most of June.

And now, for all who have sent such kind compliments on Aaruba's loveliness, I offer this photo for your amusement:

That was Aaruba in mid-February, 2008. Below is a similar photo I took just before saddling up this afternoon. (Excuse the Target bag -- I didn't have Travis handy to help get his ears pricked...not that it worked...)

No really, I swear it's the same horse! Was that four months of conditioning, or a miracle??


Anonymous said...

WOW! From Hairy Yak of the Steppes to Handsome Higgins on Hooves in four months! I'm impressed. It never ceases to amaze me how perfectly dreadful grey horses can look in the winter. Is it my imagination or are they especially pig-pen like? My ginormous Percheron mare Millie was most often 2000 pounds of gnarly grey and Virginia-clay orange fluff in the winter. Especially the day before fox hunting, when it was too cold to bathe her and she needed to be spotless. But no matter how much training Old Miss Mille got, she would never have ben as sleek as your Aaruba.

Shana said...

Amazing transformation!! :)