Last week got pretty hectic so I'm a bit behind here. But, lots of odds and ends as updates. Lovely husband and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary last week, so we took Friday off from work and had a little pandemic-appropriate celebration. We got delicious Mexican food as take out for lunch, some fun beers from a local brewery, and had a little picnic in a local park. It was so relaxing to take a long weekend since work has been really busy, but especially so for lovely husband since he manages a big federal economic development program and is working 10 hour days at least 6 days a week figuring out how to ensure grants are being made appropriately.
Spring came on almost over night. One day there was snow, the next day everything was emerald green. So I was able to get Fizz out 3 out of the last 4 days, which has been great.
Last Thursday we went past the mini donkeys for the first time, and I was so proud of her for riding right past them. Last year she'd plant her feet and get completely freaked out by them and I wouldn't be able to get her past without getting off and working our way by them. But she did great!
We did get chased by the stupid pirate dogs again, but this time I was so irritated with them I turned Fizz around and we chased them home. That was satisfying
Saturday I was intending a long ride but we were barely 1/2 mile from home before we were overtaken with swarming bugs. Poor Fizz was tossing her head all around trying to get some relief, so that wasn't particularly fun. We went up to the overlook at back, which is a ride that's mostly lined with swampy woods, so there was really no escaping them. I really wanted to go a little farther than that, so when we were heading towards home we turned off away from the house and went out a different way where the bugs weren't nearly as bad, and took in some beautiful views of the local mountain, Mt. Ascutney.
As soon as I got Fizz put up, I ran over to the local tack shop to get a riding fly mask for her, as the bugs are going to be with us for awhile and I hate to see her so miserable.
Sunday we went for a long ride with M and Coalie- 7 miles, our longest so far this year. Fizz was MUCH happier with the fly mask on, rocking the Darth Vader look
Our ride took us through cow country, and just like with the donkeys, Fizz looked a little but she kept going right along without stopping. We also passed a free ranging flock of chickens and guinea hens, loose dogs, ATVs, and the mini donks again. She and Coalie pace really well together when trotting, so we let them trot along where the footing allowed (the roads have just been "fixed" with lots of really big, sharp gravel so in some places it is hard to do much but hug the ditch and let them walk where they're comfortable).
We checked out one of the woods trails and it wasn't quite as wet as we expected, but a connector trail we considered was deep mud so we turned back to the road. I think we're a couple of weeks away from being able to spend much time in the woods, it's just still too wet.
Even though Fizz is quicker than Coalie while walking, all the work we've done on backtracking away from home has helped, as we were able to circle back away and go behind him when she was getting too far ahead of him. It's nice to have company while riding to work on stuff like that.
I ended up sending her sidepull back to exchange it for one size up. I sent a bunch of pictures to the people who made it, and they agreed it was sitting a little too high on her face and she'd be more comfortable with a little more room. Hopefully the new one comes quickly, but she seems ok in the bit for now.
As far as the other two, I got bloodwork results back for Maggie and Izzy. Both were Cushings negative, which is great news. Unfortunately, Maggie's insulin levels came back high and put her in the IR range. I suppose it's not really surprising, but it's disappointing. So I'm working out a manageable exercise strategy for her, and the grazing muzzle went on yesterday. Vet has had some success with a relatively new product called Insulin Wise, so we have that ordered and will add to her diet. *Knock on wood* her feet are cool and comfortable but I am keeping an eye on that every day.
It was great to have a warm spring weekend, but I had to laugh at myself as I was reaffirmed in my belief that I am built for cold, snowy weather. After just one spring weekend, I already have sunburn on my face and am covered with bug bites from the awful blackflies- my right ear lobe is swollen twice its normal size because of a bite, and two of my fingers look like sausages from getting bites in the joints. Oh, the joys of warm weather