July 1st was going to be our high country riding season kick off ride. My daughter and I planned a ride at Cave Basin, a high elevation trail near Vallecito Reservoir in southwest Colorado. We woke up to heavy and steady rain. Although we were disappointed about not being able to get to our 11,000 feet elevation ride, the rain was soothing and we were glad to have a day to relax.
It was too muddy to ride at home but when it rains I love being out with the horses. Our barn is not fancy but it has a three- stall area, an overhang and best of all – a pro-panel roof. This means that I get to enjoy the sound of the rain pounding loudly on the roof.
If your ride gets rained out, here are some ideas to make it a good day of horsin’ around while the drops are falling.
Rainy days are a great time to give your horse a thorough grooming. Not just the usual brush and ride grooming, but instead a thorough overall. Trim the bridle path, look upside down to get a good view of their underbelly, sheath and navel area. Don’t forget the area under the tail and under the jaw. Look for swelling and bug bites and give all areas a good itch.
During this body detail, check the eyes and ears. Wipe them with a gentle cleaner or water. Once your horse is groomed and checked over from head to tail, use fly ointments, sprays and other salves as needed. Formula 707 Healex Ointment is a soothing antiseptic product for rub areas and galls.
I am often in a hurry and don’t take the time to do some simple treat stretches and flexing with my horse. Take the time to make them bend around for a treat, and also in between their front legs to grab a goodie. Work on leg stretches (check the internet for ideas). I also like to give my horse a light massage all over and notice any sore areas.
When it is cool and rainy, the flies usually seem to go into hiding. This is a great time to wash your fly masks and other fly gear. It is also a good time to wash and disinfect all your grooming tools and brushes. I like to get a big tub of water and lather it up with Formula 707 Tea Tree Oil horse shampoo. It is good for washing horse clothing and also for de-gumming brushes. It has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and rinses away easily.
Lastly, while you are leisurely enjoying time in your shelter or barn, use a keen eye to look for any hazards that might have developed. Sharp edges, loose wire, loops of binder twine are all hazards that should be addressed. These rainy days are an excellent time to fix potential injury areas.
In Colorado, we rarely have two days in a row of rain or clouds. I am glad I got out today to the peaceful sound of rain drops falling on the roof.
Thanks for reading! Happy trails from southwest Colorado.