Hayflinging In the Time of COVID-19

Oh hi.  I guess it has been a while since I last posted (and here I was hoping I’d be able to at least post once a month … FAIL) and since that time, things basically can be summed up by the awesomeness of The Child as follows:

Let’s face it … March? April? May? I didn’t sign up for these shenanigans at the beginning of the year.  I never consider myself an ‘early adopter’ when it comes to products (to be fair, the only reason why I have a first-gen Nintendo Switch is because birthday present  as I tend to buy second-gen or later) and to say that the current state of the world put a damper on the plans I had for the year is nothing short of well … an understatement.  Granted, I don’t have much to complain about, and I probably should have been blogging more, given how much free time I suddenly had on my hands, but life was sort of still happening in March, and then April came bringing with it …

…. and just like that, I was catching bugs and fish to pay off my debts to a capitalistic racoon-dog.  Story of my life.

Aside from the fact that I’ve been more or less trying to follow the rules as outlined by the Public Health Department of the state of California and Gov. Newsom, life has been kind of the same introverted reclusive video-game-playing, pony-feeding day-to-day existence that I’ve always had.  I do miss my Star Wars costuming troops terribly, because I do have friends (we’re all just nerds together) and life has thrown a wrench that juuuust getting back into job hunting turned out to be terribly timing, but I have tried to maintain the ‘normal’ as much as I can.  Mitch and Jet still gotta eat twice a day after all.  And being outside is supposed to be good for us, right?  At least where the horses are, I can social distance the hell outta it because I’m down in self-care with my own hay shed and tack room, and I can scuttle to the back of Mitch’s corral faster than a cat with its tail on fire if anyone starts coming down the road.  I have SHOUTY conversations with people, I love it!

Mitch has, and always will be, the bright spot at the center of the universe in my daily life.  I’ve been wishy-washy about riding, some days I’ll ride back to back, and then some days, I’ll just hang around, scratching a pony’s butt while shoveling the poop coming out of it.  But he’s been as good as gold no matter how many days pass between the last under saddle excursion.  Makes me proud of him.

Since fly season has begun (but did it ever really end in Southern California to begin with?) I got both Mitch and Jet new fly sheets.  Jet’s sweet itch rug was really too warm for her, and for some reason, she shrank (or it grew or something because the neck was just hugely long on her .. so I ended up butchering it as a night sheet for her, but that’s another story) and picked the zebra ones.  Or in Mitch’s case, a zeBRO,  Har har.  They also got fly boots for all four legs.  Mitch occasionally does not like having them on his rear legs, but he doesn’t seem to mind when he’s eating, and since he’s usually eating, he most often tolerates them.

I bought another saddle, yeah, I know … but this one is a Freeform with panels! With the poron foam inserts that go in the panels. And tons of extra rings.  And the price was almost like stealing it considering how much they go for new.  Plus, I sold my brown Freeform to someone who it turned out had 4 mutual friends with me, 3 Fjords and was the niece of a woman I used to board with a long time ago. I mean, that’s like fate right there.  Mitch really likes the Freeform saddle, and I feel very comfortable in it (feel less stretched than I do in the Bates Isabell) so I felt it was a good purchase.

It’s been an interesting situation out in the world right now. I have no idea if I’ll actually be able to go to Star Wars Celebration: Anaheim this August (not holding my breath), the usual constants in my life like the Kentucky Derby have been postponed or cancelled and for a while there, it looked like our chance at actually making it to an endurance ride this season was going to be non-existent.  But nevertheless, we prevailed! Mitch and I participated in the Wild West Virtual Endurance Ride.  Hooray! We actually did an ‘endurance ride’ without even leaving the ranch.

I picked the 5 mile ride with a 2 hour time limit because I knew we weren’t going to get 10 miles out of it.  I can only go around the ranch trails so many times after all.  The weather was cool and cloudy, and I made lots of stops at the shed to put more fly spray on, although Mitch was grumbly thinking he was done and out we’d go again.

We even found the baby goats that belong to the grandkids of my ranch owner.  It was a fun ride.  We took our time, and managed to come in under the time limit.  It’s not like doing a “real” ride, but it was worth it to help support a ride financially since the ride managers for the Wild West Ride had had to cancel the real one.  And someday, when all this craziness has ended, and we find ourselves adapting to whatever new normals the world will throw at us, there will be a real endurance ride for us.

I guess I’m getting kind of bored with typing.  There’s really not much to say, except as we start to ‘open up’ in my county (but again, not an early adopter or a red shirt so I’ll be sticking to the social distancing thing for a lot longer) I just hope everything works out, and that I’m able to keep on keeping on.   I’ll probably post again within the next few days because Mitch has something exciting and new to share headed our way in the mail.  So until then …

…signing off!