Ok... so the title of this post may be very dramatic, but I swear it is warranted! Oregon has been in the worst heat wave that I've ever seen. It's been around 100 degrees almost every day and in a normal Oregon summer we might get one or two days to reach 100. Two days ago the temperature finally dropped (to around 85) and as a result all of the horses were filled with excited energy and so they decided to forget all of their manners and training and act like mustangs.
The day started out with Katie and I taking a jump lesson together. I was on Casey and she was being terrible. She couldn't seem to focus on me or herself, but instead just wanted to mow down the barn dogs. She was really hot and pissy. When I asked her to do anything besides go faster she would toss her head and jig and just be bratty. Because of all of this our lesson did not go very well and it was a little bit frustrating.
Katie rode her TB, Wings, and he was also being unusually crazy. He decided that the far left corner of the outdoor arena was the portal to Hell and so every time he had to go near it he would get all spooky and try to take off bucking. Wings is a lot more trained than Casey, however, and Katie is an amazing rider so they were able to get it together enough to do several nice jump courses.
After our jump lesson, the craziness of the horses continued...
Victor, the Welsh Cob that I am rehabbing, tried not once, not twice, but three times to buck me off. He is so overweight and out of shape that they were the most pathetic bucks ever, but still... not cool, little man.
Dobby, the paint jumping pony, was ridden by my trainer because he had been hot all week and one of his regular riders had gotten bucked off by him. She said that he was the worst that he had EVER been for her at home. He was trying to run off after jumps, was pulling on the bit, and was just being a terror.
Faith, the chestnut pony who trucks around tiny children, decided to take off cantering after a trot pole with a 7 year old beginner on her back. The poor kid fell off (and wasn't too hurt luckily). Then Katie, the instructor in the lesson, hopped on Faith to school her and Faith continued to be a terror.
Luckily, by the time I had to teach a lesson, I had seen all of this wild behavior and so I had my student free lunge Willow. The pony took off bucking and galloping around the arena, but got all of her crazy out doing that, so during the actual riding portion of the lesson she was really well-behaved. It helped that my student finally told Willow who was the boss! Go her!
All in all, it was not a good day to be riding. The next day however, the temperature went back up and the horses went back to being their normal, only slightly crazy, selves.
How do your horses handle changes in temperature? Does it have as much of an impact on them as it has on the horses at my barn?