Last week, temperatures were in the mid-90s most of the week, with high humidity, mosquitoes, biting flies and afternoon thunderstorms. The downside was that it wasn’t fun to be a horse or, for that matter, to ride a horse. The upside was that I didn’t have to water my potted plants. So I had that going for me.
This week, on the flip side of the cold front that broke the back of summer, a cool breeze blows from the north, the AC is off in the house and the horses’ tails flick lazily in the breeze or lie still as they nap in the benevolent late summer sun.
Autumn crickets chirp and the bot fly eggs are back. I’ve been blessed to have horses all my life and I think I may have actually tried every technique to remove the eggs from the horses’ legs so that I can, if even slightly, interrupt the parasite cycle in the little dearies in my charge.
My preferred method of removing bot fly eggs these days is picking them off one by one, between my thumb and index fingernails. I resisted this method in the first place because it seemed like it would take forever. It does take a while, but it can be a lovely while.
My horse Eddie likes to be touched and stroked. When petted in long appreciative strokes, he will take a deep breath and put his ears forward and his eyes become soft. When I spend 10 minutes fussing over his legs taking the bot fly eggs off, he practically purrs. My cross ties are slack enough that he was able to bend his neck around and put his muzzle on the top of my head, where he breathed several long slow breaths in my hair.
After I was done with my task, we tacked up and went out for a hack. As we warmed up in walk, he swung along, confidently checking out the scenery, and all was right in his world. Mine too.
“The cold front that broke the back of summer”-what an evocative phrase that is! Loved it.