I do not know what the deal is. I am still so uninspired to blog, or to comment on my friends’ blogs, or much of anything really. Apparently I’m still decompressing or something.
Anyway, on Thursday I went down to San Jose to Almaden Quicksilver park. Very cool info in that link. It was a mercury mine for over a century. There’s an endurance ride held there, which is why I went – there had to be enough trail to make it worth the trip.
tl;dr: It was ungodly hot and Dixie got footy.
It was a pretty hilly ride, with a good steep climb immediately. This is about 5 minutes in, looking down at my rig.
SJ is disgusting and smoggy and you can’t even SEE the bay. I decided it’s spooky and unnatural to see the curve of the earth for the horizon. It is right and proper to see mountains at the horizon. It is acceptable to see ocean. Smoggy land horizon? Wrong.
There was a lot of boring mining road, with really pleasant little singletrack side trails through the woods.
And a lot of very cool mining ruins.
Really pretty place.
So we made it 5 miles out and Dixie said she was through trotting on the rocks. I turned her around and we went back to the trailer at a nice swingy walk. She was sound, no harm done, but she was clearly not comfortable trotting on rocks any more that day.
When we got back to about a mile from the trailer, I hopped off and walked her in. It was hot. It was SO GODDAMN HOT. I haven’t been that hot since I ’bout got heatstroke doing nothing at all at Tevis ’10. So gross. Humidity is so disgusting. Also it was a 35 degree F swing from our maritime-climate house (59 when I left/got home) to stupid hot smoggy SJ (94 disgusting degrees). This was what I thought of it:
Dixie sweated a lot, but she was aiight, really. She’d have done better with sponging, but I didn’t know if there was water out there (there are troughs at a couple of spots that I found).
So after we got back to the trailer and I drank all the rest of the water and had a snack, I trimmed her hooves.
Hoof nerd digression
We headed out barefoot because I couldn’t decide what to do about her feet. There’s obviously a ton of false sole that’s trying to come out, but I couldn’t chip it out and I couldn’t tell how thick it was and I just couldn’t decide how to trim.
Hoof recap (all front right)
Here’s immediately upon arrival in CA:
After Tuesday’s ride (don’t mind the rock, I did get it out)
And that’s where I was on Thursday. Obviously that’s false sole and it’s getting ready to come out, but it was not budging. The best thing I could think to do was ride on hard ground, so that’s what I did.
Here’s post-ride (and post-prying and trimming)
In person, you could really see the huge chunks of sole that came out – they were at least 1/4″ thick. Hard to get pictures that showed it though.
Anyway, now that I finally feel like I know where live sole is, I trimmed her walls down to that level. I pried out what sole I could with my nippers. I’m still wildly unsure about what’s going on, but I think her feet are doing ok?
BEFORE side view:
They’re definitely shorter!
I know there’s tons of white line separation from the sole view, but I think that’s normal considering all that sole is trying to exfoliate. She sure doesn’t have flaring. Her walls are still like half an inch thick. I think I’d be happy if her heels came down a bit more, and I think they might if that sole finally comes out. I don’t see any metabolic problems / event lines. The little hump at the coronet band should smooth out when the sole cracks out and I can actually trim the bars.
Oh! And I encountered a local endurance rider and was rather underwhelmed. She was leading her spotted horse down the mountain as I was riding up. All matching biothane tack, carrying her helmet, leading her horse down a big hill – I asked if she was an endurance rider, and said I was also an endurance rider who’d just moved to the area. And she said there were lots of e-riders out here, and had I signed up with the AERC website? I was like “I’m from Reno, I just haven’t done any Bay Area rides” and she was like “oh ok.”
I was wearing NEON SMILEY TIGHTS, a neon blue long sleeve running shirt, and a helmet. I was riding a horse geared out entirely in biothane, with enormous matching pommel bags. And she asked if I’d joined AERC? Would anyone really dress this idiotically if she hadn’t already committed to the sport? REALLY?