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An Ode to Covered Arenas, Swamp A** and Wash Racks

An Ode to Covered Arenas, Swamp A** and Wash Racks

I don’t know if you noticed, but it’s summer. People in Europe are melting because of the heat waves, and I’m over here in Texas riding out our usual 100-degree days. Like, literally riding out. Because horse people are insane.

OK, so we are kind of in an off season, because we’re not certifiably insane  – just a hint of it. We pretty much lay low here in the summer, because no one wants to die, and our horses are kind of over it too. So we ride, but maybe not as much, and we train, but not as hard.

Do you know why this is a horrible thing? Because less training means I’m at my “most squishy” version of myself, and it’s swimsuit season. This is why I take my beach vacations in the winter when it’s 50 degrees here and I’m buff as hell. Right now when everyone is rocking swimsuits, I want to wear an opaque sumo ball to hide my figure. Hey, at least I’d float in the pool.

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But, we do still ride, because otherwise we’d go more insane. Thank God for covered arenas. When I lived in Atlanta, the second barn I boarded at had a covered one, and I quickly realized how beautiful and magical it was. Now I can’t imagine boarding in the Texas heat without one. I would just as soon light my custom saddle on fire, which is probably what would actually happen if I tried to ride in the outdoor arena in this heat.

At least when I ride in the covered, the shade creates a nice cooling mist from the swamp a** beneath me, with the cross breeze gently moving it around. So refreshing.

Less training means I’m at my ‘most squishy’ version of myself, and it’s swimsuit season.

And believe me, I get some epic swamp going on. I don’t know why, but I’m sweatier than the average bear (Do bears sweat? Well if they do, I’m sweatier). Even in the dead of winter, I take off my helmet and emerge from the barn like a beaten-down gladiator glistening in the sun. So in the summer, I look precisely like a super chunky and unfortunate Yorkshire terrier with all of my hair slicked against me after a bath. Maybe with a little mange going on too.

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The wash rack is my savior though, to keep me from looking too unkempt in public after I leave the barn. As I hose off my horse, I always douse my upside-down head in water, rinsing off the shame and sweat of the ride I just completed. I’m certain that if someone were to take a photo as I flip my head back up, I’d look just as sexy and awe-worthy as those Instagram photos of ladies in swimsuits flipping their head out of the pool or ocean.

See, we don’t need those swimsuits anyway. This summer, rock those slightly diaper-bottomed old breeches that you can’t seem to part with, riddled with worn patches, memories, leather oil and swamp a**. Put THAT on your Instagram.

Swimsuit, I’ll see you in November.

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