Why Asking Self to “Make a Top Ten List of Things to do this Summer”, is Useless

  1. Ride
  2. Ride
  3. Ride bareback
  4. Hang out with horses
  5. Ride
  6. Ride backwards
  7. Ride
  8. Trail Ride
  9. Hang out with horses and friends at same time. Bonus: add food.
  10. RIDE

Make a top ten list of things to do this summer, was the WordPress PostaDay prompt waiting in my inbox this morning.  I’ll answer it in another way: we’ll take all the horse stuff as a given, and then add another top ten.

My top ten excluding (gasp, choke, rend, tear) horses:

  1. Go to Yosemite,  (where I will ride in the mountains stick my feet in the Merced river and watch dragon flies move sunlight) and wave at the bears.
  2. Build sand castles on the beach, eat sandy sandwiches, and stare longingly at riders going into the surf enjoy playing “wave tag” with the kids.
  3. Play in the pool with the kids. Where we will likely have riding astride water-noodle races.
  4. Plop down in favorite spots, and get completely lost in a novel. Maybe under the palm tree at the pool, or on the sun porch listening to sprinklers hiss and kids yelling. Who is reading a good novel with horses in it? Titles, please.
  5. Take self on a photo shoot in a favorite wilderness area (the one with the riding trails.)
  6. Cool off under the giant redwoods on a hot day, when everything smells like bark, dust, lichen, water, and horses. (They have guided horse tours somewhere around there.)
  7. Listen to the bull frogs sing, under the stars, at Bull Frog pond.
  8. Not likely but will include: Go to Zion National Park, Bryce National Park, the Valley of Fire, and heck, while I’m at it, Death Valley (that might be a soon thing – too hot in the summer)
  9. Fill pockets full of rocks at beach while swearing to Shaun that for once, I will not fill pockets full of rocks.  Look the other way when kids do the same.
  10. Give Hudson a bath on a hot day, get completely soaked, and enjoy the heck out of it.

(Yup, same woman who believes washing her car is far too difficult to attempt. You didn’t really think I could leave a horse out of the top ten, did you??)

So let’s hear it. What’s your top ten list for the summer??

22 thoughts on “Why Asking Self to “Make a Top Ten List of Things to do this Summer”, is Useless

  1. i loved Kristen Britain’s Green Rider series! Its fantasy with great characters, a cool believable world and Lots of horsey action!

  2. Okay, here we go.

    1. Ride
    2. Trail ride
    3. Lesson
    4. Horse Show
    5. Clean out trunks
    6. Bring unwanted tack, blackets, etc., for consignment
    7. Organize backseat of truck (currently overflowing with horse-related items)
    8. Develop really excellent farmer’s tan
    9. Perfect homemade fly spray recipe
    10. Learn to properly mow the lawn (apparently serpentines are frowned upon by the neighbors?)

    Doesn’t sound too ambitious, does it?

    1. Sounds delightful!
      I’d leave out the lawn. If the neighbors ask, you’re practicing serpentines for your dressage test, and are so pleased they are getting close to perfect. (I’m picturing an entire neighborhood trying for perfect lawn serpentines.) 😉

  3. No list for this summer. I expect to drop dead from the heat by mid-June.

    But books!

    If you like fantasy, try Guy Gavriel Kay’s Sarantine Mosaic (prominently features chariot racing in a Byzantine-like setting) or Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice series (prominent character is a stable master, so horses appear lots). Kay tastes a bit like historical/alternate fiction and Hobb is a little more traditional fantasy.

    Poetry, grab either Songs of Horses or Saddle and Song — both pre-1920 anthologies (so free on Google Books, archive.org, etc) that pull from a variety of genres (racing, hunting, cowboys and outlaws, etc). Not all the poems are great (or even good, frankly), but it is cool to see the variety of poems about horses out there. Songs of Horses has the wider selection.

    Not horse related —

    Mythology? Mary Renault’s The King Must Die. Excellent fiction — she offers a plausible story to explain the Theseus myth, and there is bull dancing in it (not fighting). She has a series on Alexander the Great also, and Bucephalus is in that. Great reconstructive historical fiction – massively well researched, good storyteller.

    Simon Mawer doesn’t get near the recognition he deserves. The Gospel of Judas and The Fall are both very good. Likewise Jim Crace – try Being Dead or The Gift of Stones. But read a bit before you buy — his prose is very rhythmic, and you’ll either love it or hate it. (Sorry, these two are definitely not horse related, but more people should be reading them; I can’t help mentioning them.)

    1. Totally grateful for the review and titles, thank you!
      Um. Don’t wait to die from heatstroke, come sit in our pool, or bring Ro and we’ll go to the ocean. (Rarely over 80 degrees this far north, and extremely cold water.)

      1. Be careful what you wish for – I’m still thinking about taking a week or two to drive around California this fall. If I show up on your doorstep, you have only yourself to blame.

  4. Let’s see now…
    Finish [several new sections of] fence;
    Build new driveway to barnyard;
    Drive baler around and around the hay field [for three plus weeks];
    Weed whack two miles of fence line [I have a new toy–weed whacker on wheels!];
    Pick up grandkids and take to [church] camp;
    One week of “farm camp” at Grandma’s house;
    Build garage;
    Rebuild back porch;
    Put new window in kitchen and move old one to the laundry room;
    Teach Kate and Maddie how to pony each other (first lesson was last weekend);
    Get at least one horse sold [hopefully Beth, but maybe Maddie–she’s more saleable];
    Compete in at least two mountain trail events;
    Visit mother-in-law [and other family members] in Connecticut.

    Wait a sec! That’s more than ten. I could drop the in-laws visit… No that wouldn’t go over too well. Good thing I have the summer “off!” [Twelve more days of school! but who’s counting?] Just reading it wears me out–Think I’ll go take a nap.
    [I think I’ll copy this list and post it to my blog, for accountability’s sake.]

    1. Holy cow. Now THAT is a to-do list. I think you won the most ambitious To-Do list award (that I just invented). Grand Prize: Unlimited Napping, supported by every single family member!

      1. Well, the back porch has been on the list for at least three years, and the kitchen window even longer! Haying and grandkids is an every summer deal, and fence is forever…

  5. hmmm, here’s mine:
    1. Visit Harbourville – a small fishing community on the other side of the province. I was there often as a child and I want to explore it with my camera

    2. have a dinner party with my friends

    3. okay this is really hard with the no horse rule…..can I sneak in- learn to remove shoes from horse (in case needed)

    4. visit friends and have fun (with our horses….)

    5. go to Cape Breton and explore some remote coastline (with camera)

    6. start a rose hedge

    7. learn how to drive a tractor

    8. hike more often with dogs (and camera, possibly with horse)

    9. learn how to make jam

    10. spend time with and enjoy my husband.

    not too bad- I managed to get some non-horsey stuff in there.

    Oh, and Irish wants me to tell Hudson that he has been primped and primed for the show this weekend. He feels quite dapper and is referring to himself as the equine Daniel Craig.. 😉 He can’t wait for the mares to see him!

  6. Recently got my hands on and read all of Walter Farley’s Black Stallion and Island Stallion books. Fun. The recent reprints have pretty covers too. Recommend bookdepository.co.uk for cheap prices and free shipping. Amazon is good on prices, but if you aren’t in the USA, the shipping can get a bit ridiculous.

    And there is a brilliant horse in David Edding’s Elenium trilogy – The Diamond Throne ; The Ruby Knight ; The Sapphire Rose.

    And then there’s those Mercedes Lackey Heralds of Valdemar books. Sentient horses.

    1. Thanks for the book suggestions! Will do. I haven’t kept up the book page. If y’all are looking for non-fiction, a very good read, and an incredibly interesting life story, read; “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot.

      You’ll be surprised to find a huge percent of the human population is alive because of her.

      1. Dude! I just finished reading Henrietta Lacks, my mom gave it to me for xmas. She can smell the science nerd oozing off me. It was AWESOME.

  7. This year, a summer list is really difficult for me. It would probably be a top ten list of non-horsey friends with whom I want to keep in touch despite now living in what I think of as horsey paradise. (The list items reading “Keep in touch” not “Do these friends”!)

  8. Can I include reading your posts? Seriously. My life is pretty good (including horses and time to ride as it does), but your blog makes it better. Thanks.

    1. I am severely complimented.
      I may have to go to the walk-in clinic. Spilled my diet coke, stubbed my toe, and got whiplash from wild double take on your comment.

      Shoot…thanks! I guess I left the blog out of the top ten, but it’s gonna be up all summer!

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