Basically a vent.
I board in Upperville, and for some reason that whole area has been a “dead zone“ for rain; all the systems seem to go either to the south or the north of us or stop at the mountains. Argh! We have a mostly sand ring which drains well and is lovely when wet!, but with sand and no rain for weeks and weeks – even dragging doesn’t improve the footing because it’s so dry and hard, and it becomes unstable under the horse’s feet.
(I board at a large breeding/layup/retiree facility, and I’m the only boarder who really rides and competes so ring maintenance is not a priority! It’s never been watered, and is rarely dragged.)
I go on hacks or ride in the turnout fields, but they are bone dry and rockhard, and this is not conducive to doing any conditioning or even circles; the ground is slippery even with grass.
I do a LOT of walking, and won’t jump in our ring when the footing isn’t good – I haul out to someplace local with good footing to do jump schools. There is a lovely facility less than 10 minutes away that has a huge ring with Atwood footing that is dragged and watered daily – I can haul over there but it’s $45 to do a flatwork school, $55 to do a jump school - which adds up!
It’s been this way in past summers when we’ve had droughts – but this is unusually bad – people’s wells are actually drying up in the Middleburg and Upperville area!
Last weekend at Great Meadow a goodly number of the 4* riders scratched because of the hard ground - and who can blame them?? I watch the weather forecasts with great hope, only to have them mislead us again and again about the rain that they “claim” is coming through our area - the water table is particularly low, though in Fairfax (where I live) and points east, there has actually been adequate rain. I have a student going BN at Seneca this weekend - her horse is barefoot and I just suggested her farrier put hoof testers on him at the last trim – luckily he was completely non-reactive; she takes excellent care of him, but she will be taking it easy even at this lower level. Icing and poulticing. I’m expecting some people will scratch regardless, particularly at the higher levels. This hard ground makes horses foot sore and body sore
I had hip replacement surgery back in May and have been trying to leg my mare up to do a fall starter trial or two, but will have to condition by finding a good hill and repeatedly trotting and cantering up it and walking down.
I never thought I would say this, but we could use a nice hurricane or tropical storm to give us a good, soaking rain!
Not looking for advice, just commiseration from other eventers in this area. It’s so frustrating…