We’ve had a significant haze hanging over the area since Friday–so hazy on Friday that I decided not to ride. It’s also been very windy out at the barn. AND the water truck needed a tire repair so the footing in the arena was sandier than usual on Saturday morning. This culmination of factors meant I ducked out of a lesson after 4 jumps. Before we started my trainer even asked if I wanted to jump that day and my response was may as well try. But the dust in the air proved too much for my eyes and I had a hard time even seeing through squinty, itchy, watery eyes. I am sure Eli wasn’t enjoying that, either. Sunday was a little less hazy but no less hot so Eli got another break.
This made me think about another factor that affects our riding, especially in the summer, and that is air quality. It may not be much of a factor for rural areas, but suburban riding stables all over the country must experience this issue to a certain extent. When you have not only heat, but poor-quality air dense with particulate matter, do you decide not to ride? How do you decide whether to ride or not–is there a threshold of ppm that gives you pause? How often do you check the allergy forecast in your area?