Saturday, January 25, 2014

Oh, hey. It's cold here, too.

I've thrown out my personal rule of not riding when it's below 20*. If I stuck to that, I wouldn't be riding for the foreseeable future, and I wouldn't have been able to ride at all last week. This cold winter weather is horse shit. FROZEN horse shit. I remember the first year we moved down here from upstate New York, and there was one day of 0* all winter long. We were like, "LOLZ, silly Pennsylvanians. You don't even know what winter is!"

Do you know how excited everyone was today when it reached twenty?? That's like t-shirt weather at this point!

I rode on Thursday when it was 5*, but it felt like a warm 5* (Is that a real thing?). It wasn't windy, it wasn't damp, and the sun was shining. I set out a set of four trot poles, and Bobby and I spent fifteen minutes walking on the bit and looking lovely, albeit really bored. We did some trotting, went over the poles a few times each way, did one lap of counter canter each way, and called it quits. It was all of twenty five--thirty minutes of mounted work.

waiting for me to put poles away.

Friday, it was all the way up to 15*! I took Bobby back to the indoor and promptly almost fell off.

At the halt.

I was opening the mirrors from horseback and didn't have Bobby close enough to latch the windows back without leaning over his shoulder.....way over his shoulder. So over his shoulder that even though he was standing like a rock, not even turning his head back to try to figure out what in fuck's sake I was doing, I lost my right stirrup and almost rolled right off of him. I managed to climb back upright, re-positioned the ever patient Mr Magee, and hooked the windows.

It was not a high point in my riding career.

 We did a bit more cantering yesterday since it was warmer, but I made sure to give him lots of walk breaks.  He was a raving lunatic the entire time, and I spent most of our trot working holding him back from the canter.

this horse would nap every hour of every day if he could.

I was out really early this morning to try to beat the snow we're supposed to be getting. Only right now it's partly sunny and definitely not snowing. Oh, well. I'm not complaining about clear roads and a driveway I don't have to shovel!

I switched him over to his Micklem since the last time I rode was when I had jumped on Monday in the hackamore, and I didn't feel like putting forth the not-so-enormous effort of switching out reins. I have another pair of rubber reins--which is all I like riding in--but they're really long, and I don't like them.

BO gave me the reward for "the most stalwart rider" this winter. Of course, if my horse was already fit and in full work, he'd be enjoying weeks off at a time, too. But he's had ten bajillion days off already, and he can't keep slipping out of work. That hind end needs all the work it can get, even if it is just walking.

Bobby started off right away lighter than a cloud of floating butterflies made of glitter and sprinkles. He was so forward and soft and lovely at all three gaits as we warmed up. Then I parked him in the middle of the arena to pick up frozen poop in one corner of the arena that was like riding through a minefield, and it was driving me nuts. When I got back on, he was resistant and grouchy, but lots and lots of walking softened him up again.

Of course, once I got him softened, we went back to the middle of the arena to wait for two of the lesson girls to canter and work on flying changes. I tagged on and cantered with the third girl (who was riding Adorable Pony, zomg). Bobby was a star cantering, including producing a perfect flying change himself from R-L. L-R he went bronco-ing sideways because he's not strong enough for that way yet, and no ride is complete without some theatrics. We finished with some really fab sitting trot and a little bit of lateral work.

His schedule still isn't what I want it to be. Like, I still haven't been able to do a second conditioning day because I don't want to do forty minutes of hard work in barely above single digit weather. However, he is starting to look a touch more fit:

left: 12/18/13.
right: 1/25/14

He's got a long way to go still.


  1. Ugh, I hear you. We finally made it to double digits today! Our cold has been so bitter and miserable though that even the mid single digits haven't been decent enough to work in.

    I'm in the same place with building fitness again. I was on such a roll before this hit. Spring will come someday, I know it...

  2. Today we hit 28 and as I stepped outside actually thought, "Wow, it's pretty warm out!" I wasn't even kidding.

  3. Definitely looking more fit and I feel cold in California but then I read your guys' blogs and realize I whine for no real reason. :(

  4. It was 20 something today but with the wind it felt no better than the single digits we've been having. I'm hoping to at least get a ride in tomorrow but I guess I need to work up to riding under 20 degrees. I'm not there yet!

  5. Eeep. No thank you. Keep your hectic winter.
    Definitely looking more fit!

  6. You are a brave lady. I almost never violated the 20 degree rule. In fact it slowly was moving towards a 30 degree rule...

  7. He's looking a lot better! I fell off at the halt this weekend, so fun times. :)

  8. Ugh. I feel you. It's so cold here, but my horse has been out of work too long. We're never going to be ready for May shows if we keep lollygagging around just because it's ONLY 5 degrees! ;)

    Someone invent a space heater for indoor arenas that doesn't scare the shit out of horses. Please?


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