Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Back to Work!

My arena. At noon. Wish I was kidding.
C-rage has had five weeks off and I am going to kill something if I keep making two board payments without riding.

Vacation is over.

That said, my world is still ice over frozen footing. Despite the fact we're facing some sort of epic drought crisis, the weather refuses to warm up enough to let snow from a month ago just melt. Whiiiiiiiiiine. Sore subject.

So. A friend headed back to school came out on Friday and rode the little dude out in the pasture. He was shockingly good, given that he hasn't done anything since his one ride mid-December and hadn't actually worked since November.

He started out a little up. By that, I mean his head and ears were up and he looked around. He didn't put a foot wrong.

I thought the footing was slightly safer in the field than the arena and he marched around like he owned the place.

One of his better moments
He also trotted a little bit, but his shoes got pulled the last time the farrier was out in December. Between being a little bit footsore and having NO FREAKING CLUE what to do with his legs over terrain, it was hilarious to watch.

My friend just floated him the reins and kept him moving and eventually he figured out how to trot instead of tranter and flail. I tried to get video, but somehow managed to only video my feet and the ground. Oops. Probably just as well.

Taken at 1pm on Friday. Not edited. 
Anyways. The horrid inversion+fog finally went away for basically the first time in a month and I decided it was time to get back in the saddle. The footing is crap, the ice isn't leaving any time soon, indoors are not in the picture, but hey. We can walk. I'm putting together a schedule for him that just starts out with 3-4 weeks walking under tack.

I'm hoping that by the, January will be over and the footing will improve and we can put his shoes back on and ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING.

So cute with a new friend up
Part of the plan with the 5 week lay off (other than "IT'S FRICKING COLD") was to allow him to lose some of that racing muscle and let us start all over. I hope it's working--he was an absolute star for his ride yesterday. Instead of giraffing around the field, he carried his neck level and his throatlatch open and just walked like a normal horse. It was fun and relaxing for both of us.

No pictures of me up--my winter breeches have no pockets and our usual photographer has escaped to warmer climates. Oh well.

It's my first time giving a horse a structured winter break. I'm curious to see how he comes back in to work and how long my motivation holds in this weather. It is nasty.


  1. Ugh, I feel you, I miss my indoor!! The arena is frozen solid... as is pretty much the field. Wiz never has shoes so that helps, but still! We mostly just walked the other day :( It can be good though, we still worked on keeping an active walk, stretching through his topline, seeking contact, lateral movements- who knew there were so many things to do at the walk!! ;)

  2. Now that Riley is back in the barn I'm going to start a similar program for him. He's luckily turned out daily on hills so he's been staying pretty fit, but I want to start hacking him up and down hills at the walk to get him engaged and back to wear we can start real work again. Just need that pesky saddle!

  3. My ring looks just like your ring. Winter sucks. Sigh.

  4. Walking is so good for them. I think you have a great plan!

  5. I am definitely getting antsy to get back to work as well. We do have a small indoor but the cold is just too cold for me right now -8 without factoring in wind chill!!! Between that and the holidays and kids being out of school and I just haven't done much. I want to ride!

  6. Haha, that first picture is one that only an equestrian could identify as "wild", but he definitely looks like he's about to explode. Hey, anytime you get discouraged, remember that walking is the best muscle-building activity for them.

  7. Oh Mr. Rage. So crazy. Crazy adorable, that is.
    My SoCal-ness might be showing here but...couldn't you just drag the arena to break up the snow/ice and make a little path to ride on?

  8. Too darn cold here for me to even think of riding....at least today. By the weekend? 50 F. Crazy weather. Guess I'll try to get in a ride or two if the footing isn't too muddy slick.

    Keep the faith. Winter will not last forever.

  9. I agree it's a pain when you really want to get stuff done, but at the same time there is nothing wrong with a break in the winter. I gave my OTTB the winter off (mainly because no indoor) and he was completely different by the time I got back on in the spring. Yes there were a few rides here and there in the snow or the arena, but nothing structured. Just bombing around here and there. He's young, a break won't kill him :) Just you.

  10. I always wonder how horses deal with being ridden with a quarter sheet on, my mare won't even let me take my sweater off while sitting on her!

  11. Aww what a good guy! It looks miserable cold there.


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