There has always been a golf course adjacent to my barn. We used to pass along its fence line on the way to some of the trails, and the horses were quite used to golf carts zipping past on the other side of the fence, or golfers swinging their clubs. I may have alluded to riding on it in some of my prior posts.
As of about a year ago, the golf course has closed down, and we have been able to ride on it, thus commencing the fulfillment of every equestrian’s fantasy.
Out of respect, we have tried to limit our trotting and cantering to the actual golf cart paths so that we don’t tear up the grass. They are crushed stonedust paths, which actually makes for excellent footing for conditioning trot and canter sets.
Along with the paths, as typical with golf courses there are a few ponds, which of course are very pretty. There are also benches and retaining walls, and assorted fencing, which make very fun impromptu cross country jumps (don’t ask me how I know this)
It feels surreal to ride on the road parts of the golf course, where the club house and buildings are, but Mabou loves everything about the golf course, especially the part where its out of the ring.
So that’s our new riding territory, commence jealousy right about now.
To be fair, the title of this post fully warned that this was going to be a bitch fest, so you know what you were getting into reading this!!
I have a bone to pick with Mother Nature, namely why has it been in the low 30’s and high 20’s midway though March?! Also, even more importantly, why is it supposed to snow 4″ tomorrow, aka the first day of spring?!
Weather complaints aside, I did get in a ride after work Tuesday. I wore green breeches, so that counts as celebrating St. Patrick’s day right?
Since it was incredibly gusty and windy, which would have made riding in the outdoor brutal, and we are “over” the indoor, we hit the trail.
Most of the trail was still snow covered, so it was slow going until we got to the old golf course, where the footing was great since it gets so much sun.
We did a big trot on the dirt golf cart road around the golf course. Considering he hasn’t been on trail in a while and it was a cold blustery day, he was awesome! Our only issue was the matter of the killer garbage bag that was loudly blowing and flapping in the wind. I ended up getting off, walking him over, and letting him check it out. He was less than thrilled.
Looks like our first hunter pace is April 26, let’s hope the weather starts looking up by then!!
Saturday was too icy to venture outside, with a lovely one inch crust of solid ice frozen on the top of the foot plus of snow that we have, so we were relegated to the indoor ring.
I had an absolutely wonderful ride, despite riding around the lessons going on. Mabou felt like Gumby, he was so soft in my hands and bending around my legs. We worked on shortening and lengthening at the trot and he couldn’t have felt any better! (See my prior post about the rough rides I have been having)
Sunday Mother Nature was gentler to us with a heatwave of 36 degrees. The ice on top of the snow was gone, leaving thick soft snow that could be ridden on.
Given that it was the 2nd of my 2 days a week to ride in daylight I happily hit the trail, just Mabou and me. It was nice to spend some time with my boy, and be completely relaxed, taking pics and videos as I rode, without a care in the world. It was gorgeous, with snow as far as the eye could see.
For those that have never ridden in the snow, you’re missing out on the one benefit of a Northeast winter! Mabou steps so high when we ride through the snow his trot feels like a big powerful passage.
It instantly puts a smile on my face. His canter also feels so lofty and powerful. Other than being so fun, this is obviously great conditioning for his booty.
I even took these fun videos (disclaimer they are so shaky!!!)
My weekend was great, mild weather, sunny skies, what more can a horse girl ask for?!
I got to trail ride Mabou on both Saturday and Sunday! He has just been coming back from all his time off, and I decided to canter the fields Sunday. It felt sooooo nice! I was in a great mood for the entire rest of the day!
Notwithstanding the fact that Mabou has been ridden maybe a total of 4 times over the past month and a half, he was his usual pleasant self. I think he was just really happy to actually get out on trail and be able to do more than walk.
He was excited, but still soft and listening. He felt great through his body, the time off might have been great for him. The only thing I would change was that I wish I had someone to go with, but it was just me and Mabou on both trail rides.
We did a nice easy canter around the big field. We were both itching to let loose and gallop, and eat up the ground with his big TB stride, but maybe next week we can do that after he has been back in work longer. Sigh it is hard being responsible.
I hadn’t jumped in a little while, so it was really fun to get on him and jump around. Such a different feel from Mabou- Going from big strided narrow TB that is a very foward ride to short porky pony who is a total push ride!
I also wore the Tailored Sportsman Redwood today! Yay for fall colored breeches!
I rode Mabou on Friday and Saturday, nothing crazy just our normal WTC (and it felt SOOO good to be back on my horse after a 3 week hiatus)…… apparently I shouldn’t have done that because the mystery puffiness (about the length of my thumb, maybe smaller) was back in his left front again.
Trainer said maybe although the ultrasound of the leg was clean, there was a slight injury that was too mild to show up, such as a sprain or micro tears in the soft tissue. So, unfortunately, I am going to give him a few more weeks off, as I want to make sure he is fully healed. He has been wearing the Back on Track quick wraps most nights, hopefully it is helping.
I had planned a trail ride this Sunday with my sister, who hasn’t ridden in at least 6-7 years, maybe even more, so I asked my friend if I could take her pony since Mabou was out of commission for a little longer. She said yes, so I had a new mount for the day, a cute little hairy devious pony.
We had a great ride, and stayed out for about an hour and a half. Pony was so forward, sister’s horse was cantering behind him as he trotted!
It was the perfect day for a trail ride, the temperature hit 50 today and the sun was shining. A much needed break from the frigid temps we have had lately!
I jumped a few logs with pony, and my sister took video and I took a still from the video.
Today was pleasantly unseasonably warm, reaching a high of almost 70 degrees! (keep in mind it has gone down to the 30’s at night here and low 40’s during the day already) I just HAD to ride on this beautiful day so I worked my conference and meeting schedule to allow for a nice long ride in the middle of the day. SCORE!
I went out on a long trail ride, with some nice long gallops thrown in. I felt so absolutely lucky to be able to get out on my horse today, and not be stuck inside the office. Sometimes I am thankful I normally work during the day, because it makes the days that I am able to ride during the day that much more special.
My ride couldn’t have been better! His gallop felt so effortless and he melted like butter into my hand when I asked him to slow back down. I also rode a new trail I haven’t ridden in a while and happily discovered that there were 5 or 6 fallen trees right in the path… yay for new jumping trail! One of the jumps was three small trees fallen rather closely together so it created a natural gymnastic, good for pony’s brain to have to think and figure it out!
Because it was so warm, Mabou got really sweaty so I gave him his (possibly) last bath of 2014. Crazy to think that might be true! Even with his trace clip, it still took a while of grazing for him to dry, good thing I had the time!
I also debuted a pair of my newly monogramed TS- the little extra special touch makes me happy.
Lastly, doesn’t this dog have THE LIFE?! This is how he sleeps (in my bed) every night.