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!
As I sit here at work on this rainy cold Monday I am totally lacking in the motivation department! The forecast this week is just downright cruel (namely, in the 30’s and 20’s) and the lack of daylight is a major buzz kill!
Add in the fact that I now haven’t ridden Mabou in 10 days, and that makes one very bummed out me! As always, I have other horses I can ride but it’s not the same, and I certainly don’t feel like freezing to ride unless it’s to ride my own horse.
I tried the Back on Track wraps for one night before I went away, so I can’t really make a decision yet if they helped. Will try again more this week (but hopefully won’t have to!)
Since the ultrasound of his leg was clean, I am just waiting now for the leg to be 100% tight again. It is still a little bit puffy though, small enough that someone else would miss it, but enough that I notice it. At least he has been sound this whole time (knock on wood!) so it’s not bothering him.
We went on a bareback (with blanket) walk on the trail last night. I love that he hasn’t been ridden in over a week and I can still do that without worrying about him getting silly.
Fingers crossed I can ride my boy again this week!
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.
So last weekend was quite busy- as my best friend got married on Saturday!! So there was no riding Friday or Saturday, but I did get a mani-pedi with one of my favorite Essie shades- Mint Candy Apple
Sunday my parents woke me up bright and early by calling my house phone (joy)… BUT I ended up being happy they did because I took the puppy for a walk with them and their babies at the state park.
It was a really nice way to start my day off. After the long walk (about three miles or so), my little baby was wiped out!
After spending some time with the hubby and running some errands, during which I was anxiously awaiting going to the barn, I finally got to go out for a really nice trail ride.
It was a bit chilly, and he hadn’t been ridden in two days, but of course, he was absolutely wonderful! In fact, we were both so relaxed, our usual “gallop fields” consisted of a leisurely, ground covering canter. Hey, I’ll take it! He actually felt wonderful, at both the trot and canter his tempo was slow but he was really stepping underneath himself and out for gorgeous floaty feeling gaits.
This weekend we are going to a hunter pace in Connecticut, I am stoked!! It has been too long since our last pace or show, and it will be fun to explore a new place. Hopefully it warms up a little- this morning was a solid 38 degrees when I woke up at 7 am!!
Saturday I got a good flat school in early…. worked on a lot of bending and moving off of my inside leg. I have found (through trial and error) that if I weight my outside seat bone and almost step toward the direction I want him to leg yield he will move right over with light inside leg pressure. So that’s getting better…. Want to keep building strength to use for nice easy lead changes.
Then Sunday I went for a super long trail ride in the hackamore again.
We went for a long gallop in the field, where he gave me a small taste of his speed (He was a graded stakes winner in his former career). We were going so fast I felt like I couldn’t even breathe… then we hit the end of the field and I realized how awesome that was so I turned around and we did it again! He even came back pretty well from the dead gallop in the hackmore too, what a good boy!
I have been obsessed with bits lately, I just feel like I haven’t found the “right” bit yet for jumping. Horsie goes pretty happily in the Myler Level 3 Mouthpiece with the hooks, which is supposed to be a pretty mild mouthpiece with the tongue relief.
But I can’t help thinking there is something better out there. Like I will know when I ride with *THE ONE* and sparks will fly or something. Am I crazy? maybe. Horsie hunts in a double jointed gag. We used to hunt in his regular bit, which stopped immediately once we were on the last run of a hunt across a huge grass field and I had ZERO brakes. I then proceeded to ride on my trainer’s horse’s ass, using him as a brake while screaming to my trainer to HELP ME PLEASE. (Not my proudest moment) I like the gag because it’s a mild snaffle mouthpiece when I leave him alone, but I have something to make him listen to me if I ever need it. So now I just want to find something that I can jump in the ring with that he stays quiet, because I think the gag is too strong for that. Going to try a rubber pelham tomorrow, I will report back!
In other news, broke out the Black Forest Green Tailored Sportsmans yesterday, it’s officially fall!
I also got a new helmet…. the Charles Owen Wellington Professional. I justified this because of course in the winter my head will get too cold in the GPA Speed Air… right?!