The wind test

Somebody called about Dixie today and as we were talking she asked me how he did with wind as they get a lot of windy days in N.C. Well we have had some extremly windy days in the past few months some on which I ride on and others when I have determined cold + wind = whimp. I think it was the Christmas Day hunt that was so windy we were being blown sideways and it was freezing cold.

My friend Tara is home for the weekend so she was out to ride with me. We rode one set and they were good but the horse I was on was a bit silly. He is feeling cheeky right now but it makes me smile. The wind was so strong and we are surronded by open fields so when the gusts would come up it would blow right up the horses butts giving them a nice goose and pushing you sideways if you caught it the right way. We stayed on the first set and were ready for the next set.

Dixie hadn’t been out since the hunt on Sunday but that is never an issue with him. I notice he is starting to put on weight again probably due to the increased beet pulp, hay and a flake or two of alfalfa added to the daily hay ration. He is also starting to shed and he loves being curried. He about knocked me over leaning into the curry. Funny how his personality has changed so much he could have cared less about grooming when he first arrived.

When I got on him he was in a totally zen mood. I had the best ride I have had on him in the ring in forever. It could have been that I am finally getting back into shape and was really focused on my position which of course always helps the horse go well. He was soft and relaxed and even a bit slow. I notice he is a bit stiff to the right again so we did some soft bending and lateral work both directions to get him more supple in the base of his neck. Whenever he would get unbalanced I would either transition down or half halt.

He wants to pull into the downward transition which is a bit of a pain so I just focused on really stretching up with my body and using my seat and just a close of the hand. If he came against the hand keep the leg on and maintain the feel until he softened into it. He figured that out really quick so i worked on using figure eights and a transition to the walk in the middle each time then change bend and back into the trot almost thinking about leg yeilding from inside leg to outside hand.

His right lead canter was a bit unbalanced so we worked on trot, canter, trot until he started to wait for me. The left lead felt awesome and the best canter he has given me in a while.

The whole time we were riding the wind was gusting, trees blowing and lots of random noises and he was just as relaxed as can be. Just as I was getting off the cat ran up behind them and spooked them both..go figure 40mph wind gust are not scary but crazy fat grey cat running is cause for panic šŸ™‚


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