I think both the horses and I are mentally relaxed but physically sore. I rode 4 horses Saturday and Sunday and it seems my riding muscles are screaming at me right now. Had to get up and take some ibuprofen last night!
The horses have all stopped fighting and are now napping in the afternoon with a much more relaxed attitude. I could tell they had gotten really bored when I would go out to get one horse and they would all come up to me hoping I would pick them.
Yesterday, my friend Alison came over to trail ride with me which was so much fun. She rode Junior and I took Parker. I am lucky to have a really nice local trail system 5 min around the corner from the farm that has sandy trails where you can go for miles. I will be doing most of my riding there until everything dries out. I have trails behind the farm but they are a foot deep in mud! The trails at the C&R still had quite a bit of snow on them but in some ways it was good because it kept the horses from being to silly. They had to work really hard to lift their hocks and go through it.
Parker was feeling good but all he did was shake his head around a few times. He loves to trail ride and is super brave about it all. He was very slow on the way out but once we turned back for home he had his big boy trot on! I have come to discover that Parker lacks work ethic in the ring so the trails are going to be key to getting him fit and keeping him happy. I haven’t ridden him much in the ring so I can’t say I am 100% sure on the work ethic issue but I am sure getting that feeling from him. He would rather not canter and tries to stop as often as possible 🙂 On the trails he is a little bit the same way in the sense that he isn’t in a hurry. He was happy to follow Junior and on the way back he was really good about Junior trotting right on his heels. I think he might enjoy foxhunting as well so I might give that a try with him but he needs to get a bit fitter first.
I also took Dee back out by myself yesterday and she was excellent. I don’t normally ride out alone but I trust her to behave herself and not leave me stranded out on the trails. Kurt has been studying for his test to the next rank which he takes on Tuesday. He didn’t have a lot of time to ride with me this weekend but hopefully this week he can ride a few out with me.
Yesterday, was the first day I have actually seen the horses venture outside their small paddocks into the bigger fields. The snow is all gone and most of the water has drained off. I should probably close off the fields until the dry but I feel so guilty that the horses have been stuck inside a tiny little area that I am happy they finally can move around. Now that we are able to ride them I probably will close off the fields. I would like for them to have some nice grass in the spring/summer so closing off the fields is necessary.
The paddocks where we put the all weather footing are holding up great. It is a ton of work to keep the manure picked up but good exercise. We loved the feeders but we realized the grates had to big of holes and they were able to pull out to much hay. Kurt bought another panel which had smaller holes where they can only take one mouthful at a time. The horses pitched a major fit and went on an eating strike for a day but then they got hungry and gave in 🙂 It is hard to keep the paddocks nice when they pull out all the hay and grind it into the ground. Having spent so much money we are being really serious about keeping the paddocks as clean and dry as possible.
I feel like my spirits have been lifted after a weekend of great riding and outdoor work. The weather looks good for this week and in 2 more weeks we turn the clocks forward which is always something to look forward to. I am hopeful that if we get good drying weather my ring will be started. Wishful thinking 🙂