Supposedly, it will get up to 40 degrees today which will be lovely except for the fact that right now everything is still frozen. I’m waiting for the sun to hit the ring so I can go drag it and loosen it up again. I am jealous of those with indoors and my southern counterparts who get to ride daily 🙂
We were lucky and only got about 3″ from the last snow storm but the 2″ of rain that fell before the snow has made a real mess. The constant freeze/thaw process is so hard on the horses. Those who are barefoot or have sensitive feet tend to pick their way across the field going ouch..ouch..ouch. I told Allie that Casey needs to come to NC as it would be much kinder to his feet as we get those angles changed gradually. He does have pads with packing but I can tell you when I walk across this lumpy frozen footing it hurts my feet!
Yesterday a group of us headed over to the local trail system to ride. We have a place called the C&R center which offers a very long strip that is about 30ft wide and goes for miles of sandy footing where you can ride for at least a hour if not more. It is a great place to get the horses used to trail riding because you have a closed in feeling as there are woods on either side of the trail so the horses get to figure out that being out of the ring is fun without being overwhelmed by open fields. Then I gradually introduce them to the open fields over time. Some horses don’t care a little bit about open fields but some thing open fields are just too much to handle. You never know until you get out there..that is the scary part 🙂
My hubby was riding my horse and I took Ranger. I don’t know when the last time that Ranger has been trail ridden is because he has primarly been a pony horse the past several years. You could tell he was trying to figure out why I put the saddle on him and then put him in the trailer and why I was bridling him in the trailer when we got there. Despite his nerves he stood perfectly and waited for the group to get mounted. He was ready to get going and for whatever reason my horse decided to do some leaps in the air so Kurt got off and checked all the tack. We are thinking maybe the girth pinched him?? He is silly anyway so he could have just been being bad. They all were ready to go with lots of energy from standing around doing nothing in their fields.
Ranger was happy to lead the trail and didn’t look at anything even the stuff most horses would be scared of. He was jigging at first and walking fast when he wasn’t jigging but nothing bad just a little jig. We had a really nice long trot to settle all the horses down and we let Kurt take the lead and Ranger was happy to hang out in the back or middle.
We kept laughing as Junior (my horse) was throwing snow balls out of his feet at the rest of us and sometimes spooked himself as they flew up and hit him in the belly 🙂 A few snow balls whacked ranger right in the side or on the neck and that didn’t bother him a bit. After our trot we had a nice walk and you could see that Ranger had relaxed. He now walked nicely on a loose rein and was happy to just look around and enjoy himself.
You have to remember he has spent several years keeping up with very fit racehorses so he doesn’t understand why he should just mosey along. He has to be taught to just relax now and enjoy his new easier lifestyle.
We didn’t canter as the rest of the group had horses who were pretty excited so that might have been a bit too interesting. We are all going out again today so it should be better. Ranger was tired when we got back as he is a bit out of shape but we were careful not to ride them to hard.
I hope to get the snow cleared off my ring so I can ride some of the crew at home today but I will be taking the rest to the trails and doing trot sets. I’m trying to keep them all in work the best I can.