Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Boys are Feisty

The temperature nose dived from yesterday to today.  Yesterday it was 47F, and the high today was about 15F with howling winds and wind chills that were at zero or below all day.  I brought Dawn in fairly early in the morning - she was very cold despite having a fleece on under her heavy blanket.  Red and Pie were fine and had no interest in coming in.

It made it up to the low 20s in the indoor this afternoon, so I managed to get in two good rides on Red and Pie.  I rode Red briefly at the walk bareback yesterday in the warm temperatures as he was still slightly tentative on the concrete - I wouldn't have ridden him except that he was insistent - he stood at his stall door and nickered until I took him out.  Pie and I had a nice ride as well yesterday.  It was nice to ride with the arena doors wide open - not so claustrophobic.

With the cold and wind today - the wind was gusting to 45mph - the boys were much feistier.  The wind was howling and screaming around the barn, the metal doors were banging and crashing, dirt was hitting the sides of the arena and the rafters and roof were even groaning.  And the horses haven't been able to move around the pasture much in turnout - the ground is hard with icy patches and they have to pick their way through it - no running and playing possible.

Red seemed fine on the concrete today, so I rode him.  He was remarkably good, considering that we hadn't had a real ride in almost a week.  He took the noises in stride, although he was very alert.  His trot and canter work were very good, and he was only a little bit gimpy at the trot at the start.  The only sign he gave of pent-up energy was some head shaking and snaking during some of our trot work.  I just ignored all that and we kept right on working and it quickly went away.  We only trotted and cantered for about 15 minutes, after our 15-minute walk warm up, because I wanted to see how his hoof comfort would hold up before doing more tomorrow.  I told him that he was a very good horse.

Pie was very high with energy and also somewhat spooky and worried when we came out.  The noises and banging concerned him a bit.  We had one pretty good dropped-butt scoot when the doors slammed behind him early in our ride, but we just kept right on working.  We did lots of trot and canter work, and he was very forward.  It took quite a while to get him to relax and settle, but he did once he'd been able to move and work off some of his excess energy.  By the end, his head had dropped and he was much more relaxed and less worried.  I told him what a fine boy he was.

It was a good horse day, although I'm a bit sore - I managed to fall on the ice in my driveway this morning when I took the dog out, and landed on my tail and lower back and hands.  But I'm only a little bruised and riding didn't hurt much at all.  A nice hot bath is in order, though . . .

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