The boys have decided they are DONE with winter. Nay Nay in particular. Last week he was especially agitated by the SNOW. I turned him out in the round pen hoping he could let off some steam prior to turn out (hoping he’s be easier to lead). I didn’t help and the easiest horse to turn out ended up body slamming me and I ended up with a bad case of whiplash… More injuries. Great.
Subi also has been having issues with life and has been incredibly poorly behaved turning out. I think he’s decided he wants to live out 24/7 again, but Nay and Jiminy are 100% against that. So, after try a few things turning out that… didn’t work (loose Subi is a bad idea)… I introduced clicker training and this morning was much better. I’m also trying to feed breakfast outside as a sort of compromise. I’ll keep you updated.
In the meantime, yesterday was WARM. High 40s and melting! And then flash freezing as everything dropped to 17 overnight… And mean mom forgot to put heavier blankets on everyone. Snow storm tomorrow because we need snow again on top of the melted snow turned slush turned ice concoction currently existed everywhere but? Maybe it’ll miss us? Probably not because I still haven’t gotten the snow blower fixed which means I’ll have to pay to get the driveway plowed out again.
The boys have also been going out and playing most mornings… I never get the fun stuff of video though because why would I? I start recording after the gallop around and rear and buck…
I’m not sure I know what my dream horse is (is there a such thing?). I’m not even sure if I care. What I do know is that there are several horses in my life that have helped me become the horseperson I am today and helped teach me to ride.
I love the horses I own and have owned. But this post isn’t about them. This is about one of the 2 horses I have ridden in my life that have made me feel like I could do anything and, to be honest, have almost made me feel invincible. One is Ranger. But you know about him. The other?
Eleventh Hour (linking since I don’t feel comfortable embedding someone else’s instagram photo)
Eleven came to my old barn one summer. He was a massive warmblood by Consul. An older guy, he was retired to the barn to live out his days and teach some lessons. He had some injuries and was serviceable. On his best days? He looked great and you could barely tell. On his worst days, it was definitely more obvious. That said, he definitely stayed more comfortable in work and when turned out for too long, was more less comfortable, at least in the earlier days of my time knowing him.
I began riding him a year or two after he arrived at the farm and he and I clicked. Something about this horse who had been there, done that and pretty much knew everything just took away all my fears and hesitations. Some horses just help you exude confidence. For me? This was Eleven.
When I started riding with the barn owner/head trainer the summer before I bought Subi, I rode Eleven. I only rode him for a few weeks before moving on, but he gave me the confidence to show I was capable.
I remember one lesson in particular. I was in a group. Group lessons made me nervous. The jumps were always bigger, things moved faster, there was less individual attention. But, we moved through our paces. I was a master at packaging up Eleven (if you didn’t pick him up and get him off of his from end, he was very hard to ride. But, the second you did? He went from being a truck to mid-sized sedan to turn), but that point and we were having fun. I think my trainer even forgot that we were in the group because we weren’t standing out as inexperienced (or as the only non owner/lessor combo in the lesson). So, when she sent the group into this awkward and huge (well, to me it was huge) oxer over the water jump, I didn’t think twice and just galloped (used in hunter terms) Eleven up and over.
I remember landing and my trainer say, “I was going to stop and have you jump something else, but you but you looked so confident and Eleven looked so sound and happy! Do you realize you just jumped a 3’6″ oxer?!”
Now, he rarely ever jumped that big, but on that day, it was easy. He was the ONLY HORSE I’d ever have even jumped like that without thinking because on him at that point in my riding career? Anything was possible.
So, thank you Eleven for being the best teacher I could have asked for. For being kind. For being a true gentle giant (he was about 17+).
Eleven passed away a few years ago and I’m pretty sure arthritis and his past injuries bothered him his last few years (I last saw him in 2010). But, I’m so grateful for what he taught me years ago. My biggest regret is the lack of riding photos I have with Eleven.
Michele posted so peer pressure says I should too.
The thing is, I have very little to say. Nothing is going on on the horse front. I think I’ve been on Nay Nay once since my last post? We walked, Nay spooked at a pony in western tack. We walked over poles until his brain stopped draining out of his ears, then I managed to trot 2x around the ring, and called it a day. No energy for more.
Since then? It’s been cold. Frigid. High of freezing. Then there was a snow storm. Then it warmed up a tiny bit. Yesterday and today are warm, but… maybe I’ll “ride” or whatever you call wandering around the ring.
It’s evidently going to snow again tonight/tomorrow. A coating to 8”… Every time I want to start riding, winter gets in the way. I don’t haul in snow. Then we’re at some single digit/teens at the end of the week. Part of me thinks I should just hold off until March and restart then.
As for me? I’m feeling less weak (I mean, I have zero strength but that weak feeling is either gone or normalized) but just exhausted. I give up. I’m trying to manage the asthma because I think I’m heading into another flare. Just can’t win.