WW: a nice change from rain?

Nothing real to update… Subi is working on ground manners. He’s been nicely behaved since Sunday as we halt and back every day walking to and from his stall to the field. It’s cold, it snowed a little, but it’s nothing here compared to the midwest. Everyone is fine. Batt and Jiminy don’t understand why I turned them out this morning. Tonight and tomorrow will be super cold. Eventually I’ll get results from my chest x-ray (too little, too late as I’m finally feeling a lot better).

 

Only interesting thing…

Home vs work. A grand total of 22 minutes apart. Granted, it was only ~3″ but still… NOTHING at work.

Snowless patch on left is under a large tree where there is almost NEVER snow…

How to survive the arctic tundra…

The Mid-Atlantic has turned into the arctic this past week and this coming week isn’t that much bettering (though it looks a little better even if next Friday/Saturday look pretty awful.

 

Needless to say, my focus has been keeping my ponies warm and surviving a trip to Connecticut that included a night without heat. On Tuesday before I left, I noticed Subi was having issues walking on the frozen ground and was sulking by his tree.my husband assured me that each morning he’s been at the round bale eating hay (my guys live out 24/7) so I tried not to worry and basically just dragged him forcefully from his tree to the paddock where we keep the round bale. Once there, he stuffed his face with hay. At dinner around 9pm, we moved him back to his tree and he happily inhaled a bucket of warm soaked alfalfa-timothy cubes, beet pulp, soaked sentinel senior, and omalene 200. We figured as usual, he’d walk back to the bale.

Freezing cold CT. Frozen lake anyone?

The next morning, he was still at his tree, upset and cold from having eaten no hay all night. In a panic, I found an old pair of Batts’s hoof boots and threw them on. While they weren’t the best fit, they fit and instantly I could see some relief in my old pony. He ate breakfast and a bucket of chopped hay and then I directed my husband to lead him into the paddock with a halter to the round bale. With each step, he grew more confident and sure footed and I breathed a sigh of relief and left the house only 15 minutes late to head to my mom’s to head to CT. For the next 2.5 days, after each meal, my husband led Subi back to the hay to ensure he ate properly. (To ensure Batty was drinking, he got extra water in his soup. Jiminy? He wanted to eat in the shed. No one catered to that request).

But I’m cute! Why doesn’t anyone love me?

Grumpy child. The Grumpy Chestnut. 

While I was away, I researched boots and chatted with my part time boss and friend. She has her senior in Easyboot Clouds. It was late by the time I got home Friday so on Saturday I measured him (there are things I trust my husband to do. This is NOT one of them), went back and forth on size, and finally placed an order through Amazon when I saw 1 day free prime shipping with Sunday delivery. Guaranteed 12/31 delivery.

So imagine my frustration when I get shipping notification for 1 of 2 boots. Yep. 1 boot shipped the other did not. New arrival date of Tuesday because this is so helpful. Meanwhile, the the right Cavallo is starting to rub Subi’s heal… but the Clouds fit so yay for that?

The Arctic tundra was also leaving my delicate flower cold as well despite 3 blankets (2 mediums and a sheet). Dover put their Northwinds on sale (@50% off) so we picked up a heavyweight detach-a-neck. Of course, while I wanted a detach-a-neck, I didn’t realize that’s what I bought and thought I just got the last 78″ heavyweight they had and the last medium neck cover. So now I have to go back and return the neck cover. But, he seems warm (FINALLY) with the heavy and a medium and a neck so that’s good.

 

The Arctic tundra was also leaving my delicate flower cold as well despite 3 blankets (2 mediums and a sheet). Dover put their Northwinds on sale (@50% off) so we picked up a heavyweight detach-a-neck. Of course, while I wanted a detach-a-neck, I didn’t realize that’s what I bought and thought I just got the last 78″ heavyweight they had and the last medium neck cover. So now I have to go back and return the neck cover. But, he seems warm (FINALLY) with the heavy and a medium and a neck so that’s good.

So happy and warm! Even though it was snowing… Evil snow. 

 

I braved the elements today to reblanket Batts and Jiminy. Batty was almost sweaty yesterday with his sheet and medium but with the 15 degree drop to our high he was shivering today so he’s got on 2 mediums as does Jiminy. Jiminy would prefer just to move inside the house though he’s making due with sharing the shed with Batts. Subi’s working on the round bale we stuck out this morning.

As for me, I still haven’t warmed up from late morning round bale/blanketing. And in 45 minutes, it’s time to go feed dinner.

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He just got so much older this year… Between not tolerating the ground, the cold, and his arthritis bothering him… 😦 But he seems so content here (his eyes in particular). And he’s crazy fat under his blanket. But still, I hate seeing him like this!

 

May the arctic move on… now! And Happy New Year!

Weather. Abscesses. Hay.

Went back to work on Wednesday. I wasn’t ready for vacation to end, but end it did. It hasn’t been terrible being back, but being at home is so much more fun than work. That said, I’ve had headaches every day since Tuesday so  that hasn’t made things easier. In addition, I’ve felt really run down which hasn’t helped either. I’m afraid I’m fighting something. Just what I need. To get sick. I also need to get a flu shot which will definitely mean getting sick which is why I haven’t gotten it yet. This week. This week I’ll get the flu shot and likely get to take a sick day. Great. Being home will be nice, but not when I’m miserable from getting sick from the stupid flu shot…

The ground has been super frozen since who knows when. Prior to freezing, we had a crazy amount of rain which resulted in mud. Now I have ugly frozen mud. Not fun. Horses are miserable due to the frozen (and deep in some places) foot prints throughout the paddock/field. Just what I need. Right now I need spring so that the frozen ground can become unfrozen and the ground ultimately become normal again.

I’ve discovered why this riding thing is so hard. Being at home is a part of it, but mainly my issue is that it’s winter. I hate the winter. I hate the ground. I hate the season. I never like winter and over the past few years, I can’t say I ever have ridden consistently. So why should this year be any different? If I don’t like winter riding, why do more of it than I have to?

So I’m just going to continue to ride when I can and forget the rest. Expectations, etc. Sandra came out today and despite my hopes that the warmer weather would lead to softer ground, no such luck. It’s going to take several days in the 40+ degree temperatures so that the ground can start unfreezing. Anyway, we mostly walked. Batts wasn’t overly comfortable and lots of trotting isn’t yet in the plans for me and Subi. So we worked them both hard at the walk. Subi was awesome. He’s really starting to get it and our work on framing and carriage has come a long way.  I do have to say at this point I’d love some dressage lessons… Anyway, back to the ride. I mostly walked with Subi, but we did through in some trotting and he was awesome. I could feel how hard he was thinking AND how much he was trying. Plus, he’s getting more and more muscled the more we work. Have I mention lately how much I love that horse? Even when he’s a jerk, I still love that horse.

Batts and Sandra worked on hind end work as well. Poor horse was so confused, but he seemed happy whenever everything clicked. And, like Subi, poor guy was exhausted. That said, hopefully if we get him going nicely at the walk, we’ll be ready to do the same at the trot when the ground improves.

Poor Hayley, likely as a result of the ground, appears to have an abscess. Just what that poor mare needs. Her feet have been doing great, but I’m assuming with the ground… Poor girl. I hate seeing her miserable.

Speaking of miserable… The horses are driving me nuts. They’ve been finicky about their hay. Sometimes not touching much of it, sometimes demolishing it, lately a combination of the two. Now, this is the same hay they’ve been eating and cleaning up in a few short hours until last week. Now? Who knows. I thought I had a bad bale or two, but if I put the hay out a second time, they have been finishing it and then not eating the new stuff… They’re also eating it on the ground and not always in the nets? Maybe they’re protesting the hay nets? Not that they haven’t had nets for the last year plus… I’m starting to think that maybe the ground where the nets are is bothering them and that more of the issue? I don’t have a clue but they’re driving me nuts.

 

 

Accountability.

So, part of the reason I decided to start this blog is for accountability. It’s so easy to say you’re going to do something, but at the end of the day, saying is not doing. If I write something down, it’s there in print and it’s harder to deny something to myself. Verbal statements are so much easier to deny to myself. Anyway, where am I going with this…?

Accountability. I need to set goals and stick to them.

When it comes to horses, I have 3, but only 2 are ridden. I keep saying I’m going to try and bring my mare back, but it seems her soundness issues always surface once I have the idea that I’ll get her back in work. Or she gets an abscess. Or we fear founder. Or stomach issues. Or there’s 12 feet of snow. Or something else completely ridiculous. I’m not entirely convinced something won’t happen if I put her back into work again.

But, just because the Hayley-Mare is a young retiree, doesn’t mean the other 2 are. In fact, they desperately need to work. So I need a plan for each one of them.

Subi: I think right now I just need to get 0n him consistently and make him work. If the ground is a mess or I’m not comfortable trotting/cantering because he’s decided he should be a circus horse, there is no reason that he still can’t work, hard, at the walk. Part of the issue right now is he is SO out of shape and trotting on the soft, hilly ground is super challenging and it’s easier to act stupid then to actually work. As he gets into better shape, the terrain won’t be as much of an issue. So I need to just get on him as often as possible and get his butt working. A couple years ago we worked hard on carriage and engagement and the poor horse was exhausted after a good 45 minutes at the walk. While we later moved on to the trot and canter, there’s no reason why I can’t spend a few weeks drilling this stuff again at the walk. Besides, the time in the saddle, working, even at the walk, will help me get my leg back…which brings me to the root of the problem.

I lost my leg. I didn’t ride consistently thanks to life, weather, time, work, and I lost my leg. It’s hard to be confident or trust your horse when he’s acting stupid and you have no leg. Without my leg back, I can’t stay on when he decides to act like an idiot. Then I lose confidence. Then I ride less. Then I get myself into situations where I have a horse who decides to act like a nut case thanks to lack of work…

Batts: I have 2 hard keepers in the winter and then I have Batts. Somehow he’s managed to put on even more weight in the last 2 weeks. How? I do not know, but his weight gain plus lack of fitness (in part due to weight gain) make riding him…interesting. He can have all the time off in the world and he’ll still be pretty much dead quiet. He’s got his issues, but bucking is not one of them (thankfully he doesn’t have a clue how to buck so when he tries, he more or less drops his head and if he’s lucky, gets one hoof about 6 inches off the ground).  For his sake, he needs to work and he can help me get my leg back. Over the next week, I’m going to try and get on him as much as possible. Hopefully I’ll have the “track” in the woods cleared out so he and I can really work. He needs a refresher course on using his hind end and I need to do some no stirrups work. So perhaps for the next week or so, each time I work with him, we spend 10 minutes without stirrups at the trot (though with his lack of fitness, I’ll probably have to do 5 minutes and 5 minutes because at this point, I’m not sure if he can even trot for 10 minutes…). How much else I do will depend on how much huffing and puffing is going on. But we can definitely work on using his hind end and possibly some hill work at the walk?

So. I have a plan. It’s in writing. I need to stick with it.