"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo



Saturday, February 8, 2014

Onward!

The forecasts for tomorrow and Sunday are all over the place and no two are the same. So who knows how cold it's going to be or how much snow we're really going to get. Kathy and I decided to get a ride in today in case the weather really does get bad.

Our arena on a crappy day.
We rode out to the back woods. Both Lily and Queenie were full of themselves and wanted to go faster than a walk. We made it all the way out to the street crossing that leads to the soybean farm. From where we were standing on our side of the road, we could see that the farm horses were already in for the night, so Kathy and I crossed the street and continued on our way.
The forecast had said 40 degrees for today. I had dressed for 40 degrees. My car had said it was 40 degrees. It felt like 25, and I had managed to forget both my 3-in-1 jacket AND my SSG 10 Belows at home! I was freezing!

It was still fairly wet out after the ice storm we had on Tuesday night. We continued on up the dirt road and, expecting it to be super muddy, we turned around before reaching the trail that leads to the Four Corners gravelly road.

A car was coming up the dirt road as we turned around. Both Lily and Queenie decided to be incredibly silly and started prancing and jigging as they heard the car sloshing through the puddles on the road behind them. Kathy and I crossed to the other side of the road, onto the grass, and rode up past the car as it was coming our way, then tried turning around again.

Lily wanted to GO! She fussed at the bit and tossed her head when I told her she was to walk home. When she started jigging, I made her work in a shoulder-in, first to the right, then to the left, then back again. "We will go in a straight line when you are willing to walk like a normal horse." I told her.

It worked. She realized that if she jigged, things would be all that much harder for her, so she relaxed and we continued at a power walk.

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Things got a little dicey as we approached the road to cross back to the back woods. Lily and Queenie both got a little spunky, but it was around 5:00 pm so there were quite a few cars coming in both directions on the road. Kathy and Queenie made it across first. Lily was still trying to rush forwards, so I made her turn around, facing away from the road and made her side pass parallel to the road until she had calmed down and the coast was clear again. Then I let her turn around and cross.

It was an uneventful ride back to the barn, but Lily was still so full of herself I decided to ride her up and down the driveway to burn off some energy while Kathy went into the main barn to untack. Just walking is not enough anymore!

After reading a conversation between Hannah, Mel Aurora, and Andrea, regarding road work and healthy bare hooves, I decided to have Lily do part of the workout on the road itself. Initially she was like, "Why are you making me trot on the road?" but then she got the hang of it and was happy to oblige. She willingly moved from the grass on the side of the driveway to the road and back again. We did this 3-4 times, until it was starting to get dark. At that point I checked Runmeter and we had done 6 miles in 1.5 hours. We called it a day and I walked her out. Lily got her legs cleaned with anti-fungal shampoo (we're just doing maintenance at this point, which is nice) while she scarfed her beet pulp mash. I completely forgot to look at the undersides of her feet to see if she had worn them down a titch on the pavement. Oh well.

And then she got turned out for the night. It was beautiful outside. There was a bright half moon in the sky, and I could see Orion soaring way up high in the heavens.

4 comments:

  1. Bummer for forgetting your coat, but great job riding any way. I have a tendency to over pack, since I spent so much time riding cold as a kid.

    Gloves, though, are a necessity. I froze my hands so badly as a kid, over multiple winters, that my little fingers no longer straighten.

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    1. Yeah, I usually hoard jackets in my car. Lol! I did have a heavyweight fleece on and I dug up a Gore-Tex coat from my backseat, but it was barely enough. The gloves...oh boy. I rode in my leather gloves and definitely needed something more! I need to find my second pair of SSGs and just keep them in the car...

      That's crazy about your little fingers!

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  2. Sounds like Lily was ready to GO! At least you know she's feeling great :-)

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    1. Oh yeah! I'm glad she likes this new job! :)

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