As in, REALLY cold. As my phone keeps telling me, it “feels like -6º.” Thanks. It’s not supposed to BE that cold in December. And especially not for a week straight. With nobody home to monitor them and throw more hay midday, everyone has been cooped up in stalls for most of the week. The boys have been getting kicked outside for a couple hours in the evenings, and spent a good part of the morning outside today, but the girls have been stuck indoors all week, so we let them have a good romp around the indoor this evening. They both let a few bucks, zoomed a bit, and then started looking for food. Which was followed by this shot, of two ponies, me, and approximately 47 layers of thinsulate and poly-fill:
So when one twenty degree temp drop is followed by another, in December, a pony-baby that was clipped in October is not prepared to live in the arctic. So after much debate, the decision was made to blanket the baby while this cold spell hangs on.
We left plenty of time before I had to leave for work this morning. Initially he gave the blanket in his doorway a good snort, but quickly came over to nose it. He wasn’t so sure when I tried to rub his neck with it, but didn’t back away despite the nervousness. When he finally relaxed to the blanket touching his neck, I draped it over him with no reaction whatsoever. After giving him a few minutes to adjust and stroking his hindquarters in preparation, I pulled the blanket over him. He started to jump forward a bit, but responded immediately to my mom holding the lead rope. We kept on stroking and telling him how great he was, and once again he relaxed immediately. We got all the straps adjusted with no excitement, and then left him in his stall while we put hay outside. He took one hot lap around his box and then realized the blanket chasing him was NOT going to eat him, and then stood quietly until it was his turn to go out.
Now we just have to get it off again…
So now that you’ll be singing Aerosmith for the rest of the day…
This morning was my three month post-op check on the second hip (thanks to some holidays it was really a week beyond that, but who’s counting?). Since my surgeon is retiring next week, he essentially read my PT report, asked how I’d been, joked a bit about clearing me to ride in June of 2015, and then told me to go about my life and call if I had any problems.
So, after three and a half months (and the three months before that), I was cleared to ride!
After a quick realization that a new indoor arena and a twenty five degree temp drop overnight don’t usually equal lazy equines, I thought I’d give The Banana a quick lunge. She jogged around a bit and mostly wondered why I bother which such trivialities. Mounting was less-than-graceful, but painless, and then we were off! And by off, I mean meandering at a slow amble while I figured out where all my limbs belonged. All in all, I was awkward and tight, but definitely pain free! We walked for a few minutes, trotted a lap and a half because I just couldn’t resist, and called my first ride a success!
After several years off from writing, and a year of many changes, I thought it’d be an opportune time to start up again, and start tracking progress again as I face a new year with a new start!
I’ve spent the last seven months out of the saddle after two hip surgeries. The whole purpose was to be able to ride comfortably, and with a week and a half left to go before being cleared to ride, there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel. I know it will be still be a long and slow road with lots of physical therapy to go, but I can’t wait to get in the saddle again. The Banana has largely had the time off, but heads to an indoor for winter soon so we can both get back to work!
Also heading to the indoor is my mom’s new girl Callie. They had a great two weeks, then five weeks off after pulling her shoes left her completely lame. There’s still some debate as to whether or not she’s got a history of laminitis, but shoes and pads seem to have done the trick to keep her comfy and now she (and my mom!) are ready to get back to work.
And another addition to the herd…
When John presented me with an offer I couldn’t refuse, I got to his farm as quickly as I could to decide between to Alfa colts. It wasn’t a hard choice, and next thing I knew he was calling Autobahn mine, scheduling a gelding, and yesterday my new little buddy came home! We’re calling the little yellow Ferrari “Enzo” and I’m totally smitten. He’s still a bit jumpy after we turned his world upside down, but responds very quickly to stroke on the neck and his curiosity soon takes over. And WOW that trot. I can’t wait to watch him grow up and get to know him more!
This has been floating around the internet, and has prompted me to come out of my rather long hibernation!
1. The Intro Horse
We each came into horses in our own way, but it was always with a horse leading us. This might have been a friend’s first pony, or perhaps it was a draft horse on a farm you once visited It might have been a real-life meeting, or an imaginary one.
2. The Experimental Horse
Once you had crossed the line between “Darn, they’re big!” and “Wow! Can I try that?” you found yourself face-to-face with the horse that would suffer through your early attempts at figuring out the whole horse experience … wherever this horse came from, he probably didn’t benefit from the encounter as much as you did…
3. The Connected Horse
The first horses we meet don’t really connect with us, nor do we with them. Those are experiences in survival and tests of endurance. The Connected Horse is the first horse you truly bond with. This is the horse that sounds a chord that lives so deep in you that you might never have heard it otherwise…
4. The Challenger
Into each horseperson’s life, a little challenge must fall. You’ll have read that one final training book, bought yourself a clicker and heading rope, and there you’ll stand, arms crossed, assessing the situation as if you actually knew what the situation was. It might be difficult to believe, as you are flying down the aisleway on the losing end of a braided cotton line, but you actually need this horse in your life…
5. Your Deepest Heart
There will come a time when you will look at yourself with a cold, appraising eye, and you’ll have to be honest about your continued ability to deal with The Challenger and other difficult horses. At that point, you’ll seek out the horse that will be your soul mate forever… You’ll have bought him the most comfortable, best fitting equipment… Maybe you’ll still go to shows and ride – brilliantly or barely – in the Alzheimer’s class. Maybe you’ll just stay home. Whatever you do, one day you’ll realize that after all the money you spent on animal communicators and trainers, you only had to stop and listen and you would have clearly heard your horse’s thoughts and desires…
Which had me smiling and in tears at the same time. My five came very easily…
My Intro Horse was a dear pony called Cricket. She was small enough that at four I could reach to tie the cinch knot myself, and patient enough to let me do it. She never intimidated me, unlike some of the bigger horses I occasionally lessoned on. A fantastic mother…she’d often put up with babysitting me and her own foal at the same time. And she treated me to my first ventures into the show ring.
I rode as a youngster, but when I was six we left the farm and I didn’t ride again until I left for college. I had many good lesson horses, but my Experimental Horse was another saintly mare I had the priviledge of leasing for a summer. She was game for anything, and that we did. She was the first horse I galloped across a field on, the first horse I fell off of, the first horse I trail rode alone on….the list goes on. I’m blessed to still have her in my life, since her owner remained a close friend after my lease ended. Chey Chey is 18 now, just as sassy as ever, and turned out every day with my own girls.
Sigh…the Connected Horse. After Chey, I continued riding lesson horses and took on a project horse, but several months later I finally found myself purchasing my first horse. He touched me to my soul and forever changed my relationship with horses.
Har har…the Challenger! Not a bad nickname for the Snow pone!! After losing Kai, I decided to buy myself an opinionated, green, pony, mare. Does it get more challenging than that? We had steps forward and steps back, she intimidated me and made me immensely proud. She’s better every day, and still a challenge. After our first two years together, I put together this scrapbook page:
At this point, my Deepest Heart is most definitely still my Kai-man. Far and away. He may always be. But I’ve got many more years of riding and horses ahead of me. I’m blessed with two wonderful horses who are still young. I’m game to see where they and others take me.
Just don’t. Why, you ask? Your show clothes will shrink in that time.
And now I have a show this weekend, and am wondering exactly how I’m going to pull this off. My plan was to wear navy and cream (cream looks so much nicer than white on the haffies!). My navy show coat fits fine, but the cream breeches are about two (okay, maybe three) sizes too small. They’re lovely pants with an even nicer leather seat, which means they are NOT very forgiving. I have some white breeches that do fit, but I’ve been tossed off in them, I’ve spilled walking taco on my lap in them, and I broke in new boots in them. Stained would be an understatement, and unless it’s pouring rain, I’m not wearing them to a show (it’s supposed to be sunny). But if I did have to wear them, I’d wear my longer black coat that covers up more of the stains. Except that seems to have shrunk a size as well. I can get it buttoned though.
I have one of those nice short sleeve coolmax type show shirts (that fits!), but it seems to have gone MIA since the driving event two weeks ago. So now I’m torn between rush shipping a new one, or sucking it up and wearing an actual long sleeved show shirt (it’s supposed to be 85 degrees).
Saturday I finally managed to ride in my new boots without a problem, and LOVED them. But on Monday night (after sitting in a cube all day at work) they just weren’t going to happen. I finally called the cobbler, and they’re only charging $8 to mechanically stretch the calves just a bit more. The good news is they’ll be done Thursday, so I’ll have them in time to bring to the show. The bad news I won’t be able to ride in them…until the show. My old boots are coming as a back-up…missing sole and all. OMG. I am NOT going to be a pretty picture!
No, they’re not paying me. But not only can I now get my boots on and off, they’re not even cutting off circulation anymore!!
As soon as I progress to wearing them over breeches, rather than under pajama pants, I’ll post pictures