Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hot to Trot

Suzie: "...."
On Sunday morning, I was itching to go see the horses and spend some time with them. It had been nearly a week and I was dying for some well-deserved pony time. Fortunately, most of the snow has melted and the back pasture only has small patches of snow throughout and I can now successfully get a wheelbarrow through the back pasture to the "dump off" (read: ravine)  where all the manure goes. Since I have not been able to really muck properly since December, the pasture was due for a much needed clean. So I picked and shoveled for the better part of two hours and cried a little inside when I realized I wasn't even half done. The large pile of manure/hay that I had created by the lean-to shed is still very wet and heavy, so I cannot move it very well just yet. I cleaned up the one side of the pasture and the front half before going over and moving their water trough (read: bathtub) from under the shelter to it's usual spot by the fence at the front of the barn.

The horse's were tickled pink when I had opened the back pasture gates and Spud immediately began prancing and galloping around Suzie (who rolled her eyes and plodded along quietly). After half an hour of running around, Spud was heaving and snorting. Silly fat pony. He was also sweaty and had a bit of a lather on his chest. I think in part due to his running, but also because it was WARM out there. Even I was sweating and felt gross!

Spud just can't contain himself and needs to photobomb
every photo.

Eager to ride, and to try out my new tack (which I sadly have not gotten any photos of yet!), I pulled Suzie out and began tacking her up in my English gear. I was keeping an eye on Suzie, to see if she'd start pulling the same crap she had been previously (looking for Spud). She was quiet and a tug of the leadrope got her attention back when it wandered. Otherwise, I rigged up my new stirrup leathers which are sadly much too long for my short legs (that's what happens when you don't check the length on the tag before buying, folks!) and much too light for my saddle (grrr)! So, I have a plan to try and darken them and if not, I'll be putting them up for sale to find some new ones that are shorter and match my saddle better.

After attaching my new stirrups - which by the way felt SO weird since they are so light and... plastic - I hopped up and Suzie and I plodded around the street. Right now she is barefoot so I wasn't sure if she'd be totally rideable, but after stumbling slightly on some ouchy rocks, she was fine. We practiced halting, standing, and I encouraged her to stretch out her topline. She obliged and even walking towards home she was quicker than usual and I only had to slightly reprimand her with a few circles. Otherwise, it seemed as though her Spring Stupidness had worn off. We headed back to the barn and I immediately was sad that I didn't get a chance to post trot with the new stirrups.

My eyelids are sweating 'cause horsing is hard.

So, we headed to the back pasture. I left the gate open and Spud joined us, which may have been a mistake in hind-sight, but it was an interesting experience and something to practice for sure. You see, because Spud was loose, Suzie felt the need to trot with him or keep up with him whenever he galloped away and went on a bucking spree. No, mare. We are trotting twenty meter circles. Ignore the pony who is enjoying the sunshine wayyyy too much. We did get some good moments of connection, but I could feel she was starting to get a bit sensitive in her feet. I ended up trotting and cantering the mare and although she felt like a freaken' steam engine, she complied with my requests.

I ended the ride after about 25 minutes and poor Suzie was soaked - mostly from the heat of the day and having a wooly coat, but also because doing horse things is hard work. And overall, it was a pretty decent first ride for the season. I think that had Spud been locked up in the regular pasture, and not with us in the back, Suzie wouldn't of been so forward, but it was actually a bit interesting and I could use it to my advantage. Just think - if Suzie can listen and be responsive while Spud is galloping around like an idiot by her hocks, she can handle anything!

I did put a call in to the Farrier on Monday morning, but haven't heard back yet. I'd really like to get some new kicks on Ms Mare so we can really start doing some riding.


  1. lol Spud is such a nut!! glad you had a fun ride tho. hopefully the leathers work out too

    1. He sure has a bit of sass to him... why oh why did I get a RED APPY!!! LOL