Saturday, December 29, 2018

Post-Christmas Vibes

Listening ears on Bannie after a previous evening snowfall!
All has been relatively quiet as the Christmas season starts to wrap up and we prepare to head into 2019 in just a few short days. I've been diligently playing around with the horses still, trying to keep things as interesting as I can with the terrible weather we've been experiencing lately.

Things have mostly been pretty good - Annie has been a bit uncharacteristically spooky for a few in-hand sessions, but I feel the cooler temps kinda bring out the inner feral Mustang in most horses. I err on the side of caution tho, because Annie is not clipped at this time and any amount of excessive work gets her sweaty and warm. So, we keep it low key and stick to the monotonous (but still fun!) regime of hand walking, in-hand work, and desensitization work.

I was lucky last week though, as I managed to get two rides in on Annie - one with Spud and one without.

For having an inconsistent ride schedule, Annie was as cool as a cucumber for both rides.

Little snowflakes fell during a portion of our ride :)
The day after Christmas, I was excited to see that the roadway was pretty clear and bare, so I figured it would be a good day to ride! I had to hand-walk her down the driveway to the road, as the driveway is a bit slippery at the moment from the vehicles driving over the snow. When we got onto the road, she was a bit snorty and looky, so I just did some in-hand work to get her back on the same page. It didn't take long, and before I knew it we were well on our way, Annie's head at her knees.

We did a bit of shortening and lengthening the reins, as Annie started to toss her head and break into trot when I would pull up the contact on the last two rides. So I just went back and forth, gradually bringing the reins in and out. She was pretty good about it, and it seemed to help her understand moreso that we could bring the contact in and out without having to get up tight about it.

The ride was nice and low key - we added a few small trot-sets in where we could, but otherwise stuck to a quiet walk. At one point, I had to dismount and hand-walk, as one of the roads was unplowed and I feared it would be slippery. It wasn't too bad, but I didn't want to tempt fate.

During the handwalk, I held onto the buckle of the reins while checking
my Equilab. Annie likes to stretch quite a bit, so she was doing her thing and
then she stepped on the reins -_-. Thankfully they didn't break, but it made me realize
I needed to coil up the reins and leave her less slack, lol.
Annie got stuffed with many carrots and wrapped back into her lightweight before being turned out. Good girl!

Our second ride was Saturday afternoon, after a rather large downpour the evening before. The sun was shining, and although there was a blustry wind, it seemed like the perfect day for a ride!

So ride we did!

Annie, making Spud look Pony-sized.
Or... Spud making Annie look Pony-sized?
Annie was great and as we wandered down the streets, Spud gave his most eccentric display of head tossing, leaping, and grunting. He also spooked like a freight train at one point, and I almost lost hold of his leadrope.

Besides Spud being very... excited to be out (haha), both horses were pretty well behaved. Especially once Spud quietly fell into line like a good little pony.

I was pretty pleased with both horses, considering the road way is narrower than usual with the snow on the sides of the road. Unfortunately, this means slush accumulates along the sides and when cars move over to give us a wider berth, slush sprays like a firehose from under the cars and right in our direction. Which, can be easily avoidable if the cars just slow the heck down. But, non-horsey people don't feel the need to slow down to avoid sending sprays of slush in our direction, so both Annie and Spud spooked a few times as wet slush flew at both of them.

It was a pretty sunny day - this street was quite shaded.
Thankfully, both horses are pretty sane and didn't seem too overly bothered by it. I kept double checking over my shoulder for vehicles, and would pull into nearby driveways that didn't look slippery to get out of the way to avoid any kind of slush-spraying, haha.

Despite the slush, it was a good ride, and most drivers were pretty sensible. I made sure I waved and mouthed "thank you" to the ones who were cautious.

I didn't end up staying out too long on our second ride, as the wind started to cut through my jacket and I wished I had thicker socks and jacket on, haha. As we made our loop back down towards home, we ran into a few people hand-walking their horses, and it took some cajoling on my part to convince Annie that these horses were not meeting up with us and no we were not going to sniff noses. She plodded along quietly after a pony club kick to the gut after stopping stiffly as the two other horses passed.

A more appropriate angle to show each horse's size, lol.

We passed them once more, heading back home, and Annie was less interested in them (but still interested enough to snort and try to sniff out at them).

Nothing remotely exciting, to be frank, but at the same time... having a quiet and "boring" winter ride on a young horse that's been in inconsistent work for the past few months is pretty damn exciting. Haha.

2 comments:

  1. Glad you were able to get a few rides in this time of year! And that they were mostly sensible!

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  2. Slush spray would give my horse a heart attack I am 100% sure, good spud and good annie.

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