The world is my arena. No beautifully groomed sandy ring…no indoor and no outdoor. When it rains my lawn gets wet and slippery; if not for the wet grass then it’s the clay. As we near mid-autumn I begin making my plans for winter and riding the horses takes a break. Outdoor projects are hurried to a close. It’s hunting season so I can’t go anywhere (I CAN but don’t really want to).
As a matter of fact the boys have been decompressing, unridden since Rombout. Happily enjoying their vacation.
Summer riding, camping, and hunter pacing season had my attention for quite a while but now it’s time to take a deep breathe and decompress. Our riding season isn’t as demanding as some but we were all pretty tired by the end of it.
Towards the end of hunter pacing Nahe had a date with the dentist. Nahe has lived his life with a terrible wave mouth. In some parts there isn’t much tooth left. At his age there’s not much hope to fix what has been done but we plan to keep his teeth as long as possible and provide him with comfortable chewing surfaces. Currently he is very comfortable and his movements and attitude suggest that it doesn’t hinder him in any way; but as tooth eruption slows in his older years we will need to be very careful. His dentist balanced him out and ended with a wonderful stretch.
All of my horses (Blade included) love their dentist; she’s kind and gentle and always leaves them with a fabulous stretch. She doesn’t ever keep their mouths open for extended periods of time. She opens the speculum, does some work, and gives them a break.
Nahe spent some time in the run-in shed waking up while I supervised; picking manure from the paddock. As he awoke he cleverly pointed out that he was aware I didn’t properly secure the aisle guard up to keep him in.
After our difficulties during the Locust Hill pace I wasn’t convinced that Tiger was perfectly okay. I spent the week prior to Rombout lunging him and he was his normal self. I had already chosen to ride Nahe at Rombout but I got on Tiger that Saturday to feel how he was under saddle.
Whatever hell-beast went to Locust Hill was completely absent that day. He was sound and sane. I kept him on a long rein and allowed him to stretch down. We took it easy and stuck with a simple trot pole and canter pole. He was quiet, balanced, and had the best self carriage I’ve seen from him in weeks.
We had such a wonderful ride I chose to cool him down by walking him down the street. Bardi had been doing fabulously as well so he came along for our walk. I keep Bardi harnessed on a long lunge line and he does a good job keeping an appropriate distance. Tiger is calm and well-behaved and careful of the little fur beast walking with him.
My serious riding is just about finished for the year 2020. The weather is getting colder, days are getting shorter, and to be honest the horses and I are enjoying some time off. Everyone needs a break mentally and physically.
The fun news this year is a conversation I had with a friend who got me in touch with a local farmer. The farmer tends to all of the fields on my road; leasing some and owning the rest. I was given permission to ride all of the fields on my road during the off season. The farmer just finished the last of his harvesting this past weekend and the fields are clear. It’s currently hunting season and I know one or two neighbors who use the fields for their stands (we like the neighbors so we’re happy to give them their space).
Once the hunting season is over (January) the fields will be open for riding. They were all planted with corn so I worry about the stalks on the horse’s hooves. They managed fine on the one field last winter but having been given permission to more land I’m planning on longer rides. For that I want to take steps to protect the boys’ feet.
A wonderful friend of mine brought over a massive box filled with hoof boots. We spent time trying on different sizes and different styles. Both boys were very happy to be given so much special attention. Tiger especially loved the session as he picked through the box himself. He ended up picking the WHOLE box up in his mouth and held it there as if to say “I’ll take ’em all.”
Tiger seems to think mom has bucket loads of cash!
In the end we found some Cavallo boots in a size and style that will work beautifully. We will order them, some pads, and some pastern wraps to help with the break-in process.
In January we will be able to hit the fields and take some nice long conditioning rides!
I haven’t ridden my boys since Rombout; it’s either too slippery, too dark, or I simply have too many projects to finish before winter truly hits. As a thank you to my friend for her trailering all year I power washed her trailer….I had to set up the winter water trough insulated box….I cleaned my tack (FINALLY!)….took out the blankets (not just the sheets anymore!)…
Want to know the REAL kicker?
I started cleaning my house again.
Do you have to turn in your equestrian card if you clean your house?