This morning when I got to the barn around 6:30 a.m. it was 1F, but there was no wind. The air was very still, and the sky was a beautiful rose and apricot as the sun rose. Every tree, bush and grass stem was coated with a thin layer of frost - just beautiful. It was supposed to warm up to around 20F, and the wind was supposed to stay away (very rare for us), so the horses went out without their blankets, except for Dawn, who's in her medium-weight Brookside turnout blanket.
I'll be doing a full product review post on the Hock Shield after we've used it for a while, but suffice it to say that last night it was Pie 1 - Hock Shield 0, although I think this may have had something to do with how (not sufficiently) tightly I put it on.
In the afternoon, when it was as warm as it was going to get (22F), Pie and I took a short ride with Charisma and her owner. While Charisma was getting tacked up, Pie and I did some cone work on the grassy slope behind the barn. I had moved the cones out of the arena, which is pretty much full of ice under the snow. Pie was pretty feisty, doing some head shaking and wanting to scoot away from his reflection in the barn windows, but settled down to his cone work after a bit. I had him in the sidepull. We walked from cone to cone and did the tightest circles we could around each cone. We also threw in some backing and turns on the haunches - he's got some lateral work already that just needs refining. The footing wasn't bad up there with a thin layer of snow over grass.
Then we went on a brief trail ride around the pastures. The trails were pretty icy, particularly down the center. We were able to stay to one side pretty easily in most places, with Pie leading the way with a much more forward walk than he usually has. There was one spot as we were coming back to the barn where the ice was worse, and all the horses in the dry lots started running, and Pie spooked a bit, slipping some, so I dismounted and led him down the safest part with Charisma following. A couple of hundred feet further down the trail, I remounted (from the ground!) and he stood perfectly still on a loose rein. As we got back to the barn, we had to avoid part of the trail and the parking lot, as those areas were completely iced over, and Pie led the way as we bushwhacked a trail through the tall prairie grasses, around a tree and safely back to the barn. Good Pie!