Friday, December 31, 2010

Waterworks and New Year's Eve Ride

It really warmed up last night to the low 50sF, and it rained overnight and again this morning, so the snow and ice have rapidly vanished.  It's supposed to drop into the 20s overnight, so I took advantage of the thaw after feeding, sheeting and turning out the horses this morning to work on Pie's paddock.  All the old poo piles that had been hidden by the snow were revealed, including some that looked as though they dated back to Blackjack's tenancy.  I was able to remove all the scattered accumulations of old hay, allowing the ice underneath to melt.  I've started a compost pile of old hay in one corner of his paddock - I'd like to use the soil it will produce to improve the footing.  We're also planning on getting a load of pea gravel for the lower end of his paddock in the spring - the drainage at that end is poor and this would raise the ground level and provide good footing as well as varied surfaces to keep his feet healthy.  Since we can't do this now, I did some channel-digging with a hoe to allow the water at the bottom of his paddock to drain, and used a broom to push the water on its way.  That way when things freeze up tonight, he  won't have a lake of ice at the bottom of his paddock.

* * * * * *
After lunch, the rain had eased up so I managed a year-end ride on Pie.  As we were tacking up, Jill arrived to clean her stall and ride Scout.  While she was getting done with her chores and getting Scout ready, Pie and I went on a quick solo trail ride.  We did a lot of trotting away from the barn, and worked a little bit on our softening at the walk as we returned to the barn.  We met up with Scout and did a longer trail ride with a fair amount of trotting.  The limestone trails were very nice as they had thawed.  Pie got to meet two nice, well-behaved dogs and was very interested in saying hello to them.  He and Scout also encountered a piece of trail-grooming equipment by the side of the trail (for cross-country ski trails).  Scout was snorting and Pie was very alert, but approached and sniffed it - brave boy!  After that Scout came up and sniffed it too, and was still keeping an eye on it.  Once Pie had investigated it, he was fine with it.  The only excitement (which was pretty funny) was when Scout mooched a tall grass plant by the side of the trail and pulled the whole thing out by the roots - it whacked him in the belly and he spooked and dropped it.  We got rained on a bit on and off, but since it was so warm that really didn't matter.

Since I got Pie at the end of October, we've had 26 rides, including 7 in December - that's pretty good for our part of the world.  Today would be what I call a good New Year's Eve!


  1. Kate -

    Thanks for the inspiration and motivation of your blog this year. You've helped Val and I more than you could know :)

    Happy trails!

    word verification - reade :)

  2. Kate...I give you so much credit for riding in all kinds of weather. It's almost 50 here rain and a lot of melting. I sure wish I was as motivated as you are. Hope you, your family and critters all have a very happy and healthy new year!

  3. Sounds like a perfect way to end the year! Pie sure is a good boy, happy for you two!!

  4. The thought of that guy whackin' himself in the belly, with a root ball, cracks me up.

  5. What a good Pie to be brave enough to give Scout the lead on that equipment. Quite impressive for a young horse!

    Glad to hear you have some good footing to ride on there. Here we are still under a foot or more of snow.

    Wishing you hundreds of great rides in 2011, each one being better than the one before. Happy New Year!

  6. The header photo is my favorite of Pie so far. He's looking really good.

  7. Pie is such a good horse. I think it's pretty funny how Scout spooked himself with the grass. Glad you had a year end ride with the Pie.

    Happy New Year!

  8. Oh yes, it sounds like an excellent way to end the new year. That Pie. He sure has given your 2010 some sparkle hasn't he? He is so appealing, I love reading your posts about him. I hope your new year is full of wonder and adventure!

  9. 50's sounds great. It didn't get above 10 degrees today and tonight it's below zero (expecting between -5 and -25!!! ack!)

    I let Apache out for about an hour for some turn-out time and she tried to get take a nap standing in the sunshine behind her wind break trees, but after about 20 minutes even she was eager to get back into her stall.

    Happy New Year,

  10. Happy New Year Kate. I have so enjoyed reading about your horsey moments over the past year and look foward to reading more in the future. Am so glad you are getting out lots on Pie. Hi to Jill

  11. Happy New Year Kate! I love the stories of your rides on Pie. I can just see you smiling and him having a great time. He is a perfect horse. That is so funny about Scout whipping the grass mound into his own belly and then getting scared! What a great way to end the year.

  12. Happy New Year! Glad you got in a NY's eve ride on Pie.

    Good job working on his paddock as well - I wish my barn owners cared about the state of their paddocks... (sigh). Smart idea to compost the old hay to add back to the paddocks.

  13. Happy New Year. Glad you got a year end ride on Pie, and it sounds like a beautiful day too!

  14. Kate, Pie is such a curious and brave horse - what a wonderful combination! I read somewhere that curiousity in a horse is good as it prevents fear about new things. That makes sense to me and it really seems that Pie has that wonderful quality!


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