As some of you may have noticed, I'm obsessed with horse poo. Pie is very regular in his habits - almost every day there are exactly 11 piles to clean up in his paddock - sometimes 10 but almost always 11. This morning there were 12, but one was "buried treasure" left over from before our last significant snow. Cleaning the paddock right now is very easy, with the frozen ground and frozen poo, and I'm always glad to see those 11 piles as they show that all is well from a digestive system point of view. We'll see how much I enjoy it when it's muddy or raining! And once Drifter's up there too, there may be more like 22 piles of poo - that'll be a bit more work but I need the exercise.
I had forgotten how much bigger - more robust - Drifter is than Pie. Pie wears a 75" blanket, although I think he'll need to move up to a 78" by next year - the 75" is starting to be a little snug as he gains weight and fills out. I have a number of 78" blankets and sheets in reserve, so that'll work out well. But I asked Drifter's owner his size and she replied that he is an 81"! He's coming with a new heavier turnout blanket, so I'll have to get him a rain sheet. He's almost exactly the same height as Pie - 15.2 - but he's broader. Of course this also means that it's not all that likely that the saddle I get for one will fit the other. And of course there's Dawn's saddle fitting difficulties - she's a completely different size and shape from either one of them . . . I expect my saddle budget's going to have to expand!
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Pie and I had a very nice about 45 minute trail ride with Charisma this afternoon. The temperature was about 24F but there was no wind (but sadly no sun either). Pie was a bit more relaxed today than he was yesterday - he actually was dozing while I tacked him up. We did some standing around work while waiting for Charisma to get ready - he's got this pretty much nailed after only one previous session. When we were back from our ride, Pie and I did a little bit of pattern work with two cones. We started with a figure 8 at the walk, with tight turns around the cones - I just neck reined and used a little leg to help with the turns. Then we trotted between the cones, stopped as we got to the cone, backed three steps, walked in a tight turn around the cone and repeated. We did this with turns in both directions, and then did the same exercise but without the backing. His backing in the sidepull as well as his backing in the halter are much improved - the bracing is pretty much gone and he's not "diving" either. Good Pie!