Monday, February 28, 2011

Nine and Nine and Nine

Pie and I got in our ninth ride of February yesterday - by coincidence, we also had nine rides in each of December and January, for a total of 27 over our worst months for riding.  With no indoor and the unusually cold weather we've had all winter and our early February blizzard, I'll take it.  It's certainly more riding than I've ever managed over the winter before.

Pie and I took a short excursion on the trail - the footing wasn't great but we managed.  He was fairly nervous and had his head up in the air - we haven't been on the trails in over a month and the last times were with other horses - and due to the footing I couldn't use some of my usual exercises to help him focus and relax (serpentines and circles), so part way out I dismounted and led him to help him out.  We stopped and looked at things from time to time and he did relax somewhat.  As we were heading back to the barn, I felt him reach out and grab the back of my coat just at the neckline - I expect he was complaining about my walking too slowly but coming into my space that way, particularly with his mouth, just isn't OK.  I spun around, and rushed towards him doing a wordless "roar" - he flew backwards, looking very surprised.  (Laura - there's a case where I do reprimand.) Then we just continued on our way back to the barn.  Once there, I mounted up again and we did more figure and transition work on the grassy area and also did some bits trotting a short distance away from the barn on the grassy edge of the trail.  Once I got a bit of focus and relaxation, we were done.

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And in Drifter news, it looks like the vet check will happen sometime in mid-March - like us, they have no indoor and the footing isn't suitable right now.  Keeping fingers crossed . . .

14 comments:

  1. Good for you. You're an inspiration.

    Now, next winter if Betty and I can keep healthy, maybe we can get some winter rides in.

    Dan

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  2. I'm sure that the higher frequency of your winter rides this year has a lot to do with your riding partner--both the excitement of having Pie after your long search, and his pleasant and companionable personality and willingness to learn and try for you.

    Whether it was a "love bite" or a "hurry up" or whatever, your quick and clear response will probably be all Pie needs to learn that horse mouths + people = unacceptable.

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  3. You're riding more because you have such a good boy. And you're not wimp like me!!!!

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  4. good for you! we have an indoor and i haven't managed to ride in probably three months :-( i've got to get my act together.

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  5. I'm impressed--I know I haven't had 9 rides maybe all winter! I'd like to do the same with mine soon--get them out on the trail, even if I have to walk it with them at first. Before we know it the corn will be planted and there will go my opportunities to short-cut away from the highway!

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  6. You have definitely been an inspiration this winter about getting out with the horses no matter what the weather. Hard to believe Pie did something wrong. It's probably good you throw those stories in every once in awhile to make us feel better about our own horses. ;)

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  7. I think you've been better about riding through the winter than I have! And I have an indoor...

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  8. Yes, this wonter would have been a good one to have an indoor. All this snow and ice--we are still very far from being able to go out on the trail. When we do, I wonder what the horses will be thinking. let's hope they are calm and relaxed.
    I was just reading John Lyons and about his 3 second rule. Your reprimand of Pie made me think of it. Lyons says that when your horse does something unacceptable (ie tries to act dominant over you, say he bites you) that you have three seconds to act like you are going to kill him. Then after three seconds you stroke him and act nice as usual.
    I am just discovering John Lynons. I must say, I like him!

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  9. It's nice you did manage a lot of winter rides with Pie. More than we have that's for sure.

    Good luck with Drifter.

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  10. That's an impressive amount of outdoor winter riding. We didn't always have our horses at a place with an indoor arena, so I can appreciate what it takes to tackle the environment.

    We are having a problem with ice and bad conditions. (And a green horse I don't totally trust in bad conditions and and old horse with a bad tendon I don't want to risk in bad conditions.)

    I haven't been on the trail since New Years. Having an indoor arena to ride in doesn't keep me from wishing I could ride outside!

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  11. I have always admired your fortitude in heading out with the snow, the wind and other joys that winter brings. That's a lot of riding! A ton more than I have put in!!

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  12. Just getting out myself after a winter under snow/ice. Fortunately, our footing was super yesterday and Saturday. Rain today may have ruined things a bit, but I'll see tomorrow.

    You managed a lot of rides, considering the weather. I, like your other readers, have a strong feeling Pie was the great motivation. A good horse makes all the difference in the world!

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  13. Lucky you, able to get in all those rides!

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