Pie and I managed another ride today, before the arctic cold arrives tonight. We went out on the trail for a bit, but only got a couple of hundred yards from the barn when the snow got well above his knees and looked to be getting deeper, so we turned around and went back to the barn. Pie was very good - bravely and carefully making his way through the deep snow. He seems to be very sure-footed and careful about where he puts his feet. He would have gone further if I had asked him, but walking through the deep snow was very hard work, and he's not all that fit right now and I didn't want to risk an injury.
All the horses had been moved to Pie's paddock (mares) and the arena (geldings) in preparation for another visit by the bobcat guy. He was coming to open access through the snowdrifts to the dry lots for our hay man to be able to get in with round bales, and to also cut us a path allowing direct access to the upper dry lot. Since the gates were open and no horses were in the dry lots, Pie and I rode up in there and rode around for a bit, including some nice trotting - the snow's not as deep in parts and has been packed down by the horses.
Then I turned him back out with his herd - good Pie!
After lunch, I came back to the barn to see if bobcat guy was done, and he was. I turned the horses back out in the dry lots. While I was turning mares out, Misty got herself into the narrow slot in Pie's paddock that had been shoveled to get to and move his water tank. She didn't seem to be able to figure out how to back out - she was as wide as the opening. So I walked up to her, spoke to her and placed a hand on her rump to be sure she was OK and then squeezed between her and the snow bank, haltered her and directed her to back out - good Misty!
Then, Fritz and Fred and I had to do a tricky maneuver. They were the last two of the geldings to be turned back out, and I wanted to lead them to the dry lot together, as they can both get pretty agitated when they're separated. The access to the arena they were in is a very narrow shoveled path, barely one horse-width, that takes a winding path to the arena gate. I haltered both horses, and then led Fritz out, turned him around and asked him to back carefully down the path, with Fred following behind me. Fritz did great - I've never asked him to do anything like this before - he backed carefully, stopped when he started to step into the deep drifts, and allowed me to carefully lead him forwards and then back as needed to maneuver around the corners. Fred was also great - he followed nicely and never came into my space even though all my attention was on Fritz. When we came out of the slot, I turned Fritz around, told him what a good boy he was, and off we went to the dry lot.
As I was turning Scout out, I noticed that he had a cut running back from the outside corner of his left eye - the cut was about an inch long, fairly deep and bleeding. His eye was also bloodshot in that corner. I don't know if he bumped it on something or got bitten or kicked. The eye itself seemed OK, which was good, and he wasn't squinting or teary. I called Jill and she said she'd come over and look at it. I never like to take chances with injuries close to the eyes.
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And here's another sleeping beauty - a photo of Lily enjoying the Tennessee weather down at Paradigm Farms - looks like she might be in need of a body clip sometime this spring: