Wednesday, January 16, 2013

And Birds Poop on Your Head . . .

In my post about the challenges that can be presented by indoor arenas, there was one I omitted . . .

I rode all three horses today, and we had some fun.  It was cold and very windy, so the arena roof was buzzing and the doors were banging.  Dawn was feeling feisty, so we did a bit of pre-ride lungeing - there was some fast trotting and some cantering with bucking before she settled down to good transitions and a nice steady canter on both leads.  After that we had a very good ride.

I rode both Pie and Red in the afternoon.  Pie had a day off yesterday - by the time I got to him I was just too tired from the end of my virus/cold thing.  So today he was very forward, and his gaits were really good - we had some fun following another horse around the arena - it's something he enjoys doing.  This horse was very fresh, and was really moving out at both canter and trot, so Pie got a good workout although we only rode for about a half hour.

Red was up next.  He's always wanted to canter on the left lead rather than trot in our early trot work - I think it has something to do with his left hock.  So today I tried an experiment and, after our 15 minutes of walk warm up, we immediately went to left lead canter - he does beautiful walk/canter transitions.  He seemed a little surprised, but off we went and cantered for a bit before he was ready to settle to trot. His trot seemed better as a result - this may be a good warm-up routine for him.  We did a fair amount of trot work, and a little bit of right lead canter.

And here's a new challenge to riding in the indoor . . .  At one point we were trotting down the long side when Red suddenly started violently shaking his head from side to side.  This was very odd, as it's not something he tends to do, even when he's fresh.  And then I saw it - a bird had just pooped on his face, right above his eye!  No wonder the poor guy was annoyed . . .


  1. I can't believe a bird pooped right on him! That is kind of funny but I feel bad for him too :P

  2. gross! bird poop :-/ Poor Red!! My old barn owner was a vet and would warm up a couple of her older horses at the canter too. She definitely felt the canter was easier than the trot on their hocks at first... Good for you for trying something else and having it work!! :-)

  3. Another disadvantage of the indoor--the avian hazard! *lol*

    Poor Red.

    It was once suggested that the canter was the best gait to properly warm up my TB's. No reason not to use it, especially if it works.

    Still admiring your dedication to riding all three. More energy than I have!

  4. Our arena has attack pigeons. If Dee decides she can deal with those we'll truly be ready for anything! But our last arena had swallows...sure, they took care of bugs but the poop bombs were amazing!

    I also like to canter to warm up!

  5. I was once told it is lucky to have a bird poop on you . my response "sure lucky for the bird! "

  6. I've had two horses that warmed up better by cantering first instead of trotting.

    Poor Red, bird poop on his head?! Sounds like he handled it in a rather nice way all things considered!!

  7. Poor Red! We have pigeons nesting in all three cupolas and are always ready for some swooping down and startling the horses. Never had one poop on us though. That's always a possibility I guess. We do have lots of feathers on the ground. Just last week we had to scoop up two birds that were attacked and eaten in there. It's either the foxes, the cats or we now have a resident hawk living in there too.

    I've always heard that cantering is the best way to warm up TB's. Don't know if it works out for everyone but sounds like it does for Red. Hope you're feeling better.


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