Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ice Slides Off the Roof

It's wonderful having an indoor arena in the winter - it means I can ride almost every day despite the weather.  But indoor arenas can present their own challenges - doors opening and closing and horses and people coming and going, scary objects in the corners, lessons going on or too many people and horses in there at once, folks with poor arena manners who cut you off or almost (or maybe even actually) run into you.  And then, in our part of the country, there's snow or ice sliding off the roof . . .

So far this winter, we've had very little snow.  A number of years ago, I used to ride at a barn that had a very large indoor arena.  Snow sliding off the roof was a frequent event in the winter, and when the ring was full of horses, it would be like someone set a bomb off - horses spooking and careening everywhere.  Last winter was the first time I've ridden in an indoor in many years, and there wasn't much snow.  There hasn't been much snow this year either, but there was a little bit of snow and ice over the weekend.

This morning Dawn and I had a very nice ride, even though I'm still getting over a very bad cold that seems to be going on and on.  It was very cold again in the arena - 20sF - and Dawn was both very forward and very responsive, which made for an enjoyable ride.  At one point, we were rounding a corner at the trot - why do these things always tend to happen in corners? - when there was a sudden, loud slithering, scraping noise from directly above us as a sheet of ice let go - the sun must have been strong enough to partially melt it.  Dawn bolted, but I stayed with her and got her stopped after a step or two and we just kept right on working.  She was a bit worried in that corner for a bit but we just kept on working and she settled right back down, although she expressed a bit of continuing worry by being even more forward.  But all was well, and I was very proud of her for being able to keep right on working.  Good Dawn!


11 comments:

  1. Oh! We get this in our arena too. Panama was a nervous wreck in the arena for that reason our entire first winter at this barn, but now he gives a little scoot at most -- I'm very proud of him for how he's gotten over the loud scary noises! I don't think Rondo has experienced this yet, so we will see how he does the first time -- though as mellow as he is, I don't think it will be as traumatizing to him as it was to Panama.

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  2. Good job riding through the horse-eating monster!! I guess we have to be thankful for all those educational opportunities that are presented to us equestrians, right? I am just so jealous that you have an indoor riding arena that I can hardly see!! My greatest wish! Well, at least one of my greatest wishes! :)
    Happy New Year Kate! Ride on...

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  3. Good girl Dawn! Indoor arenas do have their good points and bad as you pointed out. I use to have to deal with the crowds and manners too. Once a woman just simply ran into our side with her runaway horse. Surprisingly, Erik didn't spook that time. I think he was more confused than anything. Another time the ice slid off the roof and banged the metal side of the arena. Erik just did a perfect rear and took off for a few steps. Glad I stayed on that time too.

    All in all I think I'd rather have the indoor to ride in because you don't lose any training time. Feel better.

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  4. Impressive recovery for both you and Dawn. But it certainly does accent her faith and trust in you.

    In one arena we used to have pigeons...they'd fly down and then suddenly startle and fly back up--usually right in a horse's face. Indoors are certainly lovely, but not without unique hazards.

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  5. Good work for both you and Dawn! Right before my test Sunday, while I was in the warm-up coming around a corner Winston spooked at a group of people trying to load a horse. The horse was rearing and carrying on and it took awhile before he was happy about working in that corner again.

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  6. Oh, I can just see all of the horses going crazy. That sound can even spook me! I'm glad that Dawn handled it fairly well.
    Doc hated the indoor arena. He was always antsy in it. I think it was because he couldn't see what was 'out there'.

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  7. that would wake you up! Good girl Dawn

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  8. That would spook me too! Good for you and Dawn to carry on :)

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  9. Hope you feel better soon. Good girl Dawn for not totally losing it! :-) When I boarded with an indoor, I was the one jumping at the ice and snow falling and my horse would just use it as an opportunity to slow down or cut a corner since I wasn't paying attention. ;-)

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  10. The first indoor arena I ever dealt with was one of those huge curved metal structures. It was insulated and heated and snow could really accumulate between uses. Turn on those heaters and it was like a series of avalanches. Way too many beginner riding lessons found six beginners sitting in the dirt at one end with six riderless horses at the other end.

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  11. I am not a big fan of indoor arenas. I used to give lessons in one every week and the dust was overwhelming at times. I literally had to clean my nose out at the end of the evening and sometimes it made me hoarse.

    I do appreciate them, however, when it comes to winter riding. I used to have nearly an entire arena to myself on Sundays. It was awesome!

    I had to laugh a little bit at Story's comment. ;)

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