Wednesday, February 18, 2015

More Cold Riding, Very Good Horses, and Missy's Feet Progress

I finally managed to ride two days in a row - Red and Pie Monday, and Pie and Missy Tuesday.  Today and tomorrow there will be no rides - temperatures in the single digits F with wind chills well below zero, although the horses will get turnout.  But then Friday could be possible and the weekend looks promising.  I've given up on riding only when it's at least 20F; now I'm making do with 15F and above.  I'm managed only 17 rides - 5 each on Red, Pie and Missy, and 2 on Dawn - so far in February due to all the days when it was just too darn cold to ride, even in an (unheated) indoor sheltered from the wind.  Dawn has been particularly shortchanged since it's even colder in the mornings, but I don't think she minds much - we still usually do our regular early morning grooming session.

Red, Pie and Missy have been excellent for our rides, despite the extremely cold temperatures, rides after several days off, and other riders and their horses having their issues.  I just take them in the arena, get on and ride - no fuss, no muss.  Everything in the arena had been rearranged since the pasture horses had been in one night this week, and Red had to look, but he quickly settled down and there was no problem in the corners.  We did some work on his lengthening/shortening in trot.  Pie was forward and delightful, and we worked on his stepping under with the inside hind and some three and four track work.  Missy and I continue to work on the consistency of softness at walk - we're almost there - and also on her stepping under and over with the inside hind while staying soft.  When a horse comes into the arena, she briefly takes stock but then comes right back to me.  We're also working on lengthening/shortening at the walk.  When she sees something new, she may look briefly and even snort a little bit, but then she's done with it - very nice.

Missy and I continue to work at the walk.  We've still got a bit to do with that before we'll do much trot work, and we're in no hurry.  She's now about 5 weeks out of front shoes and her feet are already really changing.  Her cramped heels and weak frogs are starting to strengthen, and she's got some good new growth already at the tops of her feet, with a very clear line between the old hoof and the new hoof, and changes in quality of hoof and angles that will result from the growth - very promising.  From looking at the new growth, she's going to have shorter hooves, with lower (not stacked as they are now) heels and a slightly steeper angle in the front of the hoof, and a broader base.  I hope to get some pictures soon so you can see - I failed to take pictures 5 weeks ago, but there will still be pretty significant changes from now on.  Our trimmer comes Friday, but he'll do very little, as he usually does with all my horses - he understands that feet aren't made by trims (although a trim can sure damage a foot).  Good, capable feet, with well-developed heels and frogs and balanced loading, are made from the inside out by nutrition and exercise on a variety of surfaces.


  1. This 2015 part of winter has been murder with the temperatures. With no indoor and snow/ice cover, I've done little with my Boys. I do go out to feed them three times a day and check them but that's about it. I admire your fortitude. I used to be more like you, but age has a way of catching up with me. Give your little herd an extra hug from me for being so good for you.

  2. I too admire your fortitude Kate! I would be snuggled in front of the fire watching a good movie or reading a good book. I can't even blame the weather for not riding, just lazy I guess. I am however, looking into someone to give me some lessons. I need someone to bark orders at me! My lazy boy Eagle will be in for some changes (hopefully) soon...well, me too I guess. :)

  3. It's just too cold for me to ride. I can do 25 and up but not below zero, which it has been quite a lot lately. I know the indoor is good to get out of the wind but I was in ours the other day and it felt like a freezer inside. I think I could hang meat in there! So I give you a lot of credit for braving the cold.

    Sounds like all good rides. Hopefully, the weather will start warming up sooner than later. At least it's staying lighter later.

  4. You are getting more rides in cold weather than a lot of us who have better weather!

  5. I just can't quite manage to ride when it's 15 degrees, so kudos to you!!


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