chores · longeing · winter

Winter Mocks Plans

First – Hannah put up some terrific photos & video of the GMHA sleigh rally – go and check them out!

After a gorgeous day on Sunday, I arrived at the barn to do chores on Monday morning to find the vilest weather possible: mid-30s and raining. All the snow and slush had frozen solid overnight, and the water was pooling on top of the ice. It was impossible to walk with any speed. The assistant barn manager and I spent nearly an hour chipping gravel from the frozen pile at the back of the barn, shoveling it into a wheelbarrow, and then scattering it in front of the barn to try and create a path with some traction to get to the paddocks. About three quarters of the way through, the rain picked up and started blowing sideways and we reached the joint decision not to turn them out anyway.

But it was a damn fine path nonetheless.

I put Tristan’s waterproof sheet on him, grabbed some hay, and put him out in the shed paddock you can see in that picture anyway. He hung out in the shed, and I checked on him every 20 minutes or so to make sure he wasn’t too cold or wet or generally disgruntled. All the other horses got a turnout rotation in the indoor to stretch their legs while we did their stalls. Tris managed about 2 hours outside before he asked to come in, and he got cozied up with a cooler in his stall with some hay for a little while – and then he got his turn in the indoor to keep the baby company.


Baby Greta was so happy to be out of her stall she bucked and farted her way around the indoor, and Tristan even put up some antics, cantering around and following her and making some leaps through the air. I wish I’d thought to get a video of it!

When stalls were done, I settled in with a snack to watch a jumping lesson. Prince heard the crinkle of my cheese & crackers wrapper and opted out of focusing on the job at hand.

Then Tris got longed with his chambon and his rubber butt-thingy. I tightened up the chambon so that it would actually kick in if he flung his head into the air and after some cranky flailing, he settled in to some beautiful stretchy work. I really do like the chambon: it’s the sort of thing that doesn’t trap him into a particular way of going, but reminds him without harshness when he’s dramatically bracing. He was even starting to soften in the canter!
Tonight, the plan was to ride and incorporate poles at walk and trot, but when I checked the weather forecast this morning I discovered that we’re not predicted to get into double digits, and the wind chill is far, far below that. I’m still a bit torn but it looks like the smart thing to do will be to stay home, since it’ll be too dark to hack (my preferred too-cold activity) and we won’t get any productive work done in single digit temperatures. Booo.

6 thoughts on “Winter Mocks Plans

  1. I know, but grrrrr. Every time I get some work in and have plans for more…wham! More weather. If it would just pick something and stick with it then I could have a consistent course, but this variation is driving me crazy.


  2. Single digits is fairly standard – I walked to work this morning – it's more that it's just too cold for quality work! Tris won't even be wearing his blanket until it goes below zero but if his lungs are damaged or his muscles can't warm up properly exercise is out of the question. 😦


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