Uncategorized · winter

Back in the Saddle

Our hideous cold snap finally broke, going from low single digits on Sunday to mid-20s on Monday. It was glorious. It felt like spring. I barely even wanted to put a coat on.

I pulled Tristan’s blankets off and…yeesh. Someone put his several weeks of eating hay to stay warm to good use. He’s 23 this year, and apparently he’s not going to be the type of senior horse that weight melts off. Which is good, I guess! Keep in mind that he gets basically no grain – 1/4 quart, or about a cup and a half – and is fed almost entirely on hay. In the last few weeks, it’s been essentially free choice.

img_1557no really he went up a girth hole. in three weeks.

Since Tris has effectively had three weeks off now, I started Monday and last night with just 30 minutes of work, mostly at the walk. Loads and loads of suppling exercises: asking him to step out smartly and then bend, soften, step into the bridle, take up the bit.

On Monday we did a bazillion leg yields at the walk and then 5 minutes at the trot. Last night, we worked hard on spiraling in and out at the walk, focused on really getting access to his hind end.

img_1559his face says otherwise, but he was actually happy to see me & to get back to work.

The first night back, it was still pretty chilly and people were shoveling snow of the roof, so for Tristan, he was pretty up. He volunteered a few steps of trot and did not want to go into the far corner where the shoveling was happening. He was quite nicely forward in the walk, and relatively – though not catastrophically – tense through his whole body. But that’s it. That’s about as nutty as he gets, even after weeks off. I take that too much for granted sometimes.

img_1569my view when I arrive at the barn after dark. ready for longer days, please.

Tonight, more work at the trot, and then Thursday & Friday it will be into the 40s (!!!) before dropping back for the weekend. I still haven’t clipped, because just when I was getting ready to we had our deep freeze and it was everything we could do to keep them warm. I might clip on Friday, depending on how warm he get for my ride on Thursday.

img_1574despite being fat, he’s still starving. it’s hard to be Tristan.

Somewhat boring, but wow, it felt good to sit in a saddle again on Monday. It always feels like some missing piece of my brain clicks back in place, and I am instantly 20% calmer and happier after a ride when I’ve had a long time off.

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