I always find that after I blog continuously for a month I need a break. LOL! And truthfully nothing exciting is happening around here right now. I have had a bunch of little ideas for posts but nothing that seemed worthy to write on its own. So here is a little bit of everything with very little coherence. LOL!
We are having the oddest winter so far; it has been warm and MUDDY and just recently has gotten very cold and the ground froze up. I am trying hard to get the mares out 2-3 times a week each, but there have been days I wanted to ride and it was just too muddy. Over the weekend it was a bit too frozen. Oh well! Maybe it will snow (which I hate but it is better than the frozen rutted ground!) and then I can ride in the snow as long as the ice stays away.
It is funny to me that over the spring and summer I would ride both mares each day and at the end, in my fatigue, would think, "Soon it will be winter and we can have some downtime!" Of course, now that it is here, I hate it! LOL! I miss riding them both each day, 5-6 times a week. I wish I had an indoor! But then of course it would be too cold or too dusty...ha ha ha...so instead of being a complainer I am just enjoying my horses each day. Some days it is just feeding, mucking, and picking feet. Today I brushed everyone as they ate their dinners, which is one of my favorite ways to be with them. They all are well behaved enough to stand quietly in their stalls without halters/leads as I spiff them up. I have decided to not clip anyone this year as long as I can help it, so all the mares have thick, luxuriant coats. They are like big stuffed animals.
Sparky is looking and feeling so well. I always breathe an inner sigh of relief each morning that she greets me with her head over her stall door. At her age (29), I always feel the need to be prepared for "that morning." Uggg. :*( She thoroughly enjoyed the massive amounts of mud in the bottom of her paddock these past few weeks and showed me such by slathering it all over her body each day. Ha ha ha. It was almost warm enough last week for me to contemplate bathing her, but I just broke out the Showsheen and Cowboy Magic instead!
Dreamy has been enjoying some "fun" and easier rides over the past few weeks. I have taken her out on the trail as much as possible, taking easy strolls through the pines and then bouncy canters up the hills (there are a lot of hills!) and just riding for fun instead of "training". She is still in decent shape and I hope I can ride as enough through the winter to avoid having to completely start her at square one in the spring.
I switched Dreamy's Smartpak over from Recovery EQ and Glanzen 3 to just Trisport, thinking I was so smart to save some cash. Yeah, no. We are in week 5 and she is feeling stiff under saddle. She is not lame and granted she is not in 100% shape, but I know my mare and she is not as fluid and free in her gaits as before. So much for trying to be frugal! I love Recovery EQ and Dreamy has done so well on it; I changed her Smartpak back last week. I will finish up the Trisport until the Recovery EQ comes at the end of the month. I think I might actually write a testimonial for the Recovery EQ and send it to Smartpak. Normally I am not one to do that, but in this case I think it warrants one!
And Miss Reva...she has been accepting bending at the trot as a normal part of her life lately...ha ha ha. She has also begun using speed to show her displeasure at times so it is back to reestablishing rhythm and tempo with her for a bit. She is much more opinionated that I gave her credit for in the beginning and I think will prove to be more challenging in the end than Dreamy. But I could be wrong. Her training came along in leaps and bounds this past fall and despite her lightened workload right now, I am hopeful that we will be able to easily pick things back up in the spring. Her body has changed so much and I can tell correct work is starting to improve her overall balance.
Call me crazy, but when you have horses in your backyard, you tend to notice every little detail. Reva enjoys cavorting in her paddock/pasture and when she bucked she always looked like she might fall over at any moment on her head. She always seemed "top heavy" to me and her back end would be somewhere out in the next town over. But just in the last few weeks I am noticing how much she now uses her hind end when she plays. She has taken to rearing up and spinning off her hind end, something I have never seen her do. When she plays she is much more "up" in the front now. She finally is starting to look graceful when she plays rather than like a drunken wind up toy. LOL! Yay for correct dressage work!
So overall, things are going well! I am not dreading winter as much as I was a month ago. It helps that I am still using my barn hose (except for yesterday, Sunday, when it hovered right around 30 all day). ;-) I am sure we will all pay for this mild winter later on, but I will take it for now! I still have three year end banquets coming up in January and February which I am looking forward to. And I am hopeful to get in a few beach rides and lessons this winter when I can!