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  1. #281
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    7,018

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    Temps in the high thirties and beautiful sunshine have turned the previously useable paddock into a heavy, sodden, slippery disaster. It was head out on the road or give up entirely.

    The snow banks have narrowed the shoulder of the road and make it impossible to get off of the road if there is dangerous traffic but there is a stretch with several driveway havens that is long enough for a nice canter. We worked back and forth there until the novelty of finally being able to stretch his legs wore off.

    It has been 25 years since I had a horse I could hop on bareback in the middle of winter and canter up the road, and quite honestly it took me almost 7 years of steady work to get him (and my riding back) to this point. It was quite a bench mark for us.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  2. #282
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2007
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    853

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    Did some free lunging Monday. He actually bucked about 4 times, which is a record for him. Got some careful trotting in across the road yesterday. Things are still pretty mucky from the snow melt. Hopeful we might be able to do a little in the ring after work today.
    Between the bucks and the vibes I get from him on the ground, it makes my heart warm to know he is obviously feeling good!
    Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair spins.



  3. #283
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2005
    Location
    Sweet, sweet Virginia!
    Posts
    1,715

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    I got on my guy last night and have come to the following conclusion: training ride + spur = way-easier-to-ride horse. WHY did I wait so long to do either? Oh well, onward.
    "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"



  4. #284
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,684

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    Got in a couple of nice rides over the weekend. The footing's a bit more slippery now, as the nice days have melted the surface of the snow, and then it freezes at night into a lumpy mess
    Sunday afternoon some of the older teens at my barn decided to go for a short trail ride in the fields behind the barn. I'd finished my ride and decided not to tack up again and join them....and I was glad I didn't because the poor kids ended up getting buzzed by a mob of five snowmobiles. A little more excitement than I would have wanted!



  5. #285
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    7,018

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    Another nice bareback ride on the road in the sunshine again. I'm getting quite good at this. I'm beginning to ask my horse for everything I would in a standard hack with a saddle.

    I can get on by myself just fine. I have a three step block in the indoor that is high enough for me to throw a leg right over all 16.3hh of him, and the appropriate amount of hop puts me topside without launching myself over his right shoulder. My dismounting technique, however, needs some work.

    With all the snow and ice and slippery paddock boots, dismounting in the driveway risks having my feet come out from under me leaving me sprawling in a heap under Mr. Horse. Hasn't happened yet, but I can picture it. The second option is throwing both arms around his neck and swinging under like a monkey hanging from a limb. Not very dignified (says Mr. Horse who thought there might be something seriously wrong with my mind). Option three, let myself back into the indoor and aim for the mounting block. This works quite well except the time I didn't hit it squarely which again, runs the risk of a pile up underneath Mr. Horse.

    This used to be a lot easier.



  6. #286
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    622

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    Stayed on track this week and got both Tuesday and today's ride. Cookie seems to be really enjoying the regular trail riding. Doesn't hurt that it's been sunny with temps in the high 40/low 50 range.

    SmartAlex - the bareback riding sounds like fun. I'm a wienie about trying it myself, though I'm very tempted to try it in the indoor when I can get it to myself. I don't want witnesses if I should slip off - though my horse is only 15.1 so I don't have to far to go before hitting the ground.



  7. #287
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2005
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    Sweet, sweet Virginia!
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    I was hoping to get a lesson and maybe hop a few jumps this weekend, but it looks like that will be snowed out (boo). BUT, I am prepared with wool socks and polarfleece breeches, and pony has snow pads on now, so I'm actually kinda more excited about the idea of getting to ride in the snow! (Is that bad? Don't tell my trainer I said that.)
    "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #288
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    7,018

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    Man! The wind was bitter today! My plan became "ride as far as you can into it, then turn and try to enjoy your ride!" I had one hand on the reins and the other kept the neck of my vest tight against my chin.

    As of this past weekend the snow had all melted so it was back to decent hacks down the road. Today I took him about a mile out (into the wind). It was nice to get away from home. He had a great time with a brisk half mile gallop on the lovely firm footing. The paddocks haven't been much fun lately.



  9. #289
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2005
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    Sweet, sweet Virginia!
    Posts
    1,715

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    Ooorrr not on that snow. I guess it's back to the grindstone in the cold tonight. Phooey.
    "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"



  10. #290
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,012

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    Well after umpteen days of cold rain, I was looking forward to a nice ride tomorrow. But no, my horse had other ideas. He was goofy in turnout today and removed a shoe. Farrier won't be able to come out until Monday. Darn.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  11. #291
    Join Date
    Nov. 11, 2008
    Posts
    363

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    We have had a lot of rain over the last two weeks. Last Sunday we did our best and squished around the arena in the middle of the afternoon. The ring was in standing water all week until a big thunderstorm came up Thursday night which pretty much washed it all out. I was able to ride Friday in the cold for about 1/2 hour and the arena wasn't bad. Hopefully we are done with the rain for a while but the mid 60s are gone for a while too. Got new skiing gloves to wear while not riding, think my hands might have been a bit warmer. Burrr.....



  12. #292
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    7,018

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    Today was 41* and sunny in Western NY but with a stiff 30 mph wind. The fresh two inches of snow melted pretty quickly. If we were in a sheltered area the sun was very warm, but there wasn't much shelter to be had from that persistent wind. Not as bad as Thursday though!

    We tried the ring and the fields but they were way too wet. I don't like hacking on the roads on Saturday when everyone from the village is headed to the town transfer station with their garbage. The traffic can get pretty heavy and with a 30 mph wind whistling past your ears it is nearly impossible to hear what is coming. I hacked down to a cross roads where at least we could school back and forth perpendicular to the wind which made it much easier to hear and I rode against traffic so if I missed one it wasn't coming right up on our flank.

    My horse has adapted very well to bare feet this winter which is good since the snow pads wouldn't stay on in the horrendous mud we have under the snow. He kept his condition very well through the holiday neglect and comes back to the barn each time cool and breathing easy.



  13. #293
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,012

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    Great lesson on a schoolie today, since my horse is still sans shoe. We got to ride outside and the footing was great. Not frozen, not water-logged. Today and tomorrow should be nice, and then the cold (for us) weather comes in. Monday's high is only expected to be 39, with a low of 16. Tuesday temps forecast to be 31 and 18. Not sure what we'll do about the Tuesday night group lesson. I may opt out.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  14. #294
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2012
    Posts
    618

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    Hello, I'm new to the COTH forum and really new to the idea of am online support group. But I could really use it. I ride with an awesome trainer at her small barn. Unfortunately, I'm only one of two adult riders who are looking to actively show this year and own their own horses. The other adult is significantly younger than I, still lives at home with her parents, and is really nice, but I just don't know that we have much in common. On top of that, I'm a classic over achiever, type A personality who is having a rough time realizing that riding takes time and perseverance, and there aren't any shortcuts if you want to be good.

    Anyway, I have a full time job, a great horse and a wonderful supportive husband, but it's a struggle for me to get out to the barn during the week in the winter - although I've worked out an arrangement at work that technically would allow me to ride one day from Monday to Friday. However, in the cold it is really hard to get motivated on the weekend let alone during the week, and my trainer is of the belief that the winter is for everyone - horses and riders - to take some time off. I definitely need to work on my riding in general or I'm not going to be able to do much this spring, so I end up staying and feeling bad if I don't ride. Yeah ... bit of a mess. Any suggestions that will motivate me, improve my riding, or convince me to take time off?
    ~ In the chaos of the showing, remember riding should be fun for all, including our 4-legged kids.



  15. #295
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2007
    Location
    Zone IV/Area III
    Posts
    1,214

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    sammicat- maybe you need some good winter gear??

    I love these pants for winter riding:
    http://tropicalrider.com/product_detail.asp?p=142

    You may also ask if there is a day or two every week where she comes out at specific time and ask if you can ride at the same time. I do better when I KNOW I have to be at the barn at a certain time. Or you could see when your trainer rides and try to hack with her, she may even give you a few pointers every ride.

    I'm kind of a typical amateur in that I don't enjoy going out to the barn every day by myself and riding. Sometimes I like to be able to hack with other people or go on a trail.

    Hope that helps!



  16. #296
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    622

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    I didn't have the opportunity to ride for the past 8 days, but had a good one today. Last Saturday we hosted an IEA show (Our middle school team rode to champion, high schoolers showed well, but the two teams who took champion and reserve were better Saturday.) Rest of the week was rain, rain, rain, mud, mud, mud. It came up sunny and dry yesterday, but we had another show and I didn't close it out until dark.

    Today, however, it was warmish and sunny. Had a great solo trail ride this morning and I'm still basking in the afterglow.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #297
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2012
    Posts
    618

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    reay - thanks for the advice. I tend to make sure I get out when I know someone is expecting me, either my trainer or another rider, so you're idea is definitely worth trying. As far as winter gear, I am fortunate enough to have my share of it. I still don't like the cold - lol

    On the positive side, I rode today despite the chilly, blustery winds, and my guy was fantastic. He's a good size so I've been riding him in a medium-wide gullet for the last several months, but decided to switch to a wide gullet today. (He's been cranky when I'm tacking up so I thought it might be worth trying). He was super! Walk-trot-canter transitions were simple and on pace, his jumping was good and consistent, we even did some extended canter and hand gallops in the field and he was responsive when moving up and back.

    Now, the question I have is whether a change is saddle width could have this profound of an effect or if it's just coincidence? I also changed his bit yesterday from a short-shanked, Pelham to a full-cheek, Dr. Bristol snaffle with a slow twist, so I was expecting him to be less responsive, not more. Before I bought him, he was ridden almost exclusively in an elevator bit because he KNOWS how big and strong he is and will be a bit of a bully if he thinks he can get away with it.

    Anyway, I would love to hear your opinion. Hopefully, the weather will hold and I can ride tomorrow. Soon he will start his winter vacation (6 weeks or so of being a horse) so I would really like to finish off with a good feeling about what we've accomplished.
    ~ In the chaos of the showing, remember riding should be fun for all, including our 4-legged kids.



  18. #298
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2005
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    Sweet, sweet Virginia!
    Posts
    1,715

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    Got my lesson yesterday after all and, boy!, was it worth riding in the wind. Definitely made some breakthroughs and a lot of progress. The boss says maybe we can start jumping again next weekend. Of course, it's supposed to get brutal cold in between, so we'll see how much riding gets done this week.
    "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"



  19. #299
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    5,884

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    I was doing better until last week, when my horse felt a little off as we started trotting in our lesson, so gave him a couple days off... he was about 90% better on Saturday, and I planned on riding today and lessoning tomorrow if he was normal again, but as it's 5 degrees out and going to be the same tomorrow, I guess he's getting even more time off. Ah well, at least he should be completely sound by the time it warms up again...
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

    Graphite/Pastel Portraits



  20. #300
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    7,018

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    I will NOT be braving the elements today! 3* with -16* wind chill. 6 to 10 inches of accumulation expected. That's too much for me! I'm staying inside


    2 members found this post helpful.

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