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It's Coming...Winter Goals?

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  • It's Coming...Winter Goals?

    Yes, it really is. And since I'm a winter lover, I am thrilled. I hate riding in the heat. So I've been trying to get myself into a groove and routine. Here are my winter goals:

    - Get QH Jazz fully back into shape and riding regularly in the ring and light trails (every 2 days or so, at least). So we can know, once and for all, just how rideable he'll be. Would love to start taking dressage lessons with him again in the deep winter in someone's indoor if he's up for it.

    - Keep TWH Luke in shape, and build up his hind end. Lesson more on him until I get a better understanding and command of his gaits. Keep doing one long trail ride each weekend, so he doesn't die of boredom. Keep working on riding alone with him around the neighborhood to develop his courage.

    - Start riding my SO's horse (SSH) a few times a week to keep him in shape, since he's travelling so much. And on that note, find more riding buddies.

    - Get lights up around the ring. Any kind of lights. Just so we can see enough to not run into the black fences. Figure out more ways to have fun in the ring, for when we're trapped on property.

    And what are your goals?
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
    <>< I.I.

  • #2

    You have very impressive goals. I am not so energetic. Do you get much snow/bitter cold? It's hard to trail ride in the winter here bc it is either really cold and my hands would be needing amputation by the time I tacked up (we don't have a barn, just a three sided shed), and there isn't anywhere to ride once the snow gets too deep. I might try to ride around the fields and woods by my house a little, until it's impossible. I could actually ride bareback, a little snow might soften a fall. I'd like to take some group lessons at a local place. Last winter we did NOTHING except feed, water, clean up poop, so any riding whatsoever would be great. I think our last ride was in November, right before deer hunting. Looks like you will be riding a lot more than I will be.


    • Original Poster

      Gee Cloudy, I'm sorry! But Virginia is a bit milder than Wisconsin, so ambitious winter goals are attainable if I actually apply myself. I don't ride during the heat and humidity of late summer though -- so that's my time to hibernate and not ride and not have any goals.

      Even "clean out the loft and oil all my tack" is a good goal, so they don't necessarily need to be riding goals. Just what are you going to try to get accomplished this winter goals!
      "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
      <>< I.I.


      • #4
        Like my other Midwesterner friend noted, here in IL the winters are rather harsh, so half the time our goals include still having feeling in our feet when we try and dismount.

        I'm planning on riding outside a lot this winter, which is kinda challenging given the climate like I said, but my mare has made it quite clear she is a happier worker outside. So my winter goal is riding out in the snow as much as possible!
        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


        • #5
          Jazz, I'm in virginia also so looking forward to winter, I hate riding in the summer here. I acquired a little mustang mare over the summer with the worst case of summer itch I've ever seen, it's cleared up and we have started trail riding.
          She's got a few quirks to work out, rather herd bound and the goal this winter is taking her off the farm more, she does very well in a group, not so much alone, riding her away from the farm is the problem, once we get past a certain point she settles down.
          The important goal which precedes the above I quess is working on softness at all times, I'm hoping to take advantage of my neighbors trainer and ride over there once a week and take some dressage lessons to work on supple and soft.
          Around the farm, I decided to replace my beverly hillbilly fencing, and also want to combine my 2 paddocks into a bigger one. I have a 2 stall barn which I don't use after summer is over, my horses prefer their shed excpet in very hot weather, and I was going to offer my barn to someone on coth if they need to lay over a rescue horse until I remembered my fencing is humiliating.
          My ultimate goal is to get back to ctr's and limited distance, I think this little horse will be pretty good at it, she's sturdy as a tree and has great feet and her trot is pretty comfortable.


          • #6
            Me and the Porkchop (my Clyde-X) are losing our fluff together! I'm down 6 pounds so far and 2 inches. She's dropped a girth size YAY!!!

            So this winter, equipped with a nice wrap-around quarter sheet, we will be out riding on the Silver Comet Trail....doing longer trot and canter sets, as well as hills.

            And now that my Percheron is coming out of the last of a spring laminitis attack, she'll be back in light work too. I plan on using her in my lesson program, too, for my 5' 8" looooong-legged lady

            Would like to pick up one more student for my program. Helps pay the bills a wee bit

            Also plan to paint the Tack Armoire: http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2...15305252jynpVm
            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


            • #7

              We are busying ourselves with all sorts of pre winter jobs so the riding has slowed a bit but I do want to start up again. All winter I do trailer out to local parks to ride with or without snow...however, one year I go so stuck at a trail head that I had to get another local horse person to bring their tractor over and plow me out. Won't drive into snow again with a trailer...But riding in the snow is great and I have to say I spent the dough on Ariat Arctics or Glaciers or something and they do make a difference. Also spent the dough on a great pair of winter gloves meant for riding. I also (and this is disgusting) wrap my toes in paper towels before putting socks on...It makes your feet incredibly warm. Try it. It's a mess at night taking the socks off but worth it during the day.
              Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
              One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
              Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook


              • #8
                A2; Aren't you worried about hidden ice patches under the snow? That's what keeps me from riding as much as I would like in the winter.
                Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
                  A2; Aren't you worried about hidden ice patches under the snow? That's what keeps me from riding as much as I would like in the winter.
                  Well, a little bit. But when we have 2 feet of snow on the ground, it would be really hard for them to get all the way through the snow pack to the ice beneath it.

                  But yes, I watch the weather VERY closely. I keep note of how much freezing rain we got and where it collected. And I know where the low spots are on all our trails, and where the wind blows the snow off the ground. We do NOT ride unfamiliar trails in the winter!

                  In the winter we ride in the road ditches a lot too where the plows have piled all the snow up. That is deep packed snow and we wear paths down in it. It's the wind blown hay fields that are treacherous. Water collects in the dips, freezes, and then a light dusting of dry snow makes it too dangerous to even attempt. You need deep, packed snow to be safe.

                  I have studs for my easyboots though which gives a lot of traction. Particularly if you use a rasp to really rough up the heads. Also last winter I started trying something new. When I trimmed hooves, I left the bars high and then make a swipe with my knife at 45 degrees or so to leave a sharp edge on them. It seemed to give more traction when we were barefoot.

                  In all the years I've been riding winter trails up here, I remember 1 horse going down on ice 1 time. We were walking, and my friend's horse just sat down like a dog on her hindquarters.


                  • Original Poster

                    Chocomare -- How many gallons of paint are you going to need to paint that thing? And naming a horse Porkchop is just wrong. My husband call's my retired OTTB "french steak with a side of fries" and we just take offense at that.

                    Ugh, I should add weight loss to my list. I gained 15lbs over the last two years that I really just need to get rid of. But walking more and eating less just hasn't been enough. Guess I need to walk even more and eat even less.

                    Yellow-horse -- dressage is a great way to soften a horse! How fun that you get to do it on a mustang! And it's the perfect thing for winter, when (if you can) you want to be in an indoor.
                    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                    <>< I.I.


                    • #11
                      Yes, the Tack Armoire is rather large but I do so love it. Mr. C'mare and his buddy put their hearts into building it for me, exactly to my specifications. I loff him. I'm planning on a Cranberry paint for it with white trim on the front of the doors.

                      Re: The Porkchop. Wellll, her name is really Penny Lane. Or Penny Mare or just "P" - She got the moniker "Porkchop" from a COTHer posting here in the Trail Forum after seeing her picture. I believe the quote was "Ooooh, she's just a lil porkchop, ain't she?" and so it stuck.

                      See! http://pets.webshots.com/photo/29136...15305252odzMNv
                      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                      • #12
                        Awwww, why thank you!

                        Fluff Nugget ohhhh, that's a good one!
                        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                        • Original Poster

                          Gorgeous dapples on that big ol Pork Chop!
                          "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                          <>< I.I.


                          • #14
                            First, i am glad i am not the only one who has a horse who is less than....svelte? Beautiful horses, everyone.

                            A2, it's not so much the cold, although we had lots of days where windchill was 20 to 30 below, and that's just crazy, although I have snowmobiled in those temps. I know how to dress for the cold, and I also prefer cold over heat (HATE humidity and bugs) but I prefer fall temps. I walk the dogs unless the wind is bad, and it tends to be bad at our place a lot bc we live at the top of a hill, and it's mostly farm fields around. Anyway, I hope to try to ride more this winter in the woods behind our house, now that we have permission. Snow should be less deep there too, but we'd have to get thru a drifted field first. I worry about the ice bc we seem to get a lot of weird days where it rains too. Time is also a factor, with work and homework with kids, making supper, etc, but the night riding is a great idea! It's always so light out when there is a moon and snow. (I hate winter's short days more than anything.) I am definitely putting night riding on my list, and possibly also teaching my mare to pull a sled for the kids. Great pics! I'm still in no hurry for snow and bitter cold... I am also busy skiing/snowshoeing, so the horses tend to get way too much rest in the winter.


                            • #15
                              I'll be hauling to my trainer's place twice a week and maybe doing a third ride around the neighborhood if the weather/footing cooperate. I don't have an indoor, so it's a challenge when the weather's crummy and there's snow on the ground.


                              • #16
                                this reminds me of a day i was riding after a deep snow storm in nj, we got a couple of feet of snow and me and the yellowhorse were the only fools out there, she was a barefoot horse and handled the snow fine that way
                                anyway, we were at a creek crossing and the banks on both sides were pretty steep and icey, creek was frozen, so the old girl slid down but didn't want to try going up the other side, she tried a couple of times and thought about jumping, so my bright idea was to get off and let her go up and i'd follow, well i fell on my ass, horse just stood there and i just grabbed her tail and let her drag me down the creek until she found a spot she liked better to go up the other side, bad part was we had to do it again going home but i let her pick the spot going home
                                back in the day when i lived in nj, we would pack her up with all the feed and hay for the day and she'd carry it down to the pasture horses when the tractor got stuck in drifts
                                i'll tell you assomeone pushing 60 in 3 weeks i don't miss that


                                • #17
                                  Chasing Geese, then on to deer and coyotes!

                                  Resting up this fall- after a few negatives health-wise (that now explain his problem coming out of Peace Point's win... NEVER have any problems with coming out of anything before...) and easy trail riding, then winter starts my fun, play through as much snow as we can get- great work for hind end and back, esp. with 2 foot of snow! Still put on the miles, though I'll probably back down the speed and distance a lot. Unfortunately, it looks like clippers will be making an appearance this year. *sigh*
                                  One other favorite: Fall= chasing geese time with Strider (who loathes geese!), then Winter= chase the local coyotes. (We don't get close, but he finds it great fun... weird horse! Loves dogs, cats, cattle, pigs, and barn swallows, but hates those two animals with a crazy passion! (Like, gets mad or angry at them and will chase them himself in pastures and fields- I normally have to pull him away from them... must have had a bad experience with them as a youngster...) Also like running and grazing with deer in the moonlight...

                                  Nothing is more beautiful than riding in a field in snow under the stars and a bright moon...

                                  Hoping to start serious work in March area and get him ready for his first 50! (We'll see how motivated I am then! LOL!)
                                  Standardbred Lover- owner of Studs Hooligan, aka Strider, ex- pacer, retrained for eventing and endurance
                                  Strider-OTSTB-, Gus-OTTB-, and Rio-rescued QH!
                                  Founder of the High Maintenance Horses Clique


                                  • #18
                                    My goal is to ride at least once or twice a week this winter.
                                    Only dead fish go with the flow.



                                    • #19
                                      I'll spend the winter:

                                      1) Keeping Aaruba in shape so we can start on 50's early next season (that's April in my neck of the woods)

                                      2) Putting enough miles on my greenie Consolation that she's mentally ready to begin conditioning in spring for LD's and a 50 or two next year

                                      3) Getting Alternating Current going under saddle, hopefully to the point where I can start conditioning her in spring as well

                                      4) Gentling Sandstorm so I can start her under saddle next summer

                                      Methinks I'm a-gonna be busy next season!
                                      Training and campaigning Barb endurance horses at The Barb Wire.


                                      • #20
                                        You poor northerners! Here in Southern MD we're in the banana belt for sure. Since I moved here the winters have become milder and milder. It's a rare day in winter that isn't rideable and that's usually because of rain, not ice or snow. I've switched horses already and I'm focusing on Wynne (also know as Wynnie the Pooh, never met food he doesn't love) who is 5 turning 6 next spring. He's very green, spooks more than any horse I've ever owned and needs some consistant riding so that he can start some LD rides. My goal is to improve our communication and try to bring him out of his introvert type of personality. If you've ever listened to the Parelli explanation of extrovert/introvert personalities you'll understand what I mean. I've always picked extrovert types and he is very different for me. I find myself getting frustrated with his reactions to life (and me) and I need to learn how to handle him differently. So I have signed us up for a 2-day clinic in Nov with an NH trainer to hopefully start us in the right direction. Change for me is hard, I'm an extrovert with short patience. Sigh.

                                        Bonnie S.