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Adult Winter Rider Support Group

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  • I have been so lucky that the snow has held off so we are still out hacking. Last week was only walks in the grass because he had a shoe off. We are now back to full work and he was so happy to stretch his legs.

    Time to add a long john layer under my winter breeches though!


    • Do we get bonus points for riding when it's below freezing? It was cold tonight (by Tennessee standards). Very fun lesson, and we all survived just fine.
      It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

      www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.


      • I should have ridden today but wussed out. It was cold and my new boots will be here any day... resolved to go tomorrow though. I did have a great lesson on a lesson pony Sunday, a great lesson on my pony Saturday, and a good hack Friday, so I don't feel too bad.
        "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

        Graphite/Pastel Portraits


        • Finishing up a short ride last night, my phone rings.
          Mom: chit chat chit chat; "I hear funny sounds; where are you?"
          Me: "Well, in all honesty, I'm sitting on my horse, walking him over ground poles with one hand while talking to you on speaker phone with the other."
          Mom: "No, you're not! Are you really?"
          Me: "Yep, true story. As we were trotting toward the cavaletti when you first called, I thought maybe I'd wait and call you back instead of trying to answer 4 strides out."

          It's a shame this horse isn't quiet, huh? Made my whole day
          "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"


          • Double post deleted
            "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"


            • Originally posted by JBCool View Post
              Me: "Yep, true story. As we were trotting toward the cavaletti when you first called, I thought maybe I'd wait and call you back instead of trying to answer 4 strides out."
              I don't think my phone has ever rung while I'm riding. If it rang in the middle of trot poles, my horse would probably trip and fall.

              Once, when I was tacking up, I pocket dialed my voice mail. The recording is doing its thing, slightly muffled by my winter vest and my horse is looking around trying to zero in with his bunny ear antenna.... "what was that? Did you hear that? There it is again!"


              • I had my friend call me a few weeks ago while we were riding at night. Little mare was a bit up so I used the phone call as a good excuse to walk her for a little bit.

                Finally got back out to the barn and rode today after being out of town for a week. The holidays are taking a toll on my riding, this week my friend and I can only meet up Friday night after work to ride. Went out this AM when it was 42F and windy. I purchased fleece breeches about a week ago and was pretty warm in them. I might have stayed at home, but I had everyone's Christmas presents to bring to the barn so that really motivated me to get out there.

                Little gray mare decided if we were going to ride in the cold and wind and I was not going to be there to give her paddock cakes because I was down at the hunt that she wasn't going to trot ground poles, she was going to canter! Did a bunch of canter laps and called it quits when I started to get tired. Was surprised I actually rode for 30 minutes. I don't do well riding without a plan!

                Will get to ride Friday night then Sunday afternoon the rest of the week due to work and not riding alone at night.

                Do think my trainer liked the beaded lace shawl and fingerless gloves I knit her as Christmas gifts!


                • This autumn/winter, to stay motivated to get out and ride, I set myself a goal to teach my horse to jump. Now I am an ex-Saddle Seat rider, and my jump experience consists of some “knock down and out” classes on the saddle club circuit when I was a teenager on a fearless ranch bred horse who did not know the meaning of “no”. My knowledge of jumping consists only of what a reasonably sensible person can absorb for reading and observing. A failed attempt several years ago has shown me that my horse has no natural aptitude for jumping and no natural bravery. But in the past few years I have come to understand how he learns and I know if I can break a task down into simple steps I can teach him just about anything and he will then run with it because he is a natural show off and loves human approval.

                  Armed with a book, and a good set of cavelletti and ground poles, I have been spending the ends of our rides, once or twice a week teaching him that these piles of wood are “jumps” and that if I point him at a jump, it is his responsibility to do his darndest to get us to the other side. I have them set up across the outdoor in increments of 4”, 6” 10” and 14”. That gives me a wide range of options depending on his progress. As for my part, I just commit to a line and believe that we are going over. Plan your ride and ride your plan.

                  The first few weeks he was a little unsure. He trotted towards each cavelletti of increasing height with his ears swiveling asking “why are we trotting towards this little fence and what do you want me to dooOoo?” We progressed slowly and I rode with more confidence than I truly felt and he had some awkward, indecisive moments but never refused. I was able to build my own confidence in leaving the ground and have made some adjustments to my seat so I am going over with him in a fairly organized fashion, heels down, eyes up, good release.

                  Today, he trotted boldly down the line I chose towards the 14” with his fuzzy little ears confidently forward saying to me “there is a ‘Jump’ and we.are.going.to.juuUump.it.” He landed softly in a relaxed, collected canter (a rare enough occurrence in itself) dropped to a happy swinging walk, and we headed back to the barn in a cloud of mutual satisfaction. I am very proud of him and just a little proud of myself.
                  Last edited by SmartAlex; Dec. 13, 2012, 04:58 PM.


                  • Good on you, SmartAlex! Glad you two are having fun learning something new! Don't forget to grab mane!
                    "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"


                    • I just saw this thread and i am IN! Even though in theory I COULD get out of work by 3 and get to the barn (I'm usually in my office by 7:30) I can't ever seem to get there before 5.. It's dark and cold and lately Mr. Muddy Pants has been fresh.. so it's not too enticing to groom 10 lbs of mud off his NECK and LEGS (he's blanketed) and then ride. I will not wimp out today, i will not wimp out today, i will not wimp out today..


                      • Originally posted by JBCool View Post
                        Good on you, SmartAlex! Glad you two are having fun learning something new! Don't forget to grab mane!
                        I have an "Oh Crap" strap mid-neck. And, now that I don't have to steer so much I can even use it! The first time over that height he jumped me right out of the tack, I smacked him in the flank with my right leg, and I learned that he can (I believe the saying is) "take a joke"? LOL!


                        • HA HA Keep at it SmartAlex.. i guarantee you will have your horse jumping around WAY before I have my OTTB doing it... we're on the 10 year plan!


                          • Hey, we've all taken that jump, SmartAlex! Sounds like you've got a good boy, there.
                            "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"


                            • Originally posted by Leo86 View Post
                              OK...I've figured it out! The problem was, I didn't have a goal. I am super goal oriented and just HAD to have something to work for. So, I created a budget that would allow for me to go to a horse show in early February. Then I created an exercise plan for Leo alllll the way up until the day of the horse show! I'm on day 6 of the plan and have stuck to it!

                              Today I totally didn't feel like riding, but knowing that I had already written in my plan to do walk/trot transitions made me force myself to get bundled up and go!

                              I spent a lot of time googling different riding exercises, watching videos of good riders, found my 101 jumping exercises book and wrote a detailed plan for each riding session of exactly what I was going to do. It might sound crazy, and it took a lot of time, but it has been amazing!
                              Thanks for this! That is what I needed too. I'm a project manager in my other life... so I get it. A goal and a plan. Got mine too now and it does make a difference. I'm working my plan in spite of cold that makes my nose run and my eyes so watery I can't see those jumps. Good thing Mojo can see them...

                              BTW anyone have a good solution for that runny nose? It's gross!


                              • I also have a hard time seeing as my eyes stream tears from the cold and my nose runs. I seem to be the only one at my barn with this problem. Nothing to suggest except keeping a pocketful of tissues and periodically giving horse a break whilst blowing nose and wiping face. (My horse is named Mojo, too!)
                                Mon Ogon (Mo) and Those Wer the Days (Derby)


                                • Tissues? Who has time for tissues? LOL the other day, i was lessoning on my horse and working really intensely... no time for tissues.. the old sleeve had to do as i was trotting around with snot running down my face.. LOL it was kind of funny!


                                  • Ok, I half-bailed last night. I did go to the barn, though, to trim extra hair off the pony (until the clipper batteries died), do his carrot stretches and cleaned my tack. I just didn't feel into getting on and being 10pm by the time I got home. But playing in the stall with him was fun anyway.
                                    "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"


                                    • I am afraid Dec has not been good for me (or I have not been good for Dec).

                                      I rode on Dec 1,2,3.

                                      Then the trip (including packing and recovering) to the Eventing Annual Meeting, followed by the CDCTA meeting (for which I had to prepare minutes) meant my next ride was a jumping lesson on Wed 12 Dec.

                                      Then I got sick on Thursday, somewhat better today, and I am heading up to NY for Anne Frey's funeral. I will get back mid day SUnday.

                                      And I still need to fit in Xmas preparations.

                                      But I plan to go to a jumper show on Dec 29, so that gives me a goal.

                                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                                      • I am giving myself a pat on the back, rode in the dark Monday night and Thursday night (in addition to Sat. and Sun.- been out to the barn every day) - should be getting off work early today, so I may be able to ride in day light! (would love to be able to jump a bit).

                                        Still need to get a headlamp, I think it would really help my night riding.
                                        APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                                        • People who live where it is really cold, please help! My friend and I are OMG freezing our feet and hands off riding at night. I have Kerrits Wintersport gloves that I used to think were the greatest thing ever and some 100g thinsulite lined work gloves for after riding, but my hands were so cold last night I was having trouble using my fingers. My feet are also freezing despite wool socks. Think I'm going to add some foot warmers to my boots and maybe even get winter boots.

                                          But, please help my poor freezing hands! I think I may have a tiny bit of a circulation issue as my hands are pretty much always cold, I live in fingerless gloves at work.

                                          TIA for any suggestions, I'm dying in 40F here (feel free to laugh at the southerner by way of California).