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Adult Winter Rider Support Group

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  • It was pretty dreary, but not raining, so I rode. Starting off the New Year with a conditioning ride.

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


    • Dreary and dark yesterday, so I just walked around bareback until the sun went down...better than nothing, right?


      • There's no indoor where I board, but the recent snow is actually an improvement over the mud we had before! Usually I can ride only on weekends, as it's too dark to ride after work during the week. However, I had a few days off around the holidays, so I actually got to ride the pony for five days in a row! Granted, we couldn't do a lot, because there's ice in random spots under the snow, but the footing wasn't terrible, and it just felt wonderful to be riding again! On Sunday we had quite a bit of wind, enough to make snow "tornados" in the ring, but the pony was still calm and well behaved...good pony!


        • I finally got to ride today for the first time since the Friday before Christmas! For all of you riding outdoors in the snow....Are easyboots/Cavallo boots -or any boots for that matter good for riding in the snow on a shod horse with steel shoes....with all the recent snow we just got and lack of an indoor ring-I was debating on trying boots to prevent the snow from balling up on my shod horse...he was only just done less than 3wks ago...we didn't have snow of course at that point so I was able to ride no problem in my outdoor and trails....of course just a few days after being freshly shod on all 4 started all the snow...farrier isn't due out for 3more weeks...has anybody gone this route ? Or am I better off getting snowball pads ? Or going barefoot?!? I usually give my boys off once jan/Feb rolls around...but I wanted to try to keep riding and shipping down to my trainers 1-2/week this winter

          Thanks in advance


          • Back in the Saddle Again

            I tried snow pads this year because I feel my farrier trims too short for barefoot. They were hard to keep on. Granted, the mud is awful this year, but my (very active) horse pulled two shoes in two weeks. Up until now he has pulled two shoes in 4 years. But at least putting the pads on him gave him 4 weeks of growth after the trim and instead of replacing the thrown shoe the second time I just had the remaining one removed and he's barefoot.

            Following advice from another thread, my mother is using ski wax on her shod horse with excellent results so far.

            I finally got to ride today. Because January is "no stirrups month" it was bareback. We tried the back paddock, but as expected it was 14" of soft snow on top of 8" of soft mud. Ended up in the tiny indoor. Next time I'll try the other paddock and see if it's better.


            • Moving barns for more saddle time!

              Uff! I can’t stand the mud and the wet and I am now moving barns because of it!!

              Moving to a new barn on the 15th, looking forward to being able to ride more. Been riding has been spotty at best over the last several weeks, and now my horse has developed an abscess due to the persistent wetness (killing any plans of riding over the new years holiday).

              Looking forward to a new (mud free!) barn, longer days, and the new year!
              APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


              • Riding today and hopefully all weekend. The temps are going up to the 40-50 range so I hope to get to ride after work this week.


                • The temps have warmed up here to a balmy 29* with no wind. Yay!
                  I had the nicest ride today. As expected, the upper paddock which doubles as an arena on better days was useable, only 6-10" of snow on 2-4" of mud with one deeper drift.

                  We went out with the bareback pad and my horse exceeded my highest expectations for keeping his manners. Just one angry porpoise move when he slipped at the canter. I was so pleased with him and quite pleased with my riding. I felt very secure and balanced even at a brisk trot down the long side into the drifted end. What fun! I actually worked up a sweat but he was cool as a cuccumber and seemed to have a great time.


                  • Got two rides in since last time I checked in. Even though it was cold and drizzly rainy on Tuesday, I had to ride no matter what. I'm kind of superstitious about riding on the first day of the year because whatever I do on the first day, I'll be sure to be doing lots more of it throughout the year. It was too miserable to ride outside, so we went indoors. Quite a few people had the same idea so we had good company. Fortunately, the indoor is big enough (130 x 270) that we don't feel crowded.

                    I didn't get back in the saddle until today - but it was as close to perfect a winter Saturday can get. Upper 40's with strong sun and no wind. Rode for about an hour on the farm trails, just soaking up sun and enjoying the ride. Things are really starting to click.

                    We'll see how tomorrow pans out. The trainer will be riding in the morning, and I expect I'll hop on for a short hack afterwards.


                    • First ride of the New Year on my newly-turned four-year-old! He was pretty cross and cranky, so he met Mr. Martingale for the first time on the longe line today. He's quite disappointed that he can no longer put his poll in my lap, but I'm quite happy to not be eating his ears.

                      I know from previous experience that after he has been off a while, he will be a brat the first day. much improved the second, and "like buttah" the third. Unfortunately, I have to work on the third day and I don't have an indoor. But, you know, he's still a baby, so we'll fight the good fight. I work from home Tuesday and Friday, so I can usually squeeze in four days a week, weather and work permitting. Once the days lengthen, I'll be able to get on more of a schedule.
                      Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


                      • Coming in late to this thread. It's great to see how many others struggle with getting motivated to ride on these cold, short days. I don't feel so bad when I don't end up riding after reading this thread!
                        My hubby recently had a kidney transplant (thanks to our wonderful son!) so we are dealing with these issues on top of our normal stuff. Just a couple of days ago I found out I probably have an overactive thyroid, and then pile on the winter blahs as well - whammy!
                        I will ride when I can and not stress when I don't. Rode day before yesterday - a great hack across the road, a bit in the indoor, then walking around the pasture. Felt drained yesterday, and the rain didn't help. Hopefully I'll get to it today! Go Me!
                        Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair spins.


                        • Yesterday, I had a lesson with my hunter trainer for the first time since May! I borrowed an older junior hunter. Man am I sore today!


                          • Today a friend and I are hitting the trails!! It is supposed to warm up to the 40s


                            • Here's a clip from today's training ride (http://youtu.be/Akk5Qxfi48k ). I'm seeing some progress over the clip on post #225.


                              • Originally posted by reay6790 View Post
                                Yesterday, I had a lesson with my hunter trainer for the first time since May! I borrowed an older junior hunter. Man am I sore today!
                                Today when I got down to do some cleaning I thought... hmmm... why is my fanny sort of sore? Oh yeah, maybe it was 20 minutes of trotting around bareback! Amazingly, not too bad. We'll see if I can say the same on day 2.


                                • A good update off yesterday's ride: today the pony remembered his lessons on the longe line (longeing to the right is still a bit of a struggle, as he'd prefer to turn in and stop or change direction, but I managed to block his every evasive move today). Did serpentines at the walk and trot (yes, you will get off my inside leg), cantered briefly, then went for a nice walkabout around the field, including visiting the cows next door. A very successful mid-winter ride.
                                  Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


                                  • Did get a hack in today across the road. Was able to do a little trotting. It gets such a mucky mess when the snow is melting. He was a good boy despite being silly during the hill work. I did assure him there were no monsters on the other side of the hill, but alas he didn't believe me. It wasn't bad, sunny and 34 with just a slight wind. This week is supposed to be nice and warm. I hope this means more rides.
                                    Gosh, I just feel so much better this time of year if the sun shines!
                                    Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair spins.


                                    • So, after having the ring under ice for more than a week, we have finally found the footing. Got on my boy Thurs and Sat and you could barely tell he'd been off: behaved perfectly.
                                      This morning, he got a training ride from my trainer and we were both very proud of him. Had a few "Do I hafta?" moments but settled down to work and I got some great video of him moving better than he has in a LONG time! So excited to get this horse going strong and get to show him this year.
                                      "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 rode Belle on Jan 1, but threw a shoe. Blacksmith came on Friday.

                                        On Saturday i had a dressage lesson on Belle. On Suday i had a jumping lesson on Belle, and took Music for a hack.

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


                                        • 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.