Thursday, November 3, 2016

Fall Frolicks

It's officially fall here in the Midwest.  Temperatures have been very unusually warm.  We've had some rain lately, which meant that the grass is quite soggy again, so Chili and Donni weren't turned out from the drylots into the much bigger pastures.

Chili has taken the winds + lack of freedom + so many crunchy leaves everywhere=super expressive

I joked in the above photo she's channeling her inner park horse.  Well, she doesn't really carry her neck like a park horse, but still.  She wanted to be a firebreathing dragon today.

I turned her out in the round pen for a few minutes so she could have a chance to eat some grass and think she had some semblance of freedom.

I rode Donni first.  I think I need to go ahead and find a pad that I can shim as she has lost a lot of her topline in advancing age, but she has developed those hollows near her shoulders with the extreme lack of work.  Bad horse owner, I know.  I had the fluffier pad on today, which helps the rest of the saddle, but doesn't really correct the issue.

Despite this, Donni started out being a little energetic.  I just went into the outdoor arena without lunging and hopped on.  She wanted to trot off, so we took a few minutes of just asking her to walk and remembering that being a giraffe is indeed unnecessary.  I forget sometimes with riding Chili so often now, how different Donni is to ride.  I always thought Donni was soft in the mouth, but compared to Chili, she felt a little heavy.

We ended up just doing about ten minutes of trot work and one canter circle.  It's not worth it with an older horse to stress them too much, but Donni did settle down.

I always call her my tattle tail (tale?) horse as if my equitation slips (OK, it doesn't slip, it's just not really there), she bobbles, her head comes up, and I generally look inept.  Great focus to sit back, look at where I'm going, and try not to lock my elbows. 

I really should try and make it more of an adventure to ride her once or twice a week.  She is really turning into a very reliable horse in her lack of use. 

I rarely see the other boarders at the barn, but given I was off randomly on a Thursday, I texted one to see if she wanted to go for a quick trail ride.  It was warm in November, why not?

Chili was of course, still feisty and opinionated and of the decision that the trail looked way different with all the leaves on the ground, but hey, we went the correct direction without too much objection.  I want to keep getting her out there if I can before the snow flies to see if she will begin to relax and long walk again out alone.  It is sometimes much more difficult at home as she has such a routine on the path that any differences in the trees coming down or the corn is cut bother her, where when we trailer out, she doesn't have a clue, so is more relaxed.

Go figure.

What about your horses?  Are they better at home on their routine path or in the novel new environment?

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