A Little Horse Update

I have a confession to make.

Between the weather being less than ideal, a host of deadly sheep surrounding the arena, and the threat of marauding wolves in the forest, I’ve been a bit of a wimp for the last two weeks.  Call it SAD, January Blues, Le Cafard, missing my buddy MC, or whatever you like, but I’ve been in a bit of a funk, finding it hard even to get the dogs out for a decent walk.  I did manage to take Flurry out for a hack the week before last but it was bluddy freezing and my hands and feet were completely numb by the time I got back. Not to say I didn’t enjoy it – it’s always nice tramping through the woods with my little Flurry, but it just didn’t leave me champing at the bit to get out again any time soon.

After the heavy rain last weekend, everything was plastered in mud for the first half of this week (including the horses!) and it was still c-o-o-o-o-l-d!

Muddy Ponies!

But by last Thursday, I’d given myself a figurative kick up the bum and convinced myself to get back in the saddle.  I took Flurry into the arena for half an hour, he was lazy but obedient, and I felt a bit better for doing it.

On Friday, I did the same with Aero, with my usual caution when dealing with him!  I tacked him up, took him up to the arena and led him around on either rein.  The sheep seemed to be gone and he was quite relaxed, but just as I was leading him towards the mounting block, his head shot up, ears pricked.  I looked back towards the gate, and there was one of the other liveries, with her horse on a lead.

I’ve met her a few times, but she doesn’t seem to ride – she turns the horse out in the arena, he rolls and goes ballistic for ten minutes or so and then she take him back to his paddock.  We talked for a moment, and she asked if it would disturb me if she let the horse loose in the round pen.  I told her to go ahead, and I’d mount Aero if he was calm once her boy had blown off steam…

Well, Aero could have cared less!  He completely ignored the other horse’s antics, so I mounted and we worked away.  He was calm, attentive, obedient – what more could I want?

Very happy (possibly even ecstatic), I finished up after about forty minutes and had a nice chat with the other lady who was now giving her Boy a pick of grass.  We swapped numbers and she is hoping to hack out with me & Mr Safety Flurry in the next week or two (her Boy is a bit of a scaredy cat and doesn’t like to go out on his own).

Buoyed up by Thursday & Friday’s rides, the plan for Saturday was to walk the dogs in the morning and go for a trek with the LSH in the afternoon.  Unfortunately, the dog walk turned out to be twice as long as planned and I was wrecked afterwards – in no shape to ride!  So on Sunday, we made sure the dogs only got a short walk and took the boys out for a hack in the early afternoon.

It was one of those uneventful hacks – we were out for an hour, the weather was ok, Aero led, Flurry led, we walked, we trotted, we weaved in and out of trees, they were both great, there’s not much more to say, really.

I am, however, going to order a pair of hind boots for Flurry.  Both horses are suffering with the wet conditions (it is MUCH MUCH wetter than it was here last year), their frogs seem to be shrinking before my eyes and becoming more tatty looking every day.  Flurry seems just a little tender on his hind feet, and I think in order for us to be able to tackle 3 hour+ treks with a clear conscience, I will have to boot him on all four feet, for the moment anyway.

Off to the on-line boot shop I go!

10 thoughts on “A Little Horse Update

  1. I seem to have struck a chord with people on this Winter Woes thing! I guess we're all in this together :)I feel especially guilty about it though, seeing as I came to Provençe to avoid the WInter Woes!


  2. It's going on two weeks now that I haven't ridden. The weather is freeeeezing. Just starting to warm up tomorrow. I'm hoping by the weekend I will be good to go. Good for you for getting out there and getting some rides in. The winter is always depressing isn't it?


  3. I'm utterly convinced that barefoot is better for the horse than shoes… even if it becomes a lot of hassle for the owner with faffing around with boots and trying to get feet out of the wet for a while every day etc…I've had a gut feeling for years that Aero wasn't right in his feet and the more I read on barefoot the more I think I was right – it's taking a while for him to become acclimatised thoWeather is improving this week so I hope I will keep ticking over a bit better


  4. Feeling in the doldrums too, the horse must think I've given up riding; it seems like that waiting for a decent day!! Very interested in reading barefoot experiences (yours and others')and wondering if we ought to go that way for the "working"(haha) horse – the (semi)retired one has stronger hooves and is fine barefoot. Great you have an arena there and some nice riding company 🙂


  5. Good for you for getting out there. It can be tough when the weather isn't cooperating! I wish we had an arena I could get to! Our flat "area" is covered in snow and partially plowed by the guys working on the barn–not great footing. Not that I'm in any position to get back on a horse just yet–got to find out how long this dang sternum will take to heal before I'm back in the saddle!


  6. The farrier is coming on Friday to give them a trim, I will be interested to hear what he has to say. Aero's heels & frogs just don't seem to be bulking up, and Flurry has gone backwards with the wet ground and the lack of exercise (I know, I know, exercise is key….)


  7. I waq wondering how the whole barefoot thing was going. Gigi is OK but Phoebe has a problem with her frogs, it is very wet here but their field isn't too bad. Same as you finding it hard to get motivated in the really bad weather, even though I have the indoor, it's always in demand.


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