Thursday, January 7, 2010
My wonderful barn owners created an outdoor 'track' for us to ride on!
This was serious tractor work, since the most recent snow (2 feet of it in 48 hours) was followed by a warm 2 days during which the top layer turned to a heavy mantle of ice.
Our whole area is still struggling with this ice legacy, and traffic accidents are still happening a week later even though there has been no additional snowfall.
Anyway they took out their tractor and plowed an oval shaped track in their field, following up with some shavings and chipped stall stuff for traction. John and I enjoyed this yesterday when it was a balmy 18 degrees F., full sun, and no wind WhatSoEver, for almost perfect winter riding conditions.
My only drawback was that I forgot sunglasses, so I was snowblind by the end of our ride. We followed up in the indoor arena and it was to my eyes as dark as night in there...
In this above photo, you can see the arc of the track up and off to the right, and also how deep the snow is. John kept thinking that he'd prefer to take off into the virgin snow. So I let him and he immediately hauled his big horse's ass around back to the track. Breaking through the crust made a sound like....a sack of sand dropping from a great height.
I avoided getting him sweaty but that was pretty easy as he is in tip-top CV condition. I swear he exercises himself in the pasture, because this is not a function of our tight work schedule LOL. Christmas break has been a riding disappointment because of the weather and family commitments.
At one point while we were gaiting along on the new outside track, John just tucked his head like a dragon and squealed. It was the weirdest thing! I got such a vibe of "I feel great!" from him. He shook out his mane and just chugged along.
After this ride I buried my face in his bunny fur neck and just smelled him: warm palomino in the winter sun. Everybody hug your horses because By Golly we are the luckiest humans on this earth, just to have them in our lives.
Here's a tableau of frozen ice-bucket dumps: Winter + horses = serious work.