Monday, January 4, 2010

Snow and Horses = More Work= Less Ambition

So I don't if any of you follow the weather here in Maine, but we are digging out from a fairly decent size snow storm that lasted for 3 days. We didn't get as much snow as they first predicted, but we got a fair amount. Basically the whole state was in a panic that it was going to be some huge super storm with feet upon feet of snow, and I have to say that the hysteria was a little contagious. Thursday which was New Year's Eve was great. The roomie and I went to a friends house to stay for the night since were were indulging in adult beverages. We left the doggies at home and promised them that no metter how much snow we got over night, we would be back in the morning to let them out, we kept our promise. But back to that night; I have never laughed so hard in my life, sure I was a little intoxicated but we were playing Mad Libs. That ame we have all played as kids on long car rides or rainy days. But oh my goodness when you put an adult spin on things, it gets downright hilarious!!! I was almost peeing in my pants.

So when we woke up early Friday morning it was snowing at a good clip and we rished to get home to let the dogs out. We also had all intentions of going to the barn that afternoon, but we were both so tired that we went back to bed and didn't wake up until it was nearly dark out and by then our motivation was shot. But my roomie did manage to sneak in my room when I had passed out and caught a pic of me spooning my dog Abby. I was out like a light.

So the roomie and I lounged around the house for most of the weekend expecting enormous amounts of snow which did not come, but it kept snowing so it scared us into staying home. Yesterday I woke up and was determined to make it to the barn. I look out my window and finally the blizzard has arrived! SO I pick the snowiest day to go to the barn. I got dressed in snow pants and jacket and mittens and hat and herded the dogs into the car. Away we went, down the road at a snails pace. We arrived at the barn a half hour later when it's usually a 15 min drive. It was snowing and blowing so hard that it was coming down sideways and pelting my face. I grabbed Possum's halter and headed for his paddock. It took about 10 minutes of digging out his gate so that I could open it enough for him to squeeze through. We were both squinting our eyes against the driving snow. I'm pretty sure both of us were happy to finally make it to the barn. I stripped off his blankets and gave him a good grooming, one to get the dirt out and two, to stimulate some blood flow in both of us. I tacked him up and we headed for the arena. I could tell he had some pent up enrgy since it had been just a eek since i ride him last, i felt like a bad horse mom.

We took a while warming up since it was cold and snowy and both of us were kinda stiff. He was moving nicely off my leg and I didn't even have spurs on. I worked a lot on stretching. Getting him to reach down and out and stretch his neck and back. Possum is a pretty stiff horse generally so it always takes a little to get him to stretch, but he was actually doing well. After we had warmed up in both directions at the walk, trot and canter I decided to refresh us by doing some flying changes across the diagonal. As usual, his good side was a piece of cake, but to my suprise his "bad" side was also really good. He didn't rush or twist his body and he did nice clean changes both front and back in unison each time. I was so happy!

We just fiddled around with jumping. There were some pretty big holes and soft sport in tne arena from having some slightly frozen ground and being chewed up. So my plan was to warm-up and then just put one jump up to around 2'9" or 3ft and just keep working over that one jump focusing on my position, rhythmn, pace and straightness. I noticed that going to the right he has a tendency to drft towards the rail over the jump, since the jmp was set about 8 ft off the rail. So we worked a lot on keeping him between my legs and straight and even. I also had to work on not leaning in on the corners especially in my "bad" direction which happens to be to the right. All in all it was a good work out and I think we were both happy with it. I cooled him out and brought him back to the barn. I kicked myelf in the ass for forgetting a whole bag of carrots that I has bought special just for him the last time I went shopping. I gave him his grain for dinner and then we made the long trek back to his paddock where I had to do some more digging to get the gate so that I could squeeze him through. I was all out of breath afterwards and my ears no longer had any feeling. I really don't mind the snow, it's actually very peaceful looking and sounding, but snow just makes everything 10 times harder to do. Harder to push a wheelbarrow, harder to drive, harder to ride at fast speeds etc... But the good news is that the snow has stopped and I'm waiting for the sun to shine. I hope to get out and ride my horse more this week, but again that depends on the temps and the weather. Unfortunately I don't get put of work until after 4 and it's waaay dark when I get to the barn so the temps have dropped a lot. Ohwell, suck it up, I live in Maine and I should be used to this by now.


Laura said...

Your weather sounds alot like ours... kinda nice to look at, but hard to get stuff done!

Glad you made it out to the barn and had a good ride!

LiveToFly said...

Same here! We're getting buried in Ohio! I've braved it everyday so far to get to the barn but the roads were so bad today that even with my 4 wheel drive I was sliding all over the place and I ended up just going back home :( Hopefully your weather starts clearing up soon!

Stephanie said...

HI there-

Read your post earlier but have been feeling to crappy to leave comments.

I know that some of what I am feeling right now is due to weather - the short days and being trapped in the house- winter days do a number on you. I don't blame you for braving the snow to go ride.

Leah Fry said...

I admit it: I'm a weather wuss. Lived in Texas too long, I guess.

Happy New Year to you and Possum and the puppies.