Monday, February 7, 2011

Was that spring? Or just winter playing tricks on us?

I thought it was springtime for a second last friday. I had headed out to the barn for the 2nd time that week (go me!), and the weather was amazing. I had managed to sneak (by sneak, I mean tell my boss I was leaving : P ) out of work early that afternoon, and was cruising in the sunshine out to meet my boy. I love sunny days like that, especially in the winter.

By the time I got to the barn, the clouds had overcast, which was still fine by me. It was somewhere between +2 and -1 (I sadly don't have a temperature gauge on very overpriced car), but it was warm. Being the skeptic of the weather channel that I am, I came donning my winter gear and was a little sad that my pony wasn't shedding out despite the warm weather. He too, is a skeptic by nature.

What I was pleased to find (the previous night we rode in the dark so I couldn't actually see much of him), was that his recently (more recently then previously) trimmed hooves were looking GREAT. No splitting, no chips and growing wonderfully. I think I'll be happy with the new farrier if we can get his heels up again. At least it "might" be warm the next time she's out!

I know Moon'er needs to seriously get back in shape. He's got a hay belly, which gives a really bad appearance of swayback. I say really bad, but comparing him to one or two other horses on the property, he's not that bad. And hopefully, some muscle toning and weight loss will go a long way.

He weighed in at approx. 1172 lbs, and stands about 15.2hh. I swear he's a different height every time I measure him. Friday he stood 15.3 : P I'd like to take this opportunity to remind kijiji ad posters that there isn't a 15.4 hh horse. That's 16. Idiots. But I digress...

While our intensive excercise routine can't start until the weather warms and the ground unfreezes (which despite numerous groundhog promises, I don't beleive will happen any sooner then May), we're just spending some time remembering who's boss and reconnecting.

Which appears to be a necessary step, when my trustworthy steed decided to be a brat and made (fat horse) attempts to buck me off. I personally don't ride with a crop or do I believe in beating horses into behaving, but his sudden decision that my patient and consistent requests that he continue at a trot were unnecessary left me audibly reprimanding him (I'm sure the neighbours heard!), plus a good firm slap to the neck.

Now the thing I love most about Moon'er, is that he is, in his own right, a fairly sensitive horse. He literally stopped his antics, looked back at me and then we continued on as expected: at a nice rythmic trot. I really do love animals that a raised voice is punishment. I believe crops and whips are used for subtle cues, not ensure compliance with the rules...cause someday, you won't have one when you need it.

I got a few nice, short canters out of him, which will need more work once the ground is nice. We had one, expected, incident with the Roan Witch, a truly evil arch nemesis of Moon's. They were seperated this summer after getting into a number of scraps, and I just have zero patience for the horse. It seems like EVERYTIME Moon is in the paddock, the roan is RIGHT THERE. She just never leaves us alone, no matter how much you chase, yell or swing a lunge whip in her direction. Clueless. And not like the little appy colt, that means no harm and is curious. This Roan is WAITING to bite, kick or provoke Moon at the very worst second. Irritating.

So of course, Moon and I are working on our turn on the fore (which sometimes is good and sometimes isn't at all), and there she strolls up right behind Moon...I love him dearly, and he is not a horse to push around (by anyone other then that bossy Grey in his normal paddock...but he knows he's below her and no problems ever ensue). Ears back, no listen, and *bang* he kicks out some back legs to get her whipping across the paddock. Serves, you, right. I had to control myself not to pat my boy for his antics. Instead, I gave him a meek "Bad horse", with little or no heart in it : P

And so that was the afternoon. I even found myself riding without my winter jacket, in just a long sleeved shirt and winter breeches. And wishing, dearly for springtime! And seeing as it's -28 with the windchill today, I think I should go groundhog hunting instead...