Friday, December 12, 2014

Tracks in the Snow

A friend and I were chatting the other day about winter riding and what a drag it is here in the flathead. It's the typical conversation for us horse people in this area. We all suffer from lack of sunshine, damp , cloudy , wintery weather with crap footing. We all whine about the fact that our horses are sitting in their pastures getting fat and doing nothing, while we wait for better conditions. 
The only options are to slap on borium shoes and get our there anyways in spite of the cold, or pay out the nose to board your horse for 4 months at a facility with an indoor and fight the crowds. P public boarding facility options in the valley  are drying up. There are only a few choices because properties that were once available  are bought up by private owners who don't allow the public to come in.  Others are show barns with a large clientele that don't allow general boarders unless you opt into their training/lesson program. For horse owners that want to board their horses here have their challenges of  finding a good place the provides quality care, and when they do, most likely , they will have to deal with the crowds to use the arena.  I just need to win the lotto so I can build my own indoor.. guess I should start actually playing lotto in that case.

After our couple of nasty weather cycles that hit in November , we have been experiencing high 30's and 40's weather for the last couple of weeks which is "rideable" weather. Granted it's cloudy and foggy but we define "acceptable " riding weather a bit different here in the northwest. The temps are less of a problem for us than the footing most times.  I can ride in anything over 25 degrees ,as long as its not windy , snowing, or raining. We still have to be careful with sweating horses up but for those of us without access to an indoor , its the footing issue that stops the riding in the winter. 

JB has been restless, demanding of attention and generally seems bored or anxious to do something. He is constantly at the fence looking for attention, instead of out in the pasture like he would normally be. I am sure part of it has to do with the loss of Rebel.  I have been slightly concerned about his recent state of mind,  so discontent. 

Right now, there happens to be just enough snow  on the ground that makes the footing pretty good for slow easy riding. There hasn't been enough of the thawing freezing trend to create the typical ice sheet effects we usually have by now so I took the opportunity this week to get JB out a couple of times to our outdoor arena.

I tried to get some pictures of how cute he looked  with his fuzzy coat, but he kept getting closer to me so all I could get was this..He thinks he should try out for horse magazine photo ops..

hey.????what are we going to do?

When I got on him he was a bundle of energy. It's been weeks so it was nice to feel that energy in him. I took him through areas where the snow drifted and he had to really pick up his feet which made him work a little harder. He is the laziest little horse ever but I think he was enjoying the change of scenery, the engagement of an activity, and the added attention. 

JB feet

Handsome post ride pose, waiting for cookies



CG said...

He is such a nice looking boy! Glad to see you are back to riding him again.

Jonna said...

Thanks CG- I actually spent quite a bit of time riding him this past summer and fall.. he's become such an uncomplicated ride and every time I have not ridden him in a while and then get back on him, I am always grateful to have him.