Thursday, February 1, 2018

rainy recess

With the recent brief respite from frigid wintry conditions, my friends and I got a tad ambitious and planned to school cross country last weekend. Like, real cross country. Out in a field

Not that anything is wrong with the arena xc that we recently did - and there are certainly plans for more of that hopefully soon! But.... there are more fields closer to home available for less expense lol.

i hadn't even noticed charlie's neighbor's sassy kick threat when taking this picture. clearly charlie wasn't worried either lol
Unfortunately, as anyone who lives in the area or who read my last post can attest, the recent thaw only ushered in a new era of mud mud mud. And actually it's not even really "thawed" any more, since the temps quickly dropped again.

All this to say: the ground was not in any kind of shape for running and jumping.

"my only worry is where you hid the snax, lady" - charlie, probably
Sadness. At least tho, I was able to get Charlie out and about with a barn mate for some hacking on a warm rainy day in between freezes. It was enough to show that .... yea it's SLICK out there. But still somehow better than picking our way across rock hard frozen ground in a howling wind.

behold, charlie's perma mule ears. and a soggy trail.
Charlie, for his part, seemed slightly indifferent to the change in plans. He's kinda a funny trail horse, honestly. I think he would be right at home in one of those "rent a nag" trail strings that tourists ride for an hour or two, nose to tail, down some scenic path or a beach or whatever. 

sometimes i wish he carried his ears in a more traditional "happy" expression lol
He mostly just plants his nose either on the tail or flank of the horse in front of him (in this case, his field- and lesson-mate ottb Punky), and trudges on along. He'll lead as well as follow tho, too, I just don't really know my way around the woods super well yet.


but i swear, he enjoys these rides and spends a fair amount of time looking all around his surroundings
Secretly, tho, I think he likes it. I know *I* like it haha. It breaks up the monotony of being trapped in the small dusty indoor for endless 20m circles or grids.

And maybe it's just me, but there's something charming about the woods in winter. Especially on an overcast, damp day where all of winter's colors come through with no hint of shadow anywhere.

the woods certainly have a unique type of beauty this time of year too
Plus there are so many pretty birds around the farm too - colorful bluebirds and cardinals, huge flocks of starlings, and the occasional hawk. Not to mention the zillions of squirrels who have all apparently started going a little stir crazy lately and go crashing through the leaf mulch like herds of elephants lol.

as do the fields, with the varying hues of golden, yellow and pale green grass
And. Ya know. It's also just plain good for body and soul (of both horse and rider) to be out on changeable terrain, over hill and dale, and across natural streams and ditches of varying depth and width. Always with lots of gate practice too as we move from area to area. Proud to say Charlie's getting the hang of this game too!

mostly tho, all the trails still kinda look the same to me haha, so i'm happy to have a navigator!
Charlie's come a VERY long way when it comes to little water crossings. On his earliest trails he couldn't go through a puddle, and resorted to spastically leaping over small streams. Now tho? He just marches right on through, tho occasionally breaking into trot on the far side haha (always #soproud of himself).

then finally we emerge on the long driveway back to the barn
And even tho he really didn't care for the slick, slippery mud in many places in the woods and lanes between pastures, I appreciated that it forced him to pay more attention to each foot step. Since his natural habit is to be a little.... careless lol. One of these days we'll get him reading the ground better! Tho I may actually die trying....

where, naturally, there has been even more construction lately. the window to charlie's stall is jussssst visible in the upper left corner of this shot, so he's been hearing a lot of the work going into this shed. and is pretttttty sure they're hard at work building the mausoleum for what must be his ultimate sacrifice to the horsey gods. in other words, shit's scary, yo!
This winter has been hard on sticking to a regular hacking routine bc the ground has just been so so bad. I'm glad we made it out at least once in January tho. Hopefully with more to come soon! Especially with sunset creeping a little bit later every night (almost at 5:30pm now!!!) it's getting easier to reconcile giving up a daylight weekend ride for hacking.

All the same, tho, March 11 can't come soon enough haha. Maybe we could just cancel February altogether and skip straight to spring??? Anybody with me???? lol....

24 comments:

  1. Yes yes I vote we skip straight to spring! I miss the trails at the old barn for winter hacks, they were excellent. Your photos are making me nostalgic -- what a perfect way to break up the winter indoor blues! :)

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    1. I love trail riding in the winter - def helps make me feel like we are doing stuff other than endless 20m circles lol.

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  2. Yes please let’s skip straight to spring. I’m tired of winter darkness.

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    1. Ditto lol. My new lesson schedule has helped mitigate some of the riding in darkness but it's still so tiresome ugh

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  3. i vote to skip Feb completely and jump to March. Or April even. Except I am not ready for shows to start LOL. The darkness (like Sara says) is getting to me as well as the flip flop weather (today is 50's tomorrow 30?). UGH. And i wish we had trails at our barn. It would be SO nice to go for a hack. Ick the mud though.

    Charlie looks happy if unenthused hacking along :) HA Sorry you cc schooling was nixed! Hopefully it will dry up some day!

    are you doing the next Loch Moy derby on the 17th?

    PS that is a scary construction wagon there, pretty sure Remus woudl have not gone by it as calmly as your guys LOL!

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    1. Yup we are entered for the 17th tho obvi anything can happen between now and then. Maybe be we got so lucky with weather last time maybe it'll be terrible and nasty next time? Who knows. Blargh February.

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    2. I want to come and cheer you on the 17th if weather stays okay. Really want to check Loch Moy out and it would be great if I could see you guys go too! Fingers crossed :)

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    3. You definitely should! They have a tentative schedule for the day posted already that will be finalized a couple days prior with actual ride times. We will be there for the novice division schooling for our friends, then Charlie and I will do the BN round (and I'm really hoping to *actually* do it this time lol).

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  4. Yes! Let's go right to Spring!! Please make that happen, k?

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    1. i'm on it!!! just a little patience please, might take me a few hours... maybe approx ~1,100..... ;)

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  5. I Laos love winter trail riding… it's kinda fun getting to see more bc the leaves are all on the ground 😂 And I'm hoping our little friend the Groundhog does NOT see his shadow tomorrow bc I'm sooooooooo ready for spring!!!

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    1. Also* not Laos… not sure why my autocorrect went crazy?? I don't think I've ever typed Laos before… 😂

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    2. i mean, laos is cool too - nice and tropical and warm there, right?? lol....also yea, c'mon groundhog, we need you to pull through for us!!

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  6. I'm all in for skipping to spring. The mud/clay here is awful thanks to the rare snow, ice and rain that have been hovering here in NC the last few weeks. Besides the odd trail ride, P's either had off or we've been in the arena, which is blah. But the ground's too slippery to do anything outside of it and I don't want to tear anything up.

    So interesting about Charlie on the trails. P is great solo and happy to meander about, but when we go with friends, his competitive side comes out and it's less relaxing. Heaven forbid anyone threaten his lead!

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    1. yea i've definitely known some ottbs like that haha. charlie has asked me a few times if he is supposed to be racing. he also gets annoyed if the horse in front of him is walking too slow for his tastes (esp if i have to keep choking up on him - he no likey!). but mostly he's chill whether alone or with friends, in front or in back. for which, i'm grateful lol

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  7. Aww Charlie! Having to think about where your feet are going sure is hard stuff! But OMG I am SO HAPPY that sunset has now been around 5:30 instead of 4:30.... So much nicer!

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    1. yea seriously - every day when driving to the barn and it's still dusk later and later into the commute, it makes me HAPPY!

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  8. Replies
    1. ha wouldn't that be nice! i could never leave my east coast horse keeping habits tho...

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  9. I fully support skipping February. And probably March as well. It's like Party in Ice Land up here.

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    1. ugh march is officially my least favorite month. esp bc it drags ON AND ON AND ON AND ON forever and ever and ever, ugh

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  10. I will totally skip February if my horse will have magically made all the progress I (want) to make in Feb. But if he's in the same place he is now but just in March? Nawww I need those weeks!

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  11. That's too bad the schooling didn't wrk out, but trail riding is just as fun sometimes

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  12. Dunno what y'all are whining about. It's spring here.

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