Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Break!

I had a work trip to Minneapolis earlier this week, but other than that I've taken some days off work because it is spring break.  The weather has been nothing like spring break.  We've had rain and snow and single digit temps and some crazy wind that felt right out of Canada.

So when today was sunny, clear, and nearly 40 degrees, we were pretty excited.  We went out to the barn in the peak heat of the day.  The guys were dozing in their blankets and not too excited to come to us.  I had to move Bear around a little bit yesterday to get him to come to me, and he almost made it today.  But then he didn't.  So we did a little work and then I got him.  Unfortunately, things were a little different with Steen as he got swept up by the running herd.  But he came around eventually.

It was warm enough that we tacked up outside, and both guys promptly fell asleep for the grooming.  Their coats are really starting to shed now, and it was nice to just let the hair blow around and not have to worry about it.

We started the ride inside just to get warmed up and work on a few things.  Both guys were great.  Bear was giving me some excellent lopes in both directions and was moving both his hind and forequarters around with ease.

So we headed out to the strip.  It was soggy in spots, but other areas were completely dry.  We walked on down to the end and saw the open gate leading to the big pasture, so we turned in there.  The guys seemed excited to be out.  Bear was walking out like a champ, and Steen as exceptionally relaxed.  We have both had rides where they are a bit of handful in the big pasture, but we had nothing close to that today.

We walked across the length of it and trotted up the narrow chute that leads to the treed pasture.  As there were no horses in there, we opened that gate and poked around in there.  When we got to the end of it, we decided to just keep going.  So we went out the final gate and crossed the road to the strip of grass that leads to the 'salad bowl.'

Hanging out on the strip that leads to the 'salad bowl' behind us.
As we started up a hill we spooked a small herd of deer in the nearby trees, but it was no big deal to the guys.  So we asked for a trot and proceeded on to the salad bowl.  Bear was moving out and frisky, but he was always balanced and back on his haunches.  I did ask him to slow down a few times, but that was it.

We trotted along for a ways, including down some short, steep hills (which we usually walk), and then we moved into an easy lope to gain the next hill.  I didn't know Robin had dropped back at the time, but she moved Steen into a fast, yet controlled lope to catch right up to us.  We stopped at the top just to hang out and look at the scenery.  Despite this being our first trip out for the year and opening them up a bit, the guys were as calm as could be.

We stayed in the salad bowl for a short while and did some more trotting and loping, and then we started back for home.  We did a mix of walking and trotting.  It felt really good to just move out for a while.  On the way back Bear was not giving me the same energetic trot as he was in the beginning, which is good.  I don't want my horse making a b-line for the barn.  Instead he settled into a nice, relaxing trot.

Back in the big pasture. In the background you can see some of the tiling put in last fall for better drainage.
The whole ride was fantastic.  It was definitely cool by temperature standards, but with the shining late, March sun, we felt plenty warm.  And the guys were breathing hard and really sweaty in the neck and haunches.

It has been a really slow start to the year in terms of rides and hours, but we have been getting some quality work in when we do ride, and this mini-trail ride felt like our reward for those arena hours.  It is supposed to snow this weekend, but hopefully more of these rides are just around the corner.

No comments:

Post a Comment