Monday, May 10, 2010

The Cold Weather Creaks

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post! If anyone else has any thing to add or any comments or suggestions please feel free!

The past few days have been quite cold here in Northeastern Ohio, not to mention the ENORMOUS amounts of rain which have left the riding field sogggyyyyy. Today the temperature barely hit 60 by late friend at the race track told me today that it was 33 during his morning gallops! Emmy and Johnny aren't huge fans of cold weather. While Johnny prefers it to be a little cooler because he sweats a lot, both of them get pretty creaky when the cold comes, especially when we went from 80 to 50 in the matter of a few days!

Today I only worked a half day because the barn where I work is closed to clients on Mondays. It was so nice to get out early! I stopped at the barn on the way home to clean my stalls and say hello to Em and John in the pasture and then I went home for a nap! I've just felt so sleep deprived lately! I slept for about an hour and a half and work up feeling refreshed, went back to the barn and brought Emmy in from the field to clean her up and take her for a ride. Even though he was still outside with the group, Johnny was behind the barn screaming for her for like 10 minutes after I took her away. Does he really like her that much? I don't think so...I think she's just the only horse in the herd who likes him! She's his only friend!

I saddle Emmy and took her for a hack in the woods. We warmed up with some trot sets up and down the drive and then cantered through the apple orchard and up through the back field. She was hanging on me pretty bad, which is mainly because I just haven't ridden her all that much since she's been home. The weather hasn't cooperated much and there's only so much I can do with her out on the trails while I wait for the riding field to dry again. We did some leg-yielding back and forth across the drive and then I worked her hanging in the canter by cantering short sets, bringing her to a walk and then asking her for the other lead (on a straight line) essentially she was doing simple lead changes down the road. It did help her get lighter in her shoulders and it also helped when I reminded myself to use my body to ask for the downward transition before the reins. I brought her back mildly sweaty under the saddle pad, which is good for her because she's not much of a sweater.

Johnny was next. After I brought the horses in, fed and let him digest for a while I cleaned him up and took him back in the riding field. The ground was still pretty soft, but along the fence line was good so I did what I could with him. At first, I thought he was lame he started so stiff and wonky, which is really unlike him. The footing may have been a small factor, but he worked out of it so who knows? He also had a mysterious swelling on the right side of his neck today. It pretty big and hot and starting to drain down and form a little pouch under his neck. I think he may have gotten kicked, because it's too big to be a bug bite. It didn't seem to bother him to ride so I kept on going and after we cantered his trot got better. We worked over a couple cavaletti, worked on some bending in the trot and then did a few simple lead changes on the diagonal. He was very good, but I see some of our old problems starting to come back (bulging the shoulder, dropping the shoulder, heavy on the forehand, hips not staying straight...) It's really hard to keep up with his training when I don't have an arena with level footing, or at the moment, even dry footing for that matter. The barn next door told me I could pay to use their outdoor, but even their outdoor arena is still on a hill, which doesn't solve anything but the footing problem and if I wait a week my footing will be dry and I can ride on un-level ground for free. What a predicament huh? I talked to C and as soon as I get paid we are going to haul the horses to the polo fields and ride in the rings there. Maybe we can get something actually accomplished?

The weather man is calling for rain all week. Gahhh.


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