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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

January 2, 2012

First Ride of the New Year

After two days more or less down for the count, I sucked down chicken soup, put on long johns, shirt, vest, jacket, and gloves determined to get a ride on my last day off until Friday.  Our first snowfall of the season started early this morning.Temps in the 20's. Blowing and very cold.  Journey was cold and shivering when I went out to get her.  I figured being tacked up and moving would soon warm her up.  The footing was not good for any kind of speed at all.     An icy crust over slick wet mud.  So we slogged to the back and climbed up some hills, trotted around the trotting track three times, then climbed some more hills.  The ups weren't so bad, it was the down hills that worried me, she currently has one speed downhill right now and it isn't good!   On our worst hill I had her take it in segments.  A third of the way down, stop, another third and stop, until we were at the bottom.  Breaking it up seemed to keep her from getting that rushing out of control momentum.  I'd like to be gaining ground at this point in her training, but with an Indiana winter it will be a crap shoot.  I'll be happy if I manage to just maintain, or maybe creep up our LSD inch by inch until early spring.

Journey's hobbles are being shipped.  Seems like I waited forever to get them ordered, but the holidays kind of bogged me down.  She is doing well with the rope, and being led by her front hooves (pastern /rope).  Maybe we can try it out this weekend...

  Blanketed to dry out and warm up!


  1. I'm impressed. That's determination, to go from sick-and-soup to riding in the cold-and-snow. A decade ago I did that stuff; now I tend to be more "fragile". I don't mind cold and snow, but when you add WIND to the equation, I get grouchy, and it seems to be one of our windy winters this year! So, just imagine me riding along with you and doing a lot of laughing.

    Does Journey 'rush' down hill because she hasn't developed the butt muscles enough yet, by chance? Going slower and controlled down hill is hard work for a horse. Several horse people around here don't understand that, so they let their horse rush, which of course, develops the bad habit .. and does not develop the muscle.

    Love your posts.
    Bionic Cowgirl

  2. Journey is still essentially a "green" horse. Her previous owner loved her to the point of spoiled and willful, though her intentions were all good. I do think she is not developed enough in any way yet to be balanced in her work. We have the walk and the trot sorted out now, and she can canter a little without getting "rushy" if I time it right toward the end of our ride. Her hurry downhill also depends on our direction...towards home is much worse than away from home.

  3. Maybe it'll get cold enough to freeze the mud?

    I just got hobbles too! Aarene found 50% off horse reindeer ears on one of the horse sites and I picked up hobbles too while I was at it. Now, to get out and do the rope work...

  4. Jacke, Glad you are feeling better, and good for you to get out and ride after it snowed! Good Journey, to listen to you on the downhill work!