Horrid awfulness

And with that I am referring to the weather. Really, Mother Nature, snow in May? At least it wasn’t cold, so I rode in the indoor. He was a little rambunctious, which I find true of a lot of horses in an east wind, even if they are inside. He settled and produced some good work.

Terraces

Very windy morning, but by the time I rode him in the afternoon it was merely breezy and in the upper 70s. We went for a solo hack to the terrace field and interspersed with walking and foxtrotting, we went up and down some terraces, one of them quite big. I think he had fun!

Hack with Jean

We went out for a walk hack with Jean and her horse during her lesson. Jean hadn’t ridden outside since last fall and she and her horse were a little on their toes. Shadow got to be the big brave one and he stepped right up, walking in a relaxed manner and leading the way. At the end of the lesson, as a treat for Jean, she was allowed to ride Shadow for a bit in the indoor. His foxtrot made her giggle and he was great. Very good day.

Just a nice day

Magee and Shadow

Magee and Shadow

Finally, a break in the weather! We went for a hack with a student. He was a little goofy while we were riding in the indoor warming up while my student finished tacking, but he relaxed when I asked him to. Then the two of us went out for a mile and a half hack which went well.

Rainish

The dark clouds looked to be an hour off when I set out on a hack on Shadow. Toddling down the trail we went, with the clouds to our back. We got about a mile out, turned for home and saw that my time estimation was wrong. We came home in the drizzle, but it really wasn’t that bad. He foxtrotted the mile home with alacrity. Fun day.

Spring!

DSCN1481Something resembling spring, or at least a brief respite from winter, settle over central Iowa today, so I was overtaken with an urge to do yard work for the morning. In the afternoon I took Shadow out for a completely enjoyable hack. He dealt with highway traffic, he walked on a long rein, he foxtrotted about when asked. He dealt with the ducks we scared up off a farm pond and he only jumped a little when three deer crashed through the woods immediately to our left. A very good day.

 

Bonus

It was supposed to be miserable today weatherwise, but it turned out to be merely a bit inhospitable, so out we went for a ride. An east wind didn’t bode well for the next few days so I really wanted to get out. Some horses are goofy in an east wind, but he seemed unfazed. We had a nice hack with no whinnying (we haven’t had any for a while), and even a bit of canter, which was pretty fun. Good!

Wind!

So the storm finally got here so I rode in the indoor. The wind was really unsettling and frankly, it wasn’t his best day. He was nervous and not really enjoying himself, but all of the horses except the seasoned campaigners were a little nervous. Minor setback.

Traffic

The ditch along highway 210

The ditch along highway 210

Not a terrific weather day out there, but supposed to be the best one of the week, so Shadow and I went on a solo trail ride. The fields are muddy, so we have to leave out the driveway and along the state highway, which he has done before, but with another horse to lead the way. I thought his confidence was growing enough that he could handle and solo journey. After tacking up (very good with his hoof picking), we headed out. He was quite along the highway, especially considering it was 4:30 and a lot of commuters were heading home. (Keep in mind this is a state highway in the country, so two lanes with a wide shoulder.) Nevertheless, a semi truck and trailer went by and he kept it together quite well. He only put an ear on it when it was approaching and sort of leaned away from it as it passed. That was very good.

On our hack, we went down the gravel road and over the bridge and into some CRP ground. He was very good, and happy to go. On the way home, he let out a whinny, but he got over it quickly. When we were riding on the gravel road with fairly deep ditches on the way home,, two cars turned down the road. I dismounted because the cars would be a lot closer to him (though going sedately). I wanted him to have a good experiences. As we kept walking as they went by, he got a little tense, but followed my lead and recovered quickly. We hacked home in the ditch along the state highway with no difficulty. Excellent.

Shadow and traffic

Maggie tacked him up for me while I was teaching a lesson. She said he was “awesome” with picking up his feet. Gotta love the enthusiasm.

We went out on a hack with Maggie and Charlie. Because the fields are muddy, we have to leave our yard via the ditch along the state highway. Traffic was only moderate and he dealt with it very well, with only a little bit of tension as the larger vehicles went by. We hacked over hill and dale and all had a good time. On very last part of the way back, we were right on the shoulder so as not to mar the lawn and a car that I hadn’t previously seen was coming. It moved over to the other side of the road, but it was still a little close for Shadow’s liking. He scooted himself into the driveway as soon as he could. It was a little scary for him, but he dealt with it sensibly. When they can go out in the pasture, I will put him out in it with our group because it is right next to the road. When he sees the other horses grazing away while semis go past and other whatnot of farm tractors and such, it will go a long way to soothe his mild anxiety about traffic.