Yet another weekly recap. This week the weather was less than kind (so much rain!) but we kept on keepin' on, quietly regaining fitness and saddle time and I'm proud of that. The local horsey calendar still has events pencilled in, but I’ve just been keeping to myself and trying to quietly get things done and not add any timelines or pressure to my days off work. I will get back to clinics and lessons at some point, but I feel like keeping it relaxed and fun is right where Sophie and I both need to be right now.
|Currently sporting a nice scrape on her forehead, I’m sure resulting from a questionable decision regarding Bridget|
Monday: I got so much done after work! Feed store trip, ring tidied and harrowed (in the dark, I'm sure confirming to the neighbours I am totally nuts). We do still need the entire thing to compact so the master plan behind all the late night harrowing and leveling is that heavy rain is in the forecast for the next few days, and that will help everything settle and compact further. Since I didn't get a ride in, I was feeling a bit twitchy for my horse fix and watched some super videos from Dr Jenny Susser on Equestrian Masterclass, followed by a Nicola Phillappaerts barn tour/interview on H&C TV.
Tuesday: Waterproof coats are on my mind as my Black Friday splurge. It poured rain all morning and was grey and damp for the remainder...west coast winter at it's finest and I feel like I haven’t been warm in weeks.
|Bridget and I will have matchy rain coats now 🙈😁|
I got in a ride on Sophie, but not the kind I want to focus on too much (someone was buzzing us with a drone and she was terrified and bolt-y). We found a relaxed place to end, and we move on to a new day.
Wednesday: A short work week, so today is my Friday and I've got a 4 day weekend to look forward to. Ran out of time to ride, but it’s OK, was nice to have a quiet night with a good book and time to cook a nice dinner.
Thursday: Rented one of those magnet thingys that you can roll around. Seems the “don’t burn anything with metal attached” message was taken as optional because I found a ton of old burnt rusty hardware. To be fair, some of it is likely from days long past, but still, doesn’t make it any less dangerous to pony hooves. Highly recommend putting on the to do list for any of you with properties or paddocks that predate your ownership (or have had recent construction/excavation done) - you never know what you’re going to find!
|A lot of random bits of metal, and way too many nails|
An averagely OK ride on Sophie to follow. She was feeling the hormones again, plus the neighbours were trying to put the worlds largest tarp on their roof on a stormy day. Even I found it a bit distracting and startling when it kept blowing away from them and sliding off the roof. The joys of keeping ponies in a residential neighbourhood though - they’re used to a lot more chaos on the daily than a typical farm.
Friday: My new coat arrived and I love it and it’s way too pretty to wear to the barn. So much for saving money, I’ll keep the pretty blue one for real life and order another in Bridget Nose Smear Brown for barn duties and riding.
|Website says color is actually “Sparrow Grey”?|
My other barn/horse related activities were: 1. A trip to the dump to get rid of some more property cleanup items and old fencing! Yay, satisfying. 2. A trip to the quarry to order rock. I’ve opted to go that route with the ring perimeter, had thought about the traditional landscape ties or wooden boards but they just don’t last that long in our climate.
|Sophie was 13.2hh at 3. I need to measure but I think at 6 she’s grown even more since the last 15hh measurement. Late bloomer for sure, and making B look positively short these days.|
Saturday: A more serious storm rolling in, so I wanted to get a ride in for sure in case Sunday was a washout. Sophie was again very sharp and spooky, and I got a little frustrated with it. Spooky horses are not my thing…like OK if they’re legitimately scared of something, we can work on that, but Sophie in my opinion does cross over into looking for ghosts as a reason to initiate play time and dance to her own tune ;) Anyway, I recognized I needed a time out so sat there talking to G about how some days I struggle to stay positive and patient and keep her focused. That time out was really all we needed, because when I picked up the reins to continue we were both ready to get to work. I ended up having an excellent ride.
|Sees dead people. Also needs hair help.|
Sunday: Storm passed overnight, but snow is now in the forecast. Not a big deal for most of the country, but not super common here. Spent a bit of time setting things up in case we get the higher end of the projected snowfall, then went for a hike. Felt super lazy after so did not return to the barn in time to ride. (Which is fine. I think it worked out to four 20-30 min rides and a quick longe this week and that’s great for where we’re both at fitness wise)
I’ve been adding bits of canter in on the longe so provided Sophie continues to have no issues with the current footing situation and the snow stays away, that’s on our riding schedule this coming week. At ~ 3 weeks back at it, just getting back to an easy W/T/C ride probably sounds pretty cautious but it’s right about where the textbooks say we should be as far as bringing back a younger horse without any baseline of under saddle fitness left.
November ended up being pretty relaxed and I definitely stuck with my goal of getting Sophie going again. December, however, is going to be a lot more intense. We’re moving to the house on the property with the horses and renting out the one we currently live in, so home renovations x2 are imminent plus a move, holiday obligations, and of course work. I’m committing to keeping riding and bringing Sophie along a priority though! Plus the end result is going to be so worth all the chaos of the past year…stepping out into the backyard to ride or see the ponies any time I feel like it is going to be so wonderful!
|Bridget doing her part by working hard tidying up around the barn.|