I feel like the worst horse owner ever....
I've been wanting to own my own horse again for sooooooooooooooo long. I can honestly say its been 13 years now. I waited until I got my good job and a balanced life. I'm soo excited about my new horse and I just got him in the beginning of December. In fact, he was my Christmas present from my mom :) She passed away in April but left me with enough assets to go buy one.
If he hadn't of been so perfect I would have waited for spring to go horse shopping. I knew I wouldn't be riding much in the cold because I hate the cold! Especially in my coastal area where its damp and cold :( It gets dark so fast so there isn't enough time for me to get off work during the week and ride after work. I just want to curl up and go to sleep after work right now.
I've been seeing him every weekend with the exception of this coming weekend. Is everyone else slow to go ride in the cold for these reasons? Am I terrible? I did talk to a few people at work who are the same way when its cold and dark at 4:30. There isn't anyone at my barn right now either so I guess that can answer my question too. Its so darn quiet out there in the dark you could just go to sleep.
I don't like the cold either but i have a responsibility to ride and exercise my horse at lest a few times a week. I don't hold myself to that standard all the time cause I pay extra for barn turn out. If your horse is pasture kept or has turnout daily he will be fine. But it would be good for you to ride him at least twice a week to keep him into training so that he is not a mess when you get back on.
I agree about the turn-out thing; if he's turned out, he can stretch his legs and keep moving. I recently bought a horse, too, after long long years of wanting but never having! :) Congratulations!
I think that when you buy a new horse, fostering respect and communication (and a relationship) with that horse is important. Even when I don't ride, I will at least show up, maybe brush the pine shavings out of his tail (ha) and check his feet, and if no one's in the round pen I'll work him for 15 minutes just to make sure he doesn't get stiff from the cold, and that he is still showing me respect and heeding my cues. That being said, I live out in AZ and am fortunate enough to ride or work daily, even when it's a freezing 45 degrees and sunny. :P
I would make a little more effort to get out, but we can only do what we can do!
I agree. I work a full time job and have 2 kids. Lucky for me my 15 year old can walk to the barn after school and work with our horse. If it wasn't for her I don't know what I would do. Don't feel bad, not everybody can spend all the time they want with their horse. As long as they are being fed and cared for you will be ok. I also thought when I bought my boy that I would be ther every night, but life doesn't always allow that.
It's not usually the cold that keeps me away from riding, but life in general. Between work, family, maintenance, and much needed downtime, there are times that I don't ride for a couple of weeks. Other times I can get out there 4 times in a week. And I have my horse in my backyard! So I do see her everyday, but there are many days when it's just feed, quick check, quick clean up and leave. 20 minutes tops. Some days I even forgo the clean up if she didn't leave much manure in the barn.
I've gone weeks without spending more than 1/2 hour with her at any one time. Life happens. And, yes, at the end of a work day, by the time the minimal barn chores are done, supper is made and cleaned up, children's homework has been dealt with, my things for my job have been packed away and set up for the next day's appointments -- ya, those days I'm too fried afterwards to do anything but read a book and have a glass of wine.
I would like to ride in the winter. I usually don't mind the cold (to a point). However,any "nice" days are windy or I'm busy. No indoor means dealing with the weather.
Even if you can't ride, grooming and handling are just as important. Don't get down on yourself for not riding or working your horse. I'm sure they really don't mind. For many years that we boarded our horses, we only saw them on the weekends when that permitted. They can be a PITA when not worked regularly but when spring comes, you'll just have to work a little more with them.
Edit: I've only rode one of our horses once since the snow fell back in December. Over a month ago. Might be a while before we ride again, we just get some freezing rain and now snow. It'll be quite slippery for a while.
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Funny thing about those raw, wet, cold, dark days. Sometimes you get your best rides in those situations. If you don't have a good place to ride in the dark that's different cirumstances, but I think once you get more in tune with your new horse, you'll start finding the extra strength to drag yourself to the barn. You'll find yourself floating home with a big smile on your face wondering how you could have ever ridden only twice a week.
I'm still a teenager and I have had my boy for a year and a few months. Yet I will go out whenever the opportunity presents itself. I typically go out 4/3 times a week. I would never, ever, ever - give up the opportunity to go out and ride and/or see him. A couple times I convinced my mother to take me out in the middle of a blizzard, we got snowed in at the barn for 2 days, I'm not saying I make the smartest decisions for me, or for her, though. I suppose I just don't ever want to take owning him for granted. Yet at the same time, I board at a barn with an indoor arena with lights. xD
Where I am I self-board and it is just me so I have to go twice a day at least. Some days I do my chores, feed and leave and other days I spend time grooming, trimming bridle paths and whiskers and just sitting around talking to them. In the cold I don't ride and also that the arena is not rideable with so much rain lately. I know that they don't care if I ride them as long as I feed them they are happy. I will take them for handwalks around the neighborhood though and they enjoy that. I'll practice showmanship stuff walking down our road and basic commands.
I go to see my boy at least once a day, every day. He gets ridden 6 times a week, unless literally the school is flooded, frozen or I physically am snowed out of the yard. There are days I sit for five minutes in my car after work like "urghhhhhhh" but once you are out, tacked up and on you always wonder why you were reluctant in the first place. Dress warmly and waterproofed, and then its just the tiredness you have to beat!
I don't have access to an indoor school (except for one morning a week when my friend and I rent an indoor school a few miles away, and trailer the horses there. Means even if the school is unusable then we get at lead a ride in a week), but I have a floodlit sand school. I am also the only person there after dark, which can be demotivating, but at the end of the day, I wanted the horse, I have a responsibility to him. Plus I'll be the first one to be frustrated if he's not ready to compete come March.
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