On Wednesday, I rode with Nicole and Diana at Hawk Mountain. It was a beautiful sunny day, but again the wind was strong and quite cold. I rode Hombre, who had a massive blow up when I first got on. First he went charging away from the mounting block, then when I got him stopped he refused to move. When I put my leg on again, he started running backwards and sideways. At one point he even started getting light in front!
Nicole and I were both floored. While he can be a bit barn sour at home, he's never behaved anything like that before home or out. Once we got going, he didn't have any other balking issues.
As we traveled around, I noticed that Hombre did a lot more collected cantering than normal. He was going on a soft rein, but normally he will trot as well as gait. He didn't trot the entire ride, which I found very odd.
It was nice to see some different trails and the horses paced well. Those trails are pretty remote so we only saw two other people (both on foot) the whole time.
After the ride, we checked Hombre very carefully for signs of pain and didn't find anything. Upon discussing Hombre's weird behavior, Nicole decided she was going to test him for Lyme. Something is obviously going on for him to act that way!
14.7 miles, 2074 feet of climb, 5.1 mph average pace, 42F real feel
Yesterday, winter really returned with a vengeance. I have to admit I considered not riding, but with snow and rain in the forecast I didn't want to put it off. I was wearing a lot of layers when George and I left the barn.
No surprise the cold weather and nasty wind had George feeling entirely too good. I went out via Spaulding's and then around the Sugarloaf.
Anywhere we could move out, George was wanting to run. When we dropped down to go around the farm, I let him yahoo a bit up the orchard road as he had been doing well listening. He came back without much discussion and we continued home without incident. He again felt very good with very few odd steps.
10.8 miles, 1059 feet of climb, 6.1 mph average pace, 28F real feel
Next up was Iggy, who was also feeling mighty fine. I had planned the same route as George, but by the time we made it around Spaulding's it was obvious Iggy needed to find his brain. So of course we went up the Sugarloaf to look for it!
That climb helped a lot, so we dropped back down to continue going around. When we got to the farm, Iggy briefly thought about fussing, but quickly decided behaving was better than climbing.
Iggy got a bit strong and fussy once we got back onto Alimar, so I rode him home, tied him to a tree while I went to get Kestrel, then got back on and went out again. Iggy was highly offended then, but it didn't take much to shut down the fussing. We went across Alimar at at trot, then looped around and came home at a walk. He stayed on a loose rein the whole way back!
11.5 miles, 1580 feet of climb, 5.8 mph average pace, 34F real feel
Once I was done with Iggy, I decided it was time to open the gates to the other two paddocks. I knew there would be much excitement normally and the cold weather only added fuel to the fire. I got lucky the herd was grazing as far away from the gates I opened as possible, so I had a chance to get a quick video just after I opened the second gate.
Notice who was in the lead!! George has been the fastest since Dream died.. you could see his displeasure at being passed by the upstart.
It was fun to watch them play, though it didn't last all that long as the call of the grass was just too strong.