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Discussion Starter · #3,121 ·
Nov 16, I got George out. We did a loop around Shuman's.
Plant People in nature Grass Groundcover Natural landscape

Sky Plant Cloud Plant community Mountain

7.03 miles, 883 feet of climb, 4.8 mph average pace, 36F real feel

Nov 17, I got Phin out for his rehab walk:
Sky Cloud Plant Dog People in nature

Horse Plant Dog Sky Tree

1.58 miles, 112 feet of climb, 3.2 mph average pace, 40F real feel

The 18th, I got George out. We did Big Square. Notice the shadow tongue:
Sky Plant community Plant Natural landscape Tree

🤣 🤣
Cloud Sky Dog Plant Natural environment

6.19 miles, 758 feet of climb, 4.8 mph average pace, 62F real feel

Nov 19, I got Phin out for his rehab walk:
1.59 miles, 118 feet of climb, 3.1 mph average pace, 27F real feel

Nov 20, I went out with Gina on Amish and Nik on Copper. I rode Honey. We rode around Alimar.
Horse Cloud Plant Sky Working animal

Horse Sky Cloud Working animal Saddle

5.03 miles, 594 feet of climb, 3.9 mph average pace, 44F real feel

Nov 22, I got Phin out for his rehab walk.
Cloud Plant Sky Dog Green

1.58 miles, 121 feet of climb, 3.0 mph average pace, 34F real feel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,122 ·
Nov 24, I got Phin out for his rehab walk:
Plant Sky Ecoregion People in nature Natural landscape

1.58 miles, 115 feet of climb, 3.0 mph average pace, 24F real feel

Then, I got George out. We did the Tomhicken lake loop.
Water Plant Sky Cloud Plant community

Sky Plant Horse Dog Plant community

9.66 miles, 1519 feet of climb, 4.8 mph average pace, 35F real feel

Nov 25, I went out with Gina on Amish. I rode Honey. We did the Sugarloaf loop.
Cloud Sky Plant Mountain Ecoregion

Plant Sky Plant community Horse Ecoregion

6.46 miles, 991 feet of climb, 3.8 mph average pace, 34F real feel

Nov 26, I got Phin out for his rehab walk:
Cloud Sky Plant Horse Dog

1.61 miles, 113 feet of climb, 3.1 mph average pace, 28F real feel

Nov 30, I got Phin out for his rehab walk. There was a "chance of flurries:"
Sky Plant Snow Tree Natural landscape

1.58 miles, 118 feet of climb, 3.2 mph average pace, 30F real feel

Dec 1, I got George out with Gina and Nik. We wandered around Alimar:
Horse Sky Plant Ecoregion Working animal

4.39 miles, 276 feet of climb, 3.9 mph average pace, 36F real feel

Dec 2, I got Phin out for his rehab walk. We worked in the ring because the ground was a mess:
Sky Dog Cloud Asphalt Road surface

1.64 miles, 103 feet of climb, 3.1 mph average pace, 32F real feel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,123 ·
Dec 5, I started with Phin's rehab walk:
Sky Plant Horse Cloud Ecoregion

1.77 miles, 119 feet of climb, 34mph average pace, 34F real feel

Then, I met with Nik. She rode Copper and I rode Honey. We did the Sugarloaf loop.
Horse Cloud Sky Plant People in nature

Horse Plant Tree People in nature Working animal

6.16 miles, 928 feet of climb, 3.8 mph average pace, 40F real feel

Dec 6, I got George out for a quick bareback hack to walk Kestrel before the rain:
Cloud Plant Sky Horse Ecoregion

2.67 miles, 200 feet of climb, 5.5 mph average pace, 45F real feel

Dec 7, I got Phin out for his rehab walk:
Cloud Sky Dog Plant Carnivore

1.59 miles, 108 feet of climb, 3.2 mph average pace, 36F real feel

Dec 9, I got Phin out for his rehab walk:
Plant Sky Tree Land lot Vegetation

1.6 miles, 118 feet of climb, 3.1 mph average pace, 38F real feel

Dec 10, I rode Copper! Nik was ill so asked me if I could work him a bit. It was fun to get on him, though he was pretty darn tense. He tends to be very high-headed so I wanted to see if I could encourage him to relax and drop his head. It was far from consistent, but I did get some moments of relaxation.
Horse Sky Vertebrate Ecoregion Equestrian helmet

Horse Sky Working animal Bit Horse tack

1.66 miles, 82 feet of climb, 3.5 mph average pace, 40F real feel

Dec 12, I went out with Nik on Copper. I rode Honey. We did the yellow gate loop.
Horse Plant Sky Plant community People in nature

Plant Sky Dog People in nature Wood

7.88 miles, 1296 feet of climb, 3.7 mph average pace, 34F real feel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,124 ·
Dec 13, I started with Phin's rehab walk:
Sky Plant Natural landscape People in nature Twig

1.57 miles, 121feet of climb, 3.2 mph average pace, 32F real feel

Next was George. We did a loop around Shuman's.
Plant Sky Plant community Dog Natural landscape

Sky Plant Plant community Ecoregion Dog

5.01 miles, 630 feet of climb, 4.2 mph average pace, 35F real feel

Then, I went over to meet Nik and Copper. I rode Amish. We did the Sugarloaf loop.
Plant Sky Ecoregion People in nature Natural environment

Plant People in nature Working animal Natural landscape Fawn

4.94 miles, 735 feet of climb, 4.3 mph average pace, 35F real feel

Dec 14, I got Phin out for his rehab walk:
Cloud Sky Plant Dog Vertebrate

1.58 miles, 131 feet of climb, 3.0 mph average pace, 40F real feel

Dec 15, I got George out. We did a loop around the farm.
Cloud Plant Sky Dog Plant community

Cloud Sky Plant Horse Ecoregion

6.37 miles, 965 feet of climb, 4.5 mph average pace, 37F real feel

Dec 16, I started with Phin's rehab walk:
Cloud Sky Plant Dog Ecoregion

1.57 miles, 112 feet of climb, 2.9 mph average pace, 55F real feel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,125 ·
Then I took George to ride with Gina on Amish and Nik on Copper. We did the Tomhicken lake loop.
Horse Cloud Sky Plant Plant community

Plant Sky Horse People in nature Working animal

10.24 miles, 1460 feet of climb, 3.6 mph average pace, 63F real feel

Dec 17, I started with Phin's rehab walk. Kestrel really wanted him to throw her stick:
Sky Cloud Plant Dog People in nature

1.89 miles, 131 feet of climb, 2.9 mph average pace, 45F real feel

Then, I took George over to do Big Square.
Plant Carnivore Grass Groundcover Shrub

We went down along the creek and to the power line climb for the first time in months and I was thrilled to see the trail was still open.
Sky Plant Dog Plant community Ecoregion

6.36 miles, 889 feet of climb, 4.3 mph average pace, 55F real feel

Then, I went over to meet Nik and Copper. I rode Amish. We did Big Square.
Cloud Horse Sky Plant Ecoregion

Cloud Horse Sky Plant Tree

5.45 miles, 594 feet of climb, 4.5 mph average pace, 52 F real feel

Dec 20, I started with Phin's rehab walk:
Plant Sky Vertebrate Leaf People in nature

1.91 miles, 164 feet of climb, 3.0 mph average pace, 28F real feel

Then, I met Nik and Copper. I rode Honey. We did the Sugarloaf loop.
Horse Plant Sky Ecoregion Vertebrate

Sky Plant Horse Ecoregion Nature

5.37 miles, 837 feet of climb, 4.0 mph average pace, 40F real feel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,126 ·
Dec 21, I started with Phin's rehab walk:
Sky Cloud Plant Dog Ecoregion

1.94 miles, 125 feet of climb, 2.9 mph average pace, 17F real feel

Then, I took George over to the Tomhicken to do the far railroad bed loop.
Sky Cloud Plant Dog breed Carnivore

Plant Plant community Ecoregion Dog Leaf

12.76 miles, 1588 feet of climb, 4.8 mph average pace, 30F real feel

Then, I met Nik and Copper. I rode Amish. We did Big Square.
Cloud Sky Horse Plant Ecoregion

Cloud Sky Horse Plant Ecoregion

5.83 miles, 778 feet of climb, 4.2 mph average pace, 36F real feel

Dec 23, I got Phin out for his rehab walk. There was traffic:
Cloud Sky Plant Dog Ecoregion

1.98 miles, 141 feet of climb, 3.2 mph average pace, 19F real feel

Dec 24, we got a white christmas eve. I still got Phin out for his walk:
Plant Nature Snow Branch Tree

1.94 miles, 118 feet of climb, 2.9 mph average pace, 21F real feel

Dec 28, I started with Phin's rehab walk:
Cloud Sky Atmosphere Plant Plant community

1.97 miles, 154 feet of climb, 2.9 mph average pace, 34F real feel

Then, I went over to meet Gina and Nik. I rode Honey. We did the yellow gate loop.
Horse Sky Water Cloud Plant

Plant Working animal Horse People in nature Sky

8.33 miles, 1243 feet of climb, 3.7 mph average pace, 38F real feel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,127 ·
Wednesday, I started with Phin's rehab walk. We went over to mosey around the ring because the ground is a mess. It was apparently exhausting as he tried to mug Gina for her coffee:
Dog Vertebrate Human Mammal Dog breed

2.08 miles, 112 feet of climb, 2.9 mph average pace, 38F real feel

Then, I got George out to ride with Nik and Copper. We did a loop over on the Tomhicken, sticking to the solid footing.
Horse Dog Plant Working animal Tree

Plant Horse Sky Working animal Tree

10.0 miles, 1453 feet of climb, 4.0 mph average pace, 42F real feel

Today, I went over to meet Nik and Copper first thing. I rode Honey. We did the yellow gate loop.
Cloud Horse Sky Ecoregion Working animal

Plant Plant community People in nature Natural landscape Dog

Horse Vertebrate Sky Working animal Halter

8.07 miles, 1227 feet of climb, 3.9 mph average pace, 44F real feel

Then I finished the day doing Phin's rehab in the ring:
Cloud Sky Road surface Wood Asphalt

2.01 miles, 115 feet of climb, 3.0 mph average pace, 48F real feel


Happy New Year!!
 

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You ride a lot of other people's horses. I would be interested to know which horses that belong to other people do you enjoy the most and why. Which horses do you ride that you'd really rather not all that much? Which are your favorites and why? You ride George a lot. Where does he figure in your preferences? Which horses do you really look forward to riding? Can you include Loni's horses too? Like Lapco?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,130 ·
Started 2022 off right - I was able to sneak in Phin's rehab ride before the rain started! We went over to the ring as the footing is still terrible. Today was time to bump up from walk to trot for the first time in many months. Phin was wonderful!
On the way home, DH sent the dogs out to meet us. Amazingly, Phin watched their approach with only mild interest and kept up his steady walking.
Cloud Sky Plant Natural landscape Natural environment

Even when Kali ran under him and then circled around to make a playful jump at his nose (for which she was sternly corrected), he just kept moseying for home!

2.06 miles, 102 feet of climb, 3.3 mph average pace, 50F real feel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,131 ·
You ride a lot of other people's horses. I would be interested to know which horses that belong to other people do you enjoy the most and why. Which horses do you ride that you'd really rather not all that much?
I have to say, it's rare for me to not enjoy the horse I am riding, as I am pretty good at saying 'no' when someone offers me a horse that doesn't look like fun to me! 🙃

Of the rides I have accepted that didn't turn out exactly how I had expected, the horse Possum probably tops the list. Years ago, I had been asked to ride him in 2 rides as his owner was recently diagnosed with cancer and had started chemo. He was in the end of year points standings for our local CTR organization and needed a couple more rides to keep his placing. I rode him in a 2-day 50 mile CTR and he was a rude freight train a good majority of the time. Any time he could see another horse, he wanted to race and I had a lot of discussions about appropriate pace, especially as the footing was less than ideal.
Horse Plant Equestrian helmet Horse tack Halter

His owner assured me that his rank behavior was because he hadn't been worked in a month, but she had found some local kid to keep him exercised a couple times a week until the next ride (which would be his last for the season). That seemed reasonable enough, so I agreed to ride him the second time.

Yeah, dumb me. The next ride was a 50 mile endurance ride. He was just as awful about being race brained, only that event had double the entries which meant a LOT more horses to race! He wanted to be first but I knew the pace of the front runners would kill him, as he was fatter than he needed to be and used to going CTR pace. He figured out about 5 miles in, if he put his head against his chest than the bit became useless as I could no longer rate his speed at all OR steer!! If it wasn't for the kindness of some ladies riding big gaited horses offering to use them as a physical barricade he couldn't run over, he may well have killed himself that first loop.

I still can't believe he pulsed down at the hold, but somehow he did. I made sure to leave on the second loop when no other horses were in sight. That loop was slightly better as I was able to keep the gap so he had nothing to race. The last loop heading back to camp, he finally decided we were all alone in the world, so settled down.
Horse Sky Working animal Horse tack Bit

That was, until we got a couple miles from camp and could see other horses ahead of us. Then the battle was back on. We came into the finish a frothy, jigging mess but somehow managed to get his pulse down in time to get his completion.

Ironically, I did ride him again the following year in a 25 mile CTR, but with a very specific condition: we were to go out first and alone so that he had no horses to chase! I knew that ride had a big climb pretty early in the first loop and I made sure he went up it at a solid trot.. which was enough to get him settled. Never seeing another horse, he was not too bad at all to ride!
Horse Sky Plant Cloud Horse tack


Not sure if Raven really counts as a horse I wouldn't want to ride, as it was not really his fault that he couldn't be a solo trail horse, but I certainly am not sorry we found him a different home.

The only other horses I am a bit hesitant about riding are Nicole's show horses because I don't know how to ride them properly. I feel like I am messing them up when I sit on them!

As for who is my favorite of the horses belonging to others than I have ridden? That would be Duroc, no contest.
Water Horse Working animal Plant Lake

Despite him being the one who hurt Lani so badly, he and I have always clicked and I love him. I think Lani not riding him any more was the right decision as they were not a good match, but that means I don't get to ride him any more either. I wish he wasn't such a medical disaster or he would have come home with me long, long ago..

As for the rest, my order of preference is: George, Flo, Lapco, Phin, Polo, Fluffy, Bee, Honey, Mu, Hombre, Iggy, Brim, Amish, Giselle. For horses who are no longer rideable, Dream has been my favorite to date hands down. Sultan would fit in between Lapco and Phin. Czar would be between Honey and Mu. Link would be between George and Flo.. and hopefully will be rideable again at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,132 ·
Today, I got a sort-of break in the weather to get Phin's rehab ride in. We got a half inch of rain overnight, which we sure didn't need but was better than the inch that had been predicted. Today was supposed to be partly sunny, but instead it was foggy and drizzly.
Sky Plant Cloud Dog Tree

The ground is a disaster, so we slogged over to the ring.
Sky Cloud Ecoregion Plant Tree

Gina was out trying to clean her paddock with the tractor, which of course just resulted in a lot of skidding around and then being stuck, meaning Keith had to get a bigger tractor to pull her out. Phin was not exactly impressed with all the noise and commotion, but he behaved himself well considering. His trot was pretty boingy, but I did stay on. I think next time I may put the saddle on..
2.06 miles, 115 feet of climb, 3.3 mph average pace, 42F real feel

The temperature has been dropping all day and will fall into the 20s overnight. While I am looking forward to the mud freezing, I am not looking forward to all the ice. 😖
 

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I think it's pretty special you were able to own the horse that was your favorite to ride. For quite a while, my favorite horses to ride were not my own. Then came Halla. She was the best horse I've ever ridden, and the one I would have always picked if I had a choice. Here's hoping we will each own another horse someday who matches riding Dream or Halla.
It's pretty great when someone lets you ride their horse, and you've been looking forward to it, but when you compare them to your own horse, yours is still more fun to ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,134 ·
Overnight, winter has arrived. We went from temps 20 degrees above normal to temps 10 degrees below it. And as if that isn't enough fun, the wind has kicked back up. But the frigid temps mean a lot of the mud has frozen, which has greatly improved the footing.

I started with Phin. Because of the wind and my plan to trot outside of the ring, I figured putting the saddle on was a good idea. First time he's been saddled in 5 months!
Horse Working animal Horse tack Liver Horse supplies

I didn't put his bridle on though, and as we walked down the upper woods path towards Gina's with his head straight up, eyes bugged out, and snorting every stride, I wondered if I had made a mistake riding him in just the halter. I had planned to do his normal trail rehab loops and add trot in places it was flat, but he was so keyed up that I altered the plan. We started our trotting in the ring. Phin was very animated to start with so I was very glad I was using the saddle!

After a few laps, Phin decided life was maybe not that exciting after all, so we headed back out on trail. We trotted back home on the airport strip and he was pretty relaxed despite the cold wind up his butt.
Instead of doing the normal loop around the top fields, I stuck closer to home in the hopes he would be calmer. While he was still pretty animated, all things considered he did really well.
Cloud Sky Plant People in nature Natural landscape

2.16 miles, 138 feet of climb, 4.1 mph average pace, 11F real feel 🥶

Kestrel was also really animated, so I decided to get George out so she could have more of a run. I chose to saddle him, too, as I expected some silliness. While he wasn't all that silly, he was def happy to move out without prompting. We did a loop around Alimar, trying to stay in the trees as much as possible to avoid the worst of the wind. Then, we went down along the creek trail.
Plant Plant community Natural landscape Tree Terrestrial plant

The wind felt better there, but it was still cold enough to freeze my water bottle:
Drinkware Plant Water bottle Plastic bottle Bottle

We did a little loop behind the township building, which was a weird mix of frozen ground and running water from the winter springs (which meant mud). I won't go that way again until things dry up.
Plant Plant community Dog Tree Natural landscape

3.04 miles, 354 feet of climb, 4.4 mph average pace, 14F real feel ⛄
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,135 ·
Today, I started with Phin. We did the normal rehab loops but added trot in places. He was a little up to start with, but soon settled.
Tree Plant Natural landscape Wood Sky

People in nature Road surface Asphalt Wood Tar

2.2 miles, 171 feet of climb, 3.9 mph average pace, 19F real feel

Next, it was George's turn. We did the Sugarloaf loop.
Plant Dog Plant community Sky Ecoregion

Sky Cloud Plant Nature People in nature

6.29 miles, 876 feet of climb, 4.5 mph average pace, 25F real feel

Then, I went over to work with Copper as Nik has been busy with school and family things. We wanted to see what he thought of his new don't-shoot-me rump rug.
Horse Working animal Halter Horse tack Liver

Copper didn't seem phased as I flapped it all around him tacking up, but I started with some groundwork in the ring just to make sure. He's figuring out how to trot in hand, though he still hangs back as if he's expecting to be punished for it (yet he isn't pulling on the lead.. just wants to keep a lot of distance as I jog).

I hopped on and we did a lot of walk circles and figure 8s in the ring, working on bend and relaxation. Copper is the QH version of Phin - super, super anxious and shut down. He's come a long way with Nik, but there is stranger danger happening for him when it comes to me riding him.
Sky Cloud Plant Ecoregion Working animal

But Copper is getting more relaxed with me with each ride. He only got jiggy once in the ring, which was a huge improvement over the last time I rode him. I decided to venture out of the ring. His head went up and he immediately wanted to jig as the change made him anxious, but I just kept reminding him I wanted a walk. We went about halfway down the airport strip, which was as far as I felt he could manage to keep his growing anxiety under any control.
Cloud Horse Sky Plant Working animal

I was pleasantly surprised that Copper wasn't any more jiggy turning to go back then he had been going out. We did some circles around puddles beside the ring, then went back out the strip partway, getting a flat walk the whole way. Turned around to come back and he got a little jiggy, but better than the first try. Went out a third time and this time he got a little bit balky, wanting to stop and throw his head down. That got a correction and while he began marching along again, I got a couple tail lashes in complaint. We went another few moments when he heaved a big sigh and dropped his head a bit, so we turned around and went back (at a hurried, but flat, walk).
1.74 miles, 33 feet of climb, 3.4 mph average pace, 28F real feel
 

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Thanks for your answer about your preferences in horses. It was so interesting to me that I wrote it down in my notebook. I was surprised that George is first on your list. Can George compete again or is he retired? Any chance you could buy Flo or Lapco?

One reason I was so interested is because I have 4 horses and I also have preferences. I love Chorro the best, my heart horse 4eva, but Acicate is the most fun to ride. When I ride Isabeau, I think I like riding her best . . . until I get back on Aci. Windy is my daughter's horse, whom she rarely rides. Windy is such a good willing nice moving horse, that it seems a shame to leave her grazing in the pasture when she has so much potential, so I keep riding her. She just doesn't feel quite like "my" horse, though. My daughter adores her and I cannot be cruel enough to sell her and break my daughter's heart. As I continue to ride her, she is steadily improving and increasing in value in case my daughter does decide one day she could manage to part with her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,137 ·
@knightrider : I think you are doing the right thing to work with Windy. Just letting her sit wouldn't do her any favors and your daughter doesn't ride nearly as often as you do. By your riding her, you are setting Windy up to be a horse lots of people would want to buy.. or one that has worked her way into your heart!

George will never compete again. While he is happy enough to be ridden, his movement is not the same since that last round of EPM. He isn't unsound exactly, but especially downhill is not able to travel like he used to. If he would be able to go to rides and just relax, he probably could do LDs, but he is race-brained so would not be happy going slowly (and who wants to fight about pace for 25 miles?!).

As much as I would welcome Flo or Lapco here without hesitation, the only way I see that happening would be for me to inherit them if (god forbid) Kathy dies. There is no way on earth she would sell ether one (and I don't blame her).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,138 ·
Wednesday, I started with Phin. It was brisk but Phin behaved well, even when Kestrel wanted him to play with her stick:
Cloud Plant Sky Dog People in nature

It is so funny to see Kestrel put it down ahead of us, look up expectantly as we approach, then look disgusted as Phin walks over the stick. She then jumps in behind him to pick it up, runs ahead of us with it, and tries again.. and again.. and again..
Cloud Sky Plant Light Tree

2.26 miles, 167 feet of climb, 4.2 mph average pace, 21F real feel

After finishing the ride, I took hay out to the feeder. As I was filling the haynets, the horses suddenly started looking off across the fields, snorting and prancing around, then going to the fence to stand and snort again. To start with, I had no idea what on earth they were so upset about.. then the monster came closer:
Horse Plant Ecoregion Vertebrate Tree

(that would be the always-horrifying Killer Cougar * cough * umm, cat 🤣 )

That afternoon, I went over to meet Nik to ride. I had planned to ride Honey, but found she had a fresh bite mark on her side. Of course it was in a place the saddle would rub, so I tossed her back out and rode Amish instead. We did the Sugarloaf loop backwards from the normal direction.
Cloud Horse Sky Plant Ecoregion

The boys were forward but behaved themselves. The sun came out partway through the ride, but that brought the wind, too.
Horse Sky Cloud Plant Ecoregion

Because of the sun, we went down the bigger hill on the road as we were afraid the top of the grass had melted enough to be slimy. Made for a pretty view we don't often see.
Cloud Sky Horse Plant Ecoregion

5.26 miles, 771 feet of climb, 4.3 mph average pace, 34F real feel

Yesterday, I started with Phin. For those wondering how Link is doing, this is how my ventures into the paddock to catch other horses turn out:
Photograph Plant Working animal People in nature Tree

Link will follow us all the way to the barn, then stand outside the stall looking in. Makes me a combination of happy that he's interested but sad that looking is all he can do right now.

Phin was feeling a bit up because of the chilly temperatures. There wasn't supposed to be much wind, but the longer we were out, the windier it got. Phin was fairly full of himself which led to a lot of discussion about pace. I was pleased he did eventually listen to my requests but he certainly wasn't super responsive to the halter.
Cloud Dog Sky Atmosphere Plant

On the way home, we stopped to visit the neighbors:
Sky Plant Tree Nature Botany

2.18 miles, feet of climb, mph average pace, 19 F real feel

The wind was so bad by the time I was done with Phin, I decided I didn't want to ride George and hide in the house instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,139 ·
Overnight, the inevitable happened - we got 2-3 inches of snow. I had really been enjoying the lack of white stuff, but knew it wouldn't last forever.

I started with Phin. He was riled up right from the start, fussing in the stall as I groomed and tacked instead of eating his hay. I didn't think going out in just the halter was a smart idea, so on went the hackamore.
Plant Snow Tree Branch Wood

I am glad I put it on, as Phin and Kestrel were both having entirely too much fun. Phin felt if Kestrel got to leap about in the snow, he should get to as well!
Sky Cloud Horse Snow Ecoregion

In the end, we got it done.. but it was certainly not a jog trot!
2.18 miles, 161 feet of climb, 4.7 mph average pace, 18F real feel

Next, it was George's turn. I had intended to go over to the Big Square, but when it started snowing and the wind started roaring, I decided we were just going to go around Alimar again and then home. George was feeling great!
Sky Cloud Snow Plant Dog

Sky Plant Snow Natural landscape Working animal

4.51 miles, 502 feet of climb, 5.1 mph average pace, 9F real feel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,140 ·
Yesterday, I got a lot of saddle time!

I started with Phin. The wind yesterday had caused a lot of drifting which Phin eyed with great suspicion.. along with shadows and weeds poking out and pokemon who were apparently hiding all over. :rolleyes:
Sky Snow Plant Blue Cloud

Phin also felt my choice of pace was lacking and instead wanted to run the whole thing. He wouldn't even stand to eat (normally his favorite part of the rides).
Sky Dog Snow Vertebrate Dog breed

2.41 miles, 144 feet of climb, 4.7 mph average pace, 14F real feel

Next up was George. He got to deal with Kestrel and Kali, who was just bonkers, bombing around at full speed regardless of what was around or under her. We did a loop around Spauling's and then wandered around Alimar in an attempt to tire out the dogs.
Snow Dog Plant Tree Carnivore

George was feeling great and was happy to move out. Notice the tongue:
Snow Plant Branch Slope Freezing

I think George had as much fun as the dogs (and I sure had a blast).
Snow Dog Plant Light Nature

4.02 miles, 463 feet of climb, 5.1 mph average pace, 21F real feel

Then, I went over to meet Gina and Nik. Just as we had finished tacking up, Gina announced that she wanted a walk ride, with no trotting or cantering. I groaned internally but was happy to be riding Honey as she is comfortable and won't fuss about just walking along. I wasn't so sure how things would go with Amish and Copper, however.
Plant Snow Horse People in nature Leaf

As I expected, Gina didn't bother to keep Amish to a flat walk, so his jigging pace was not something the other horses could keep up with while walking. Honey didn't care about the other horses leaving and was happy enough to mosey along, but Copper was getting more and more anxious as he couldn't settle into a pace.

We got down the creek trail and looped back onto Alimar to find some unusual tracks; it looked like some people pulling a sled had gone by! The tracks hadn't been there when I was out earlier, so Gina wanted to find out where the tracks went. We worked our way around and soon found the culprits:
Snow Sky Vertebrate People in nature Light

Some neighbors had come to enjoy their snow with their son. Instead of just waving hello and continuing on, Gina marched right up to them and started a conversation. Honey didn't seem real sure about the sled, so I let her halt a comfortable distance away. Copper isn't a big fan of standing at the best of times, so no surprise he was not particularly interested at being near the sled or standing for more than a moment. When another neighbor appeared in the distance going for a walk, Copper was quite convinced monsters were invading (notice he was watching the opposite direction from the people Gina was talking to in the above picture).

Copper got more and more agitated as the walking person's head bobbed in and out of view. Having Phin react the same way to the same thing, I knew the fun Nik was not having. When Gina still didn't get the hint that it was time to move on (despite turning to look at Copper fussing a couple times), I finally announced I was cold and needed to get going and asked Honey to walk on. Copper was more than happy to come along, but was not very happy when Gina came trotting past on Amish a moment later. When Copper shied sideways, she made a big show of stopping Amish and letting Copper past to go first.

We continued around the fields with Gina letting Amish jig right on the tail of Copper - honestly I was amazed he didn't kick out. Nik finally asked Gina to go first again, mumbling something about maybe Copper would be less spooky then. By that point, my fun meter had totally run out and all I wanted to do was go back. I suggested going the shortest way back to the barn, claiming I was still cold, but Gina wanted to go all the way around the church fields.
Horse Snow Blue Azure Working animal

As we came around those fields, I reminded Gina that my horses were out and that DH was working on the porch, so we should go through the middle of the field and not all the way to my driveway. I am not known for a quiet speaking voice, so I can only assume she intentionally ignored me as a moment later she started trotting - right past where we normally would turn across the field and at my driveway.

Ironically, Amish took a big spook at the shed behind the church, which would have amused me except it scared the [email protected] out of Copper and got my horses galloping around. Copper spun around and I think may have tried leaving if Honey hadn't been there to distract him. We got Copper turned back around and I put Honey between him and my crazy herd, who were running and bucking and farting all over in the paddock beside the driveway. About then, DH started using the nail gun and Copper started levitating at the sound.

I am not sure how Nik managed to stay on, but she did. Copper jumped all around several times and then finally stopped dead, at which point I took Honey right up to his head and quietly suggested Nik step off. She did and none too soon, as DH started the next round of nailing and Copper was airborne again. I called DH and thank goodness he felt his phone ring and answered, so stopped making any more noise until we had passed.

Nik hand walked Copper, who was bug eyed and panting he was so upset, until she got to the far side of our place. With the removal of the running horses and the noise, Copper finally looked less likely to explode. Nik got back on from the potato stone pile and headed for the airport strip. Gina made a comment wondering what had gotten into Copper - as she was again letting Amish jig right on his butt - and it was all I could do to bite my tongue. I was never so happy for a ride to be over, though Honey handled all of the craziness really well. :mad:

3.02 miles, 312 feet of climb, 2.7 mph average pace, 30F real feel


Today, we got nailed by the next Nor'easter, only instead of snow we got ice. We got something like a 1/4 inch of ice and were lucky to not have trees come down and our power has stayed on. However, the ground is a disaster. The next few days we are expecting high temps well below freezing, so I have no idea when I will be able to ride again. sigh
 
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