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As much as I hate to hear of bad rides and I totally feel for Nik. I am always relieved to see that sometimes I am not the only one that gets frustrated at my riding friends. I hope that maybe a side conversation can be had with Gina as this sounds really out of character for her to be so blind to what is going on around her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,142 ·
While we got lucky the ice wasn't as heavy as predicted, it was still ice and made the ground a big mess:
Sky Automotive tire Snow Tree Natural landscape


Wednesday, I was able to take the RVT out and break some trail around Alimar. I took George out first to make sure the footing was reasonable before trying to navigate it with Phin.
Cloud Sky Plant Snow Dog

George quickly figured out the new game was staying in the tire tracks.
Cloud Sky Dog Snow Carnivore

2.9 miles, 351 feet of climb, 4.8 mph average pace, 21F real feel

Next, it was Phin's turn. He was a bit cranked up because apparently he has forgotten that being an endurance horse means doing something other than the same 2 mile loops. :rolleyes:
Plant Snow Leaf Tree Branch

We had multiple discussions about pace, as he seems to feel returning to full work means cantering everywhere when my goal is walk with some jog trot. 🙃
Cloud Sky Dog Light Plant

4.65 miles, 472 feet of climb, 4.3 mph average pace, 24F real feel

Yesterday, I started with Phin. He was just about beside himself. So we did a lot of walking with short bursts of trot in an attempt to keep his brain in his head. I was really wishing for the Sugarload to climb.. instead tried to make use of what hills there are on Alimar. We also did some repeat laps around the outdoor.
Plant Sky Cloud Ecoregion Nature

We were coming along one of the field roads when I started hearing the sound of chainsaws! I thought maybe someone was harvesting some of the downed trees behind the township building for firewood. Phin didn't need any more excuses to jump around, so we headed to the other side of the farm. Sure glad we did as a few minutes later, I could hear trees coming down!
Sky Cloud Plant Wheel Light

4.34 miles, 489 feet of climb, 4.1 mph average pace, 21F real feel

Then, I hopped on George for a quick ride to test out a new saddle I found for Nik:
Horse Working animal Bit Bridle Horse supplies

I took George over towards the township building to see if I could find the source of the chainsawing. Surprise - they are logging that land!! That area was quite wet, so no idea how the equipment wasn't stuck fast. I fear what it will look like once they are finished. 😖
Sky Dog Cloud Plant Tree

2.19 miles, 164 feet of climb, 4.7 mph average pace, 30F real feel

Then, I went over to meet Nik for her to try the saddle. I rode Honey. We stayed in the ring as the ground had melted enough to be a slimy, soggy mess.
Cloud Snow Sky Building Dog

1.06 miles, 69 feet of climb, 2.8 mph average pace, 40F real feel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,143 ·
Friday, a couple ladies came up to look at Honey. Gina had decided she was for sale earlier in the week, so I contacted a friend of a friend who was looking for a quiet horse for her nervous daughter in law. While they had been looking for a gelding, Honey's pictures and my description of her behavior had them interested enough to make the 2 hour drive to check her out for themselves.

Because I wasn't sure if they would want to see Honey out on trail as well as in the ring, I got George tacked up and took him over to Gina's so I would have something calm to ride out on. The weather was not very cooperative, with overcast skies and strong, gusty winds.
Plant Snow Tree Wood Branch

Once I got over there, I got George settled in to a stall with a haybag to wait. I think he thought it was the best trail ride ever:
Working animal Pet supply Fence Wood Stable


The people were right on time. Honey was her normal lovely self to catch, groom, and tack up. We went out to the ring and I put her through her paces. She was her usual calm self despite the raging wind and audience. When the ladies didn't want to see any more, I hopped off and stood answering a couple questions. Honey stood quietly, though was very interested in a certain pocket:
Horse Snow Working animal Liver Horse supplies

The more experienced of the ladies got on next and Honey seemed a bit confused about why she was still in the ring, but she behaved well. Last, the DIL climbed on. You could tell she was nervous to start, but after the first few steps, her face lit up in this HUGE smile. Honey made a lap of the ring at a walk, then she asked her to trot. Honey obediantly did so, even though it was away from the gate. The other lady - who had been standing beside me watching - let out a small gasp and said that her DIL hadn't been brave enough to trot on her own since her previous horse died!

I knew right then Honey had found her person. While she is technically on a two week trial, I have no doubt she will be staying. Gina was nervous about how Honey would do loading as she had only been on a stock trailer once before. However, Honey followed me up the ramp into the two horse trailer with only a brief pause after putting her two front feet on the ramp. A quiet word and she came the rest of the way in after me, earning several carrots. The trailer was closed up around her and she didn't move a step; she dug into the waiting hay bag like she hauled daily.
Train Outerwear Sky Cloud Vehicle

After seeing the trailer disappear down the driveway, I got back on George and rode home.
George: 1.12 miles, 53 feet of climb, 3.9 mph average pace, 26F real feel
Honey: 0.42 miles, 34 feet of climb, 3.8 mph average pace, 24F real feel

Then, I got Phin out. The weather had not improved, with terrible wind and falling temperatures. But I knew the following day would be even worse, so out we went.
Plant Snow Dog Tree Natural landscape

We stayed at a walk, as I knew he was hanging on to his self control by a thread.
Plant Sky Snow Dog breed Natural landscape

2.03 miles, 194 feet of climb, 3.1 mph average pace, 14F real feel

Yesterday, I went over to meet Nik to ride. The weather was cold, so we weren't surprised that Gina didn't want to ride so I planned to take Amish. However, when Copper came in bleeding from both pasterns, I knew I would be going home to get George. Luckily, Copper's wounds were minor (just scraped skin off) but still wasn't worth taking him out. So Nik rode Amish in the ring and I went home to get George ready, then came back over.

We knew the footing would be questionable, so we did the loop around Shuman's.
Plant Horse Snow Tree Sky

George was well behaved but Amish was feeling mighty fine and gave Nik a hard time about pace.
Horse Sky Working animal Snow Cloud

4.92 miles, 614 feet of climb, 3.8 mph average pace, 21F real feel

Next, it was Phin's turn. I wanted to get him over to see the downed trees blocking the access to Spaulding's before also having to deal with snow and plow piles etc. So we headed out that way and Phin was surprisingly calm. With the big storm coming, I had expected him to be pretty agitated.
Cloud Sky Ecoregion Natural landscape People in nature

On the way home, we went out the creek trail where they had been doing the logging. It sure looks different..
Plant Plant community Wood Tree Natural landscape

4.72 miles, 525 feet of climb, 3.9 mph average pace, 15F real feel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,144 ·
The big Nor'Easter rolled through last night, and unfortunately the weather forecast was right on. It started snowing about dinner time and we got about 4 inches of snow before it changed over to rain. We got .71 inches of rain on top of the snow, leaving an incredible slushy mess as the ground is frozen so the water has nowhere to go. As if that wasn't enough fun, the wind got ugly - the worst I have experienced since moving here. I still can't believe the power stayed on. This video was taken on the protected side of the building:
Yet again, I was so thankful for equipment. The tractor was throwing up a wake as DH plowed. The shoveling I did have to do was like handling wet cement.
Sky Plant Snow Natural landscape Tree

The temperature slowly dropped all day, meaning the slushy mess is turning into an icy disaster. We took the skid loader out in the to paddock to try to at least texture the ground to help the horses with traction. We had lots of help.
Horse Vertebrate Sky Wood Mammal


Momma nature is still not smiling. It is spitting snow again now, though it's not supposed to amount to much. We aren't supposed to see temps above freezing for the next week. We may have a PITA storm Wednesday with more snow/ice, and then the next coastal storm is coming for the weekend. The last thing we need is snow over this mess to insulate it..

I have my yak trax on my boots, ready for morning chores. I fear I will not be taking them off any time soon. 😖
 

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Discussion Starter · #3,145 ·
We had an unexpected warm day Wednesday, with temps climbing high enough to soften the mess on the ground. I took Kestrel out for a quick walk to check out the footing on my own feet, then grabbed Phin and tacked up when we got home. I figured we would be doing mostly walk, so I just took him out in his halter. We started out with a loop around Spaulding's:
Cloud Sky Plant Snow People in nature

Then went down along the creek trail and back:
Then we did a loop around Alimar. We did get a couple short trots in and Phin was pretty well-behaved.
Cloud Sky Snow Azure Nature

4.05 miles, 492 feet of climb, 3.4 mph average pace, 36F real feel

I am hoping maybe to get out this afternoon if the ground softens (supposed to be 28 and sunny) - fingers and toes crossed!
 
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