The weather has gone from being unseasonably cold through most of November, to being unseasonably warm through the first part of December. So the snow that we had the day after Halloween has mostly melted. Where it hasn't melted due to being packed down or lack of sun, it is super icy and slippery. Not helped by the rain we had on Friday night, which turned some icy areas into skating rinks.
So icy footing means horses that haven't had much exercise during turnout. Which means that they are extra silly when they get onto the good footing in the arena.
|Cisco was having a snooze with the sunrise over his shoulder when I arrived.|
I brought Phantom in first and let her loose in the arena to play. Thankfully this was before everyone showed up. I know when she has energy because she will immediately start off in a trot, instead of slowly warming herself up. She looked stiff behind, not wanting to shift her weight onto her hind end, but did get better as she got moving. I didn't want her to do too much as I didn't want to deal with a sweaty horse, so she got a couple of gallops in and left her at that.
By the time I returned to the arena with Cisco, someone else was riding, so I wasn't able to let him loose. We did a bit of the clicker work in the scary end in-hand. He was also full of himself, so he would walk with his head down, halt, drop his head, get a click and a treat, then stick his head up in the air, spook, and try to run past me. We had to have a few conversations about that.
At some point a couple of people who had trailered in for lessons came into the arena. Through one of the doors in the scary end, without notice. The coming through the door part was no problem, but then he was super distracted with the new potential friends that he might make.
|Sleeping in his hay nest.|
I threw him on the lunge line, not sure how it would go. He started off quite well, and before long he was going into the scariest corner of the arena, with no issues. I'm not sure if it's because the clicker training has paid off, or if it was because he was so distracted by the other horses that he forgot he was supposed to spook.
Cisco had a short mental breakdown when we changed direction and the first horse in the arena that he had become bonded with after being in there together for like 10 minutes left. He tried to changed direction a few times without being asked, has some sassy moments picking up a canter, and kept squealing these long, quiet squeals. Thankfully it didn't last long.
The weather is changing again. It's going to be pretty cold by Christmas, just in time for me to start riding again. Or maybe not, depending on how cold it gets. My limit is -15 celsius. The heat in the arena isn't working, so my limit might not be that low this year. I don't ride well with a frozen face.