Mother Nature played her cruel trick on us in the Canadian prairies this weekend. Friday night was a rather chilly -36 celsius when I was out at the barn, and it slowly (very slowly) warmed up through Saturday afternoon and overnight at hit a temperature of -6 on Sunday. That glorious temperature was at about 10 am though - the wind picked up and the temperature dropped through the afternoon back into the -20's.
That meant that everyone at the barn was out early to get a ride in. For most of us, the first ride in at least a couple of weeks.
That totally worked to my advantage.
When I took Cisco into the arena, there were about 8 other horses in there. Thus, Cisco was super chill for his first ride since late October. In fact, I didn't really have a functional go-button. I mean, I'd rather have brakes than only gas with a horse who could potentially be very fresh, but man, was I tired after the ride!
This year's first ride after his vacation went much better than last year's. The 2021 ride was spent spooking and scooting at every little sound and every time a pigeon flapped somewhere in the arena, and tension that lasted a couple of weeks. This year, no spooks (also no pigeons), and he was very chill the whole ride. I'm sure that the lack of pigeons helped, but I still swear by the soundproof ear bonnet he almost always goes in.
|I guess he can stay.|
The only goal for the ride was to not have a sweaty horse at the end of it. If we only walked, I would have been good with that. But we managed about 30 minutes and threw in a short canter each direction. I was super happy that his shoulders, which tend to fly out to the right whenever he's had some time off, stayed in the general area that I wanted them, even in the left lead canter that we had been working so hard on in the fall.
So, ride #1 of 2022 is in the books!
However, ride #2 won't happen for a little bit. We're back into the ice age for another week. Things are looking promising for the following week though - I will have to finally clip!
Also - I forgot how chilled I get after I ride in winter. It took me three hours at home to stop shivering, and I just felt crappy. I was starting to worry that the Omicron had found its latest victim, but I feel like this after almost every ride in the winter. Usually, I ride in the evening, and when I get home I'm bundled up under a couple of duvets in bed pretty quickly, but on this day I got home in the middle of the afternoon and had to stay up. This is mostly why I'm a weenie when it comes to the temperature these days - I've got my warm riding clothing sorted out, but haven't yet figured out how to keep the post-ride chill away,