Monday, March 18, 2013

Last week spring, this week...not so much!

Last weekend the weather teased us with the promise of spring.  I was able to lunge Suki and Nikki and be hopeful that winter was on its way out and training could resume.  Boy, was I wrong!  By Friday temperatures had dipped back below freezing with a biting wind.  Saturday brought a clipper system through adding big fluffy snow flakes to coat the ground with a couple of inches. Not a major storm, of course, but just enough to remind us that Old Man Winter was going to hang on for as long as possible!  The coming week is expected to be cold with occasional wintery mix, destroying all expectations of resuming training.  I should have tried to find a clinic to audit this weekend.  The girls were in on saturday but had a couple of hours out that morning so they were not so cranky.

This is a typical spring for us but last year I had Nikki at a barn with an indoor so I didn't lose any training time.  Having the girls together still works out better for me but I admit that it was difficult not to ride for all of those months.  Once we get going again I don't mind riding in the rain (not torrrential or stormy) as long as the footing is safe, which it usually is.  Last weekend the footing was beautiful but now it is slick on top of slightly frozen.  maybe this is the last week of that though. 

Currently I am struggling with the decision to have someone else come over and get on Nikki the first few times.  I will get her prepared with ground work, then maybe have R (a local trainer who is excellent and specializes in young horses) ride her 5 or 6 times before I start.  While I am pretty confident that Nikki will be fine, I want to make sure that we start off well.  My plan is to lunge her for a week then put the saddle on and lunge her for a couple of more days.  There's a good chance I will just hop on at that point, but I want to have options. 

I have to order a special saddle pad for Suki. Late last fall a company was going to send me one to try, but never did.  I'm sure that they just forgot, and with winter coming I knew that I wouldn't need it for awhile anyway.  If it worked the company was going to use Suki in testimonials.  It is the one that I want to try, so if it works well I will certainly let them know.  After all, if it works on Suki's back with its lack of hair it should work for any horse!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cold and damp with footing unsuitable for work..... The horses were out in the paddocks when I arrived on Sunday afternoon.  Suki and Nikk are usually out just behind the barn, accessed by opening the back barn door.  They of course had heard me drive up, so when I opened the back door Nikki's face immediately pressed against mine.  Such a love bug!  I was just about to hook the lead rope to her halter when Her Majesty, Suki started to walk over from the other side.  Nikki immediately turned and walked away.  Suki did not make a face or do anything threatening (that I could see) but Nikki just knows that Big Sister is boss.  In spite of that (or because of it) they do get on quite well turned out together.

Suki, of course had rolled and managed to have her usual amount of mud caked to her neck, face and legs.  I groomed her first which of course made her happy!  When I look at Suki's back I am struck by how far we have come since those early days.  And now that the graft area has healed there are fewer day-to-day worries.  The daily task to keep the bandage intact so as not to interrupt healing or cause more damage were time consuming, but also kept me worrying.  I just kept thinking if I could just get it to heal we would be home free.  The efforts and assistance of others in monitoring and changing the bandage paid off.

Nikki was not as muddy, but she had definately rolled.  She HATES to have herbelly brushed so I always have to use the softest brush and not over do!  All of the blankets arereally disgusting at this point.  I have sent out the sheets for cleaning and repair in preparation for the spring weather that had appeared imminent!

March 18, 2013
Snow.  Again.  It reminds me of one of my favorite children's books: Snow, by Uri Shulevitz a Caldecott Honor Book.  Great story, beautifully illustrated. 
Partial view from my back window. 
When I opened the barn door today Suki's voice was the loudest.  Usually Nikki speaks first.  Then Nikki, also loud nicker.  My heart melts.  My girls.  I love them.  They were out earlier today before the weather turned, so they werehappy, but each wanted to nuzzle with me.  It was one of those days when I realize how fortunate I am to have them.....

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