Saturday, December 27, 2008

Winter and Old Dogs

November and December in Virginia are prime riding months- between 50 and 60 degrees, dry and crisp, a great time of year to get in a lot of schooling time. Not this year, though. It has swung wildly from 65 degrees and pouring rain to 25 degrees and 50-mph winds without any kind of pattern at all, making any form of riding routine impossible. To clip the horses would leave them frozen on the bitter days, but they get too hot at 65 degrees to do any serious work. The weather made it impossible to get our outdoor arena finished this fall, so with the ground being either slick as a skating rink or frozen into ruts, it's been nothing but frustration watching them standing around.

Comes December 27, and wow ! 58 degrees and sunny, run and get the tack !

Kazak, the old veteran, knowing him well I put him on the lunge to get his bucks out, 10 minutes of craziness and he was done, lathered but happy. We'll go for a hack tomorrow in the morning when it's cooler, he has a really bushy coat.

Kuma, the youngster, I also put on the lunge line to watch him go and assess where he was at, he hasn't done a stitch of work in almost 6 weeks. It still never ceases to amaze me, 21 years into this breed, how easy they are to get fit and how little it takes to condition them, or I should say, for them to condition themselves. Kuma, who lives out 24/7, does his daily laps down his fence line keeping an eye on the weanlings nextdoor, and even without any formal work in almost 2 months, didn't break a sweat or blow out a match after his pipe-opener.

Watching him trot happily around like he could go on forever, I decided to jump in and enter the endurance world with him this spring, he never wears out and he cheerfully will do whatever I ask, so I guess if I can ride hellbent for leather on a foxhunt for 4 hours, I can do so out on an endurance ride too, and I might even have a chance to look at the scenery while I'm at it ! We'll see if this old dog can actually learn anything new...

Hope it was as nice a day wherever you are as it was here today, hope for spring is still alive !

Central Asian Equines

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