The Weather Outside Is Frightful (for us)

Work: short walk, groom.
Report: cold & windy. I was for giving the whole thing a miss, discretion being the better part of valor, but Greg insisted on a company walk. It went as well as could be expected in this weather. Rodney was on his toes but not a turkey about it. Which is why I took the mare.

Ramblings for the Day: At least Rodney is not a troll.

Yesterday evening, Greg misunderstood the weather forecast and blanketed for a night that was 15o colder. Whereupon, Rodney got a dopey look on his face and fell into a warmth coma. The way you would feel after spending a day outside, coming inside, changing into dry jammies, and diving into a mug of hot soup. Mmmmmm. Apparently, Rodney was cold yesterday, which may have contributed to his mood. The irony is that I thought I was keeping him warm. I left his night blanket on until therapy time and walked him in his wool cooler. I am slowly getting the message that he really, really likes to be warm.

Greg also reminded me that when we tried him, it was high summer. The first day of the clinic was one of those agonizingly hot days when horse and rider both question why they are at the barn rather than lying quietly in a cool, shady place, swishing their tails. Rodney was a star that day.

I have a friend in Colorado who can’t believe I blanket my horses at all, given our average daily temperature. I can’t imagine what she would say about a horse sporting a wool cooler at 53o and sunny. No, he is not clipped. In his defense, weak though it might be, he has a thin, TB coat.

In Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld, trolls are a civilized race – in cool weather. As the temperature goes up, the silicon in their brains heats up, and their thoughts slow down. As the temperature goes up, Rodney becomes quite civilized. In cold weather, his mind might as well be made of stone, a particularly micaceous, i.e. flaky, form of stone.


Work: AM heat therapy & walk/PM groom. Probably. Eventually. Maybe.
Report: 3 laps similar to yesterday. The middle lap was slightly bigger & therefore closer to the ring. This did not escape his notice. Halfway thru the 3rd – smaller – lap, he squealed and pulled back. Catching me by surprise, he pulled away and ran off. Despite a touch of bucking and galloping, it was minor as come-aparts go, a panic attacklette, if you will. Therefore, I only went into a minor tailspin, a spinette, IYW.

Ramblings for the Day: Why do I bother with this horse? With this blog? With anything? Okay, maybe the tailspin wasn’t so minor.

What does your horse do that puts you totally out of patience?

More Equine Tics

Work: AM heat therapy, walk – 3 laps of our current “big” loop/PM long groom.
Report: walk – some concern, some yawns. He wasn’t completely over it but he was on a loose rope the entire time & he didn’t escalate, which for him is a biggie.

Ramblings for the day: When Rodney is concerned about life, e.g. at the top of the hill, i.e furthest point from the barn, he will chew on the end of his leadrope, much the way you or I would gnaw on a thumbnail.

We are making progress with the previous inexplicable behavior. He still runs to the barn when I get the mare for her walk but now, after a bit, he will come back out to graze. A reader suggested that he did this from a herd dynamic and a fear of being left alone. A legitimate theory for horse behavior. However, in this case a) he may be many yards away at the time and b) he shows no interest in staying with his supposed buddy.

Have your horse’s tics changed over time?

And Yet More on Helmets

The new image on my sidebar was designed by Catherine Strachan, Freelance Designer:

“When my mother approached me about her Lake George [New York] Rotary Club’s public service message to raise helmet safety awareness, I was more than happy to help. My father was in a skiing accident a few years ago. If it wasn’t for the helmet he was wearing, he might have not survived. As a graduate from the State University of New York at Purchase College, which is known for its excellence in education of the arts, I wanted to create a striking but simple sticker for Lake George Rotary Club. This sticker is designed not only for ski helmets but to fit on any kind of sports equipment or vehicle. As a person that is involved in multiple sports, I still see too many people without helmets.”

Previous rant: Helmet Evangelism

Immersed in the Equine Idiom

Work: PM heat therapy.
Discussion: Two microwaved heating pads + sheepskin cover + wool blanket + warmish weather = happy horse. I have no idea why he doesn’t melt.

Ramblings for the Day: I can’t swim and count at the same time. In order to keep track of my laps for the Polar Challenge that I started on Jan 22, I have to translate swim strokes into gaits.

Start with a gentle hack on a loose rein – breaststroke, no goggles, head out of the water, ambling along.
After warming-up, I pick up the reins and walk – breaststroke, goggles on, head down.
Then trot – add in backstroke.
Then collected walk – back to breaststroke but with a concerted effort to be streamlined and swim fast.
End with more hacking.

This I can keep track of.

Have you ever used horse language to explain other parts of your life?

Manic Monday

Work: PM heat therapy & handwalk
Discussion: Much stopping and yawning, a small amount of being fussed by the dog.

Ramblings for the Day: I promised myself that I would limit this blog to events pertaining to horses, but a 2-hour+ fire call at O-dark-hundred this morning has cratered the rest of my day. Although I mostly fetched equipment and helped with salvage, turn-out gear is a lead-lined suit. Just walking back and forth to the service truck is worse than a trip through a weight-training circuit. At least the weight machines can be turned down to wimp level. We won’t even discuss trying to run in bunker boots.

I’ve managed a modest level of activity with the horses but am not finding anything clever to say … I know I have something around here somewhere …give me a minute … um, I’m going to have to get back to you on that.

Superbowl Sunday

Work: PM1 heat therapy/PM2 Greg & Rodney joined us at the end of the mare walk. We circled the entire field. First time in a while.
Discussion: Weather continues warm; horse continues mellow. He was halfway along the continuum from pulling like a train to totally relaxed. So, progress.

Ramblings for the Day: Although I would prefer to share brilliance and originality, I gotta go with Maxine on this one, “No matter who plays the Super Bowl, I root for the Clydesdales.”
For cartoons, Like Maxine on Facebook.
For Budweiser Clydesdale info, if you are legal.
For Budweiser Clydesdale info, if you are not.
(Hint: for better hits, surf Anheuser-Busch, rather than Budweiser, Clydesdales.)

Which is your favorite Clyde commercial?