We are starting the spring clean up. Now that the snow is melted we need to clean up the mess. I've been working at cleaning up the pile of hay and manure left behind. Usually I keep the small paddock cleaned up but this winter didn't have any breaks that allowed me to keep it clean. As a result the hay and poop just keep layering on top and freezing. I've been tackling it bit by bit. Today I found ice under the pile. I guess that hay really is a good insulater.
After working at that for a while I got Steele ready for work. He had quite a bit of energy today which was cute. I pulled out a cavaletti to introduce something new. I started by leading him back and forth and then put him on the lunge. We started at the top end of the arena (I usually start in one end and work my way to the other). I also introduced the idea of halting and then changing direction. At first he was quite confused but caught on quickly. One time as soon as I asked him to whoa he stopped and then turned without me asking. I then worked him down to the cavalletti. It took a few tries to work out how much line to give him and convince him that yes, I really did expect him to walk and trot over it rather than go around. After a few passes we worked our way farther down. This end seems to have a spooky corner. I get it- there's a field with things in the disance on one side and trees waving in the wind on the other. I was impressed on how I could his brain focussed on him and was just starting to feel smug when he gave this humongous spook and bolted. Somehow in this spook he got his front leg over the line so that it was going from the cavesson, down his outside shoulder and behind his front leg.
"well now your in a mess' I said but before I could get out the full sentence he braked to a stop (as soon as he felt the line between his legs) and looked at me to sort this out. He stood stock still as I pulled the line from between his legs. I was very proud. Outcomes are much better if a horse comes to a halt when they get in a mess than if they panic.
After a bit more work I finished and headed into the house for lunch. After lunch Ed and went out to tighten up the fencing. With the ice the tape had some major sag. Some of the posts were loose as well. Because we use Horse Guard fencing every so many poles has a tensioner on it. This requires a drill with a screw bit to loosen. Ed and I have it down to a science. I loosen and tighten the clips and tensioners while Ed is the 'muscle' pulling the tape taut and pounding in the posts. Who says romance is dead? Anyway the horses quite enjoy this new entertainment. Steele is convinced that if could just get his hooves on the drill then the fun could really start. I couldn't resist taking this shot with my phone:
|Steele: Irish you distract him and I'll grab the drill.|
Irish: I think she has the drill
Steele: dang it!
Once the fence was done I changed and tacked up Irish. He has been so soft in the bridle and fluid that our rides have been a true joy. I now realize what was missing the past few years. However, after about 40 minutes I hit the wall and no longer had any oomph left. I decided to end while it was still good. I left Irish in the cross ties while I got the stalls ready for night time. I noticed that he was restless. I looked at him and then I realized:
Me: "Irish I think you need to pee"
Irish: "No kidding! Hurry up"
I quickly got his stall ready. I then took off his halter and he walked briskly into his stall for relief. I then fed the horses and headed back into the house.
Ed asked what I wanted for supper. I told him that we were going out. We had a lovely supper and beer at a local restaurant- Ed had pan fried haddock with lobster sauce and I had my favourite: Chicken avacado club with sweet potato fries.
So today I worked on my strength, core, flexibility and cardio. Who needs a gym membership? I am now just holding on until I crawl into bed.