Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Blessings of An Indoor

Ah, How I Remember

I had in indoor arena and two places where I boarded in my 30+ years of boarding my horses out. Most of the time I rode outside anyhow, even in the dark as I always like to think of riding as an outdoor sport. But times like this, the indoor is a true blessing. In general, you have no worries when it rains or snows (provided you can get to the barn at all) and even the ice is not too much of a deterrent.

Well, I do qualify that by the year we had a bad ice storm and it was impossible to walk a horse even one step out of the barn without a real danger of his falling. That year the indoor had just gotten new sand footing and there was plenty of extra piled in the front corner. With the owner's permission, I carted manure tub after manure tub out to the area surrouding the indoor to make a path back up to the barn--perhaps 250' or more feet away--so I could walk my Boys down to let them get some exercise in the indoor. I recall being a little resentful when, after hours of hard labor, one of the other boarders showed up, carried perhaps one tub of sand and then asked me to bring my horses back in after only an hour or so so that she could put her horse out to stretch her legs. But, that's the deal when you board out--you have to share.

I have no indoor here at home. My plot of land is too small and I certainly don't have the money to put one up. If I ever win the lottery, well, it would be a high priority extra purchase after all my other significant bills were paid, but for now, I will have to make do with a sandy outdoor and arena lights for nighttime riding. I would, if I could finance it--which again I can't--upgrade my footing with a good rubber base. I've ridden in rubber/sand arenas and the footing is really nice. As well, the rubber does not freeze as quickly as plain sand, so you have better chances of riding in winter.

Meantime, I just cope. Which means I did not ride today. Not only was it cold, but the winds have whipped up again. Instead, I went over to the sandpit next door to pick up a few bales of hay to tide me over until I can get a delivery. I was worried because the weather forecast is deteriorating for later in the week and I have no idea when the young man who delivers will be able to come over. Either way, I am now comfortably set until he gets here.

Having read some of the other blogs (Apologies to Linda and Arlene. The word verification feature does not seem to be working on your blogs--at least from here--so I was unable to post a comment today. I feel bad as I wanted you to know I am reading and was trying to offer you feedback and support.) I realize how close we all really are in this experience of owning horses. The love we have for our companions and the difficulties we share at times in training and caring for them create a bond among us not many on "the outside" can ever understand. We also have our own unique language few people "out there" can comprehend.

It's kind of funny at times. Did you ever try to explain "on the bit" to a non-horseman, or attempt to explain why colic (when they think of human babies) is such a frightening word to horsemen? When someone asks about what kind of riding you do, does "dressage" easily slip from your tongue? And then, when they give you a blank stare, can you effectively describe why riding around a rectangle with letters in it makes sense and is actually quite and exciting and challenging sport? I love trying to explain why nailing a horseshoe on doesn't cause the horse pain and why we have to "float" their teeth regularly. Of course there is the favorite, "Does your horse sleep standing up?" and "Do you race him?" We talk about "frogs" and "withers" while they picture swamps and dried up leaves.

Maybe I need to think about a mass market book, "Horse Talk for Dummies" or, not to sound insulting, "Horse Talk for the Rest of You." I doubt it would be a bestseller among the masses, but perhaps a few horsemen would buy it just so they could go out into the equine deprived world and have a hope of conducting a normal conversation.

With that, I think I'll go to bed. I fell asleep on the couch again--it's after 2 AM--and I fed the Boys their late snack which woke me back up--all that "bracing winter air." And I'm not sure writing this blog helped much to get me back into "sleep mode." Think I need a few games of Free Cell..........


  1. Anonymous6:20 AM

    I know what you mean about an indoor - we don't have one either and the footing in our outdoor isn't anything to write home about. We do have space for an indoor, but, like you, we don't have the money for that or for upgrading the outdoor. We are lucky to have really nice trails, so if the footing isn't too bad, at least we can go for a ride in the winter.

  2. You could write this book. jean I will buy it. Because at times, I am not able to give a very good answer, because it is just the way it is ^-^ LOL

  3. I like to ride outside too, but I sure would like an indoor. We're going to get one up one of these days.
    I'll check out my word verification and see what's up with it.
    By the way I think that's a great idea for a book. It might make things easier for us to explain to the non-horse people with the blank stares and HUH? looks we deal with.

  4. I just encountered some issues with word ver. this morning. Passing phase, I hope.
    "On the bit" is for me much like explaining orgasm. Once you get it, you get it. Of course a difficult analogy for a teacher to include in a lesson plan.
    I tell people I am into Equitation which is a combination of Art & Science.

  5. really good idea about the book! but it would have to be run by us British English speakers as well, LOL

    I'm currently cogitating on a training course for lawyers on the subject....

    if ya'll don't bother with word verification, it'll be easier, LOL - so far so good for me without (she says, touching wood!!!)

  6. Oh yes a book would be great Jean you have such a great writing style!
    The arena I used opposite my old year was rubber and it was an excellent surface.They are going to be putting it down at the new yard soon as its just sand at the minute and has been frozen a fair bit this winter.