Short Post on a Beautiful Sunday
I seriously underestimated the amazing drainage on my property. I had poo picked the arena yesterday and there were some serious wet spots and a few spots still frozen.
But the temperature was up over 50 F. today and by the time I got back home from church, everything was well thawed. I still have some piles of snow where I heaped it after plowing and some on the ground in the shadier spots, but my arena was completely clear and the footing was marvelous. I poo picked a little more as the Boys like to hang out in the sand, and then hooked up the arena drag.
Whew! The mud in the paddock by Chance's stall was really bad. Not so deep, but very slippery and my poor tractor was sliding all over the place trying to pull the drag up the little hill. Four wheel drive be blessed, but it was a skidding struggle to make it up to the arena gate.
One inside, I did a good grooming job, going over most of the footing at least three times to loosen and level it. The Boys were out there "helping" so I had to keep my eye on them to make sure no one tried to play with the drag rake, but it was OK and despite their frolicking, they kind of stayed out of my way.
On the way out of the front paddock, where there was much less mud to battle, the drag got stuck on the gate. Clever Chance took immediate advantage and before I could stop him, he jumped over the end of the stuck drag and escaped out onto the lawn. Toby and Tucker, a bit slower on the uptake tried to follow but I managed to block the way by getting the gate partially closed. It took a lot of convincing to get the two big Boys to move out to the other side of the barn so I could get the drag free. Meanwhile, Chance was trotting all over the lawn disappointed at the lack of grass.
When I finally got the drag free and unhitched, I got a lead rope and very easily captured the wayward Chance and put him back behind the fence.
Then, I saddled Tucker up for a short ride in the arena. Even with the excellent footing, he is definitely "footy" without his shoes. His stride was short, and, although he really wasn't limping, it was clear he was not really comfortable. I still do not have the magnesium oxide, but I did get another supplement that is magnesium based for horses with Cushings and IR, so I gave him a scoop of that with dinner. I only rode him for about 10 minutes, with a little trot and canter, and he was actually quite willing to go without any protest. We'll have to see how the no shoe thing works out. For now, there is no point in shoeing him until Spring is truly settled in. It's supposed to rain for much of this week, so the mud will be back in short order. His being barefoot is the easier option in that kind of weather.
After I finished with Tucker, I saddled up Chance. Since he'd already warmed himself up on the lawn *G* I just mounted up and rode him out into the woods for a nice little trail ride. As always, he was a super boy and we had a nice hack. The footing out there was, however, a bit slippery in places. Again, a lot of the ground has thawed just on top, and under the leaves in the woods, there were some really slick spots. Still, there was a enough good footing to keep us both happy and we had a really good time out.
Toby was not interested in doing anything and by that time I was worn out, so I fed them all and made sure everyone had a nice carrot.
I'm not sure how much work I will be able to do with the Boys now that I am teaching again. Next week, though, we go back on Daylight Savings Time, so I will have enough daylight to do some riding. Now all it will depend on is just how much rain we get and when.
At least, if today is any indication, things should routinely dry out pretty quickly here. There are decided benefits on living atop an aquifer.