Sunday 10 March 2019

Trail Riding, Farriers, and Having an Actual Job Too

We had a beautiful sunny weekend. It remains unseasonably cold, but the sunshine and dry paddocks are a gift given our normally rainy and muddy spring weather.

The flip side of the sun and cold is that the outdoor arena remains snow covered and icy, and the footing isn't ideal right now in the indoor either. So, I haven't been doing much in the way of proper work with Bridget for the past few weeks. Both girls are shedding like crazy so I'm hopeful warmer temperatures and better riding conditions are coming again soon.

Bridget leading the way on the sunny section of road. The black mare on the left is only just 4 and already super solid - fingers crossed Sophie is half as good next spring!

 We've been hitting the trails a couple of times a week, but again, the shady areas are still quite icy, so it's mostly walking and letting Bridget pick her way carefully through. I'm grateful I don't have any big goals or shows this season...I do miss that and look forward to a return in a year or two, but it's really nice to just make the best of each day without any agendas and to not stress too much about us both being out of shape and out of practice with the spring show season rapidly approaching.

Same ride. It's still quite dark and frozen in the forest!

Across town at the full boarding barn, Sophie continues to be Sophie. Full of life, slightly sassy, impatient, opinionated, yet still so sweet and genuine.

Not Sophie, but how could I resist sharing this picture of Bridget and her adorable bestie? The winter paddocks were redone on Thursday and these two are pretty pleased that they now have a shared fenceline.

I'm learning to trim Sophie's feet thanks the guidance of a couple of more experienced mentors boarding there. One of the drawbacks of keeping horses in this town close to my home is being a ferry ride away from any regular professionals, so it's equally empowering and frightening to take on trimming her. I am learning so much and hope to eventually feel confident enough to do Bridget's in the interim as well. I'm lucky that Bridget is doing OK with the available care, so she's less of a priority than Sophie, who wasn't coping well.

Sophie showing us she has big girl teeth growing in too.

I do have access to an excellent farrier on southern coast, so at whatever point I move one or both ponies back to EC's to resume training and lessons I'll most likely be back to hiring professionals for everything. I think I can learn to do an adequate job, but I'll always defer to a trusted pro if one is available. I like to educate myself as much as I can so it's fun for me to learn to do a basic trim, but I very much like having resources available so I don't need to feel like I have to know everything.  Farrier J who frequents EC's barn is one of those excellent farriers we all wish we had, so it would be silly to not hire her!

I think the biggest benefit to all of this is that Sophie is currently learning a lot in regards to being saintly with her feet. I'm pretty much her worst nightmare as far as needing to be patient goes - it takes me longer to do one foot than could normally be expected for an entire trim. Pretty sure she'll never complain about the real farrier (or standing tied without anyone bothering her) ever again!

Skeptical that tying skills and patience are real things.

I'm heading back Monday morning for a short work week on the south coast. Home again late Wednesday night, so no barn time until Thursday evening...such is my standard winter schedule.  I know May is still a couple of months away, but now that I have my revised summer schedule planned and approved I'm beyond excited for May to arrive and to have 5 days a week with time to ride. I'd never complain about my current 4 day work week though! I feel a little guilty modifying it further for summer. But, I guess this is a good reminder that it never hurts to ask for what you want. My work was more than happy to accommodate my wishes to allow me time to  be a part time amateur horse trainer for the summer ;)

At least the winter sunrise ferry rides are always scenic.


  1. Sounds like some wonderful pony time was had :)
    We are currently under a ton of snow :( Hopefully it doesn't make it's way over to you guys!

    1. Fingers crossed, we escaped the latest snow warning and our yard is almost melted. This has been the closest to an actual winter that I've ever seen here!

  2. I have the opposite situation, during the winter I mostly just ride in the covered arena and avoid the muddy trails :/ We have a dry week forecasted though so I'm hoping to get Cupid out next weekend!

    1. We're all about the mud...I hate complaining because our club membership is super reasonable, but both arenas are in desperate need of a footing redo so I'm using the trails far more this winter than I normally would.

  3. B and her little friend are adorable! So cool about learning to do their feet- I'm way too nervous to even try it, so I think that's awesome.

    1. The more I learn, the more I do think the average person could learn to trim their own horse, especially when they're pretty basic feet like my two have. On the other hand, it costs $45 and 15 min of my day to hold them for a pro who is going to have way more interest and experience than me, so if that option is available I'm taking it!