Monday 24 January 2022


 With all that wild weather, the horses ended up with 6 weeks completely off and a really relaxed November too. Sophie ended on a good note at our early Dec clinic. Bridget just does whatever Bridget does so keeping her in work is more about fitness rather than training. While I started out frustrated with the weather and winter dark, I’ve come around to the fact that we all benefited from a time out. 

This one’s reverted to a more cautious welcome now that riding is added back in to reasons why I might be visiting. Food related visits are her preferred reason to see my truck coming up the driveway, of course.

My latest weight tape on Sophie shows another gradual increase. I’m well aware that they’re notoriously inaccurate, but I’m finding a weekly measure useful as far as keeping tabs on the general trend under all that fur.

To me,  she’s looking better, and measures about 50 lbs heavier than mid November. Around Christmas time I crossed my fingers and scaled back the massive amount of hay I was feeding, but so far she’s still getting rounder. Let’s hope it’s the Vit E working it’s magic! 

Actual condition is hard to see under that extreme winter coat - check out that belly hair! She’s pretty close to a good place again.

Quick aside re: hay. I don’t know if it’s the weather to blame or transport issues but there is a huge shortage this winter. I’m lucky I have a supply nailed down,  but it was ordered last summer with normal pony hay consumption in mind. Feeding two to three times what I had budgeted was making me pretty stressed. The truck came in last week and I refilled my barn, what a relief! 

Anyway, we’re back at it again. B’s been out for a couple of walking trail rides (after a couple of days of longeing out the crazy). 

Sophie’s getting and even more gradual start back with some walk/trot longeing and some walking in hand on the trails and up and down hills. She keeps herself busy moving all day, but as always topline isn’t magically there in the paddock. She’s a bit too wild to just hop on and expect a nice walk and stretch under saddle at the moment. 

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before but she’s never matured as solid as I would have hoped - she’s pretty petite. With me and tack it’s right about that magic 20% number. I’m not as worried about that on a mature horse, but I’m inclined to be very careful with one that’s younger and been out of work. I think next week we’ll add in some canter on the longe and short walk rides and go from there. We don’t have outings planned until March so we’ve got all of February to get in shape and brush off the cobwebs :)



  1. I am on a forced break right now. I am glad that the vitamin e is working. Things like this take time. I also know that Carmen was pretty narrow until her 7th year. Now she's built like a tank. I don't remember Sophie's breeding but wondering if there are some late maturing breeds in there? Hang in there, give the feed changes time to take hold and then see.

    Either way

    1. It's all later maturing breeding, I think - I'm so impatient :). Looking at media of her full siblings at similar ages she's always by far the most petite so I'm not expecting miracles, I do think there's a bit of room for widening out though and I have hopes the diet tweaks might assist!

  2. I'm on a forced break here as well due to cold weather and my own health issues, but I've learned time off never really hurts anyone. It seems after a couple weeks off there is no difference between 1 month or 3 months in terms of bringing them back so I'm just going to go slowly and not stress. I like you plan for walk/trot work and then slowly adding to the workload. Sounds solid. I'm sure she'll come back pretty quickly. As for vitamin e, happy that seems to be helping! I should definitely run some blood on Nay too. He's definitely doing better since I pulled flax and extra rice bran from his diet (who knew?) but it's definitely worth checking for deficiencies. He's such a weird hay eater and strongly prefers alfalfa (and then didn't touch his alfalfa last night and attacked his grass hay so???) I give up. Horses. They're stressful, right?

    1. I was thinking of you last night when Sophie randomly decided to abandon her alfalfa cubes and vitamins mid way through dinner. "you fed her too much, she's full" says husband. No, she started picking away at Bridget's local hay instead, which normally she can't be bothered with. JUST EAT YOUR VITAMINS ALREADY,I buy this expensive food because you need it! Horses! ;)

  3. Sophie's furry belly is so fricken cute.
    We've been land-locked for several weeks due to ice and snow, so I fully understand where you're coming from. I did manage to get the horses out this weekend for a hand-walk though, so that was nice.

    1. She's well ready for a northern winter!
      I was wondering if your winter blast stayed long term - I saw the storm warnings and was wondering how you were making out up there.