Winter Ride #1

winter trail ride

I decided to get my brain in gear and get out and ride. The pull was too strong. I keep seeing ads for shows or events I want to do, and I think to myself, wow, if my horses were in shape, I could go do that. So even though I won’t be able to do the event in two weeks, I could still maybe do an event in 4 weeks. The days will be getting longer, and warmer, and I will definitely feel more motivated when that happens, but there’s no reason I shouldn’t start now.

So, with that burst of motivation pushing me forward, I hooked up my trailerĀ and took Vintage and Berry out to meet D’Arcy for a ride.

When I first arrived, it was cold. Cold, as in, somewhere in the 30’s. I can’t remember the last time I rode below 40 degrees, so it felt cold. There was a bit of wind, and that made it uncomfortable. My first thoughts were how much I was regretting this excursion already… but when I was a teenager, I rode in all sorts of weather, and I would always tell myself, “the temperature doesn’t matter! I won’t even feel it once I’m riding!” This is mostly true, and also, I was wearing my giant hunter princess coat, which kept me super warm.

Part of the reason to ride in the cold is just for the chance to wear this coat. It doesn't get nearly enough use.
Part of the reason to ride in the cold is just for the chance to wear this coat. It doesn’t get nearly enough use.

It isn’t quite spread out enough in that shot, but when it lays flat, it rests on Berry’s back like a dress. I feel like a centaur when I wear it… a centaur that also has a horse head. And my legs are so super warm! It’s amazing.

This was the first ride of 2017, and the first time the horses have been ridden in months. We took it easy with them, and just did some w/t/c, and a few of the jumps. Vintage found the barrel jump especially appalling.

barrel jump
The stages of getting Vintage over the barrel.

My main take aways from this ride – Vintage needs to be exposed to more types of jumps, as she also reacted to a gate jump, and I need to get my fitness back. My leg was very loose.

Berry doesn’t care about barrels. She had zero reaction to it, and just went right over it. However, she’s jumping very flat, and really just lifting up her legs more than jumping. She’s not fit though, so I’m going to make that excuse for her. But overall, she was super calm and obedient about everything. With the exception of her lack of fitness, it was as though she hadn’t been out of work at all. I was very pleased with her. She even got some normal distances!

I made this video to make it easier to track our progress this year. It’ll be fun to see how Vintage and Berry (and I) are all doing after getting into shape, and getting back into lessons.

After we rode in the ring for a bit, we went on the trails. There were lots of hills to build up those muscles, and also small mud streams for Berry to get upset about.

What is this horror!?
What is this horror!?

Even though it was cold, I hardly felt it thanks to my amazing jacket. It definitely belongs in the top ten of best jackets I’ve ever purchased! Everyone needs one of these jackets. I’m not even a jacket salesman, I just really likes this jacket.

I survived one day of riding in the cold – now I just need to keep it up! After a few more exercise sessions, I think I’ll be ready to take a lesson and have enough fitness to not feel like I’m wasting my money. I really do need those lessons to keep me moving forward with my riding skills and to give me some focus – it’ll be a huge motivator to take one.

We are serious about our riding.
We are serious about our riding.

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