Saturday, March 31, 2018

Chrome Ride 151

Finally!  A weekend without rain! It was a gorgeous day and I was so excited to get back in the saddle.  Chrome seemed happy to be doing something different too.  I actually forgot to get his sugar cube until he started trying to grab the bit out of the air!  I completely forgot about the training we did with taking the bit.  So I ran inside, grabbed a piece of sugar and then held the bit up for him.  He took it without hesitation and I gave him his sugar.  So funny that he remembered and I didn't.

I spent a bunch of time grooming him.  There was snowy fur flying everywhere.  He is shedding like crazy.  He enjoyed the full grooming immensely.

 This is a view I missed!

It's funny because the days leading up to this weekend I was actually nervous.  It had been over a year since I had last been on Chrome and I was worried he would be stupid or I would just suck at riding or something.  Once I had him groomed, tacked and I got on I wasn't nervous at all!

We goofed around in the yard for thirty minutes.  I had him do several short trots and even a few canters, just to see if he could still do it and to see if his canter scared me again.  None of it did at all.  Even when he ducked his head and felt like he wanted to crowhop the first time.  I corrected him and he didn't try it again.  He was very eager to canter and we had fun.  I haven't felt that carefree cantering him probably ever.  It felt so effortless and easy.  His stifles gave out a couple of times and he was doing the whole slow walk away from the house and fast walk toward it, but overall he was great.  We also worked on some backing and learning how to yield his hindquarters from the saddle without a ground cue (needs work lol).

He sweated a little, but never even got his heart rate up.  I was worried I could hurt him even though that makes no sense.  I was relieved to see him galloping around and bucking in the pasture when I turned him loose later (I trimmed and soaked his hooves after the ride).  He was so wound up and obviously felt good.

He was a total butt during his hoof soaks (but fine during the trim that we did beforehand) and I think it's because hubby left and he couldn't see where he was, but he could hear him feeding the goats.  He was such a brat that I didn't feed him when I put him back in the pasture.  I can't stand when horses act up in anticipation of food.  It put a damper on my mood after such a fabulous ride, but I'm not going to let it get to me.  He was just feeling good and being a turd.

It was a wonderful ride to get back into things and I can't wait to ride again.  Also I really want to thank you all for your comments on my last post. I don't know why weekend warriors have such a negative association in my area, but you're all right.  If I'm smart about it and take things slow, he will be totally fine.  So thank you all so much.  Also thank you for sticking around.  I know I've been very absent.  I appreciate my loyal friends.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Weekend Warrior?

Hey guys! 

I wanted to give you an update on the hay net and ask you a question (if anyone even still reads my blog since I'm so absent).  The hay net is doing great.  I can't tell for sure if it's actually slowing them down at all, but it definitely helps with boredom and prevents a lot of waste.  Rocky also seems to chase Chrome off less because he's distracted with pulling hay through the net instead of being a brat.

Now, my question.  What do you guys think of weekend warriors?  Growing up I was always told it's really bad to only ride your horses on the weekends.  Of course the people they were talking about were people that would take horses who've sat all week in the pasture and then ride them ten miles with no prior conditioning, so that is definitely bad and I know that.

What I need to know is if it's done right (start with short rides, gradually build distance and duration, proper warm ups and cool downs, etc.) is it still a bad idea?  Is it even possible to build a horse's fitness level if you only ride once or twice on the weekends?  I have to always keep his locking stifles in mind and I'm terrified of having another tendon injury (although I have no idea what caused the previous one.... probably him being overweight, but his weight is really good now that we have the hay net).  I can't longe him because circles are bad for his stifles and our ground is really messed up right now from all the rain and flooding.

The reason I'm asking is because I work anywhere from 7:30-8:00am to 6:00-7:00pm every weekday.  I have to do chores after work, then take a shower and eat supper.  By then it's late.  We rarely get inside or eat supper before 8pm.  I also have to keep a very strict sleeping schedule or I have insomnia, so I can't just stay up late a couple of nights a week.  I barely fit in all of the chores I need to do after work, so fitting in a ride is almost impossible.  Now that the time has changed, if the weather is decent, I could probably just throw on a  helmet and a bridle and toodle around the house for fifteen minutes but really it seems pointless because we can't really do anything productive and walking circles in the yard by myself gets really boring, especially in the dark.

So what are your thoughts?  I was looking back through my blog and realized it's been over a year since I've ridden my horse.  I've only ridden him 16 times in the last two years since I started working at this extremely stressful, fast paced, mentally exhausting job.  I have time to ride on the weekends (when the weather is okay), but I keep talking myself out of it because I don't want to be a weekend warrior. 

So if you work full time and/or a lot of overtime, do you ride only on the weekends?  Is being a weekend warrior as bad as a lot of people make it sound?  I miss riding and I know Chrome needs the exercise for his stifles, but I'm terrified of hurting him. 

I'll stop rambling.  Please share your thoughts!  I would really appreciate any advice.  Also because I know someone will mention it, having someone half lease him or come over to exercise him when I'm at work is not an option.  Thanks in advance!