Spring fever in January

Willow in the fog
As we hacked home, a blanket of fog had descended on the paddocks.

Today it was almost 50 degrees. This is the type of crazy winter weather that I can handle! The warm weather eliminated the last of our snow and gave us a day when it was possible to ride in shirt sleeves. A side benefit was that it was finally possible to do some pasture clean up which was long overdue and not nearly finished — although any excuse to be out in the warm weather was welcome.

Today I took Freedom out for what I thought would be a long walk. The ground is pretty wet and I thought a walk would be relaxing but not damage the fields. Right. Wish Freedom had read that memo! The first half hour went according to plan. We had a very pleasant walk along the edges of some of our favorite fields. I saw my first Great Blue Heron of the season, flying low over the ground and a host of Blue Birds.

Then Freedom woke up and decided that he wanted to bounce, run, spook and otherwise ignore me. We had a few “discussions” about where we were going to go. He does not get to make those decisions.

After a few time outs and reversals of direction, we headed home. He was fine until he spotted a couple walking two dogs way at the other end of a field. My experienced foxhunter, who is fine with hounds running in between his legs, acted like he had never seen a dog before in his life. He went into high alert, spinning, snorting, threatening to bolt. I decided to take him into the ring until the dogs had passed the area where we were hacking and he got so upset I finally had to get off and lead him. As the dogs got closer, it turned out that they were, ironically, foxhounds!

While in the ring, I decided that it was better to keep his feet moving and hope that his brain would relax. We must have trotted for 20 minutes straight before I felt it was safe to try a canter. Another 10 minutes of cantering and I eventually got him to walk again.

Our ride home was going pretty well until a mountain bike came up behind us in the woods. I didn’t hear it coming at all and was taken completely unaware when Freedom shot off like we were leaving the starting gate. Luckily I stayed on and he settled down. We made it home in one piece as a cloud of fog descended enveloped us.

One thought on “Spring fever in January

  1. Love the photo!

    Bikes can be so quiet, even some cars when I’m out road riding sneak up on me! It’s difficult to be prepared to deal with a flighty horse!

Leave a Reply