Taking the Winter Off


When I was a kid, most horses got the winter off. Indoors were a rarity and while I can remember riding bareback on fuzzy, fat horses, no real work was done. The theory was that the mental break did them good and, as long as they kept moving, the rest helped their bodies too.

Zelda enjoying her time off.
Does this look like the face of a horse that’s dying to go back to work? or one that’s pretty sure her retirement plan kicked in early?

These days, horses, like people work year ’round. Some people brave the cold weather in indoors, others decamp for Southern climes, where they don’t have to even think about snow and ice.

My horses, like I, have taken the winter off. They’ve had a few short hacks but mostly they are fat, happy and hairy, hanging out in their paddocks. Since they are out 24/7, they still move around quite a bit, so they are probably fitter than I am (which is not saying much).  In a week or so I’m going to be able to start handling them again, reminding them that they are no longer feral. I will hope to find their minds and bodies have come out of this winter renewed and that we can all work our way back to fitness together.

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