scary bridge

Would you ride across this bridge?

I love the Facebook Group As Seen Through Horses’ Ears. It’s a wonderful way to “see” what fellow equestrians experience on their rides around the globe. Many of the images are so beautiful that I want to pack my boots and helmet and fly right out. This video, on the other hand, shows a ride that I’m happy to watch from my living room couch.

What a great relationship this rider must have with her horse. I can’t imagine Zelda or Freedom crossing it even if I went first.

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The Great Melt

Beautiful afternoon light
The late afternoon light set everything aglow. We don’t get many days where its warm enough to ride in shirt sleeves and there is snow on the ground!

Hard to believe that after the bitter temperatures that we had last week that today it was 55 degrees and sunny! Already the snow is starting to melt and it’s heavy and dense, not light and fluffy. It’s pretty hard going so today the horses and I took it easy and just enjoyed the warmth and the beautiful light.

Shadowland
Freedom hasn’t had a good off property hack in awhile. He enjoyed his snowy hack.
shadowland
Freedom hasn’t had a good hack off property in awhile. He really enjoyed his snowy ride.

Glowing in the sun
Freedom always glows in the sun. There’s nothing like a chestnut thoroughbred!
Heavy snow
Zelda complained that the snow was heavier and more difficult to move through than it has been. But she still gave me a couple of good bucks when she wanted to canter.

Sunset
On the way home we were treated to a beautiful sunset.

A Perfect Snow Day

A great expanse of snow
Looking out over the pristine snow on a sunny winter day. Where to start?

I finally found my motivation. Today’s warmer temperatures and bright sun revealed that it was just in hibernation.

There was a wide expanse of untouched, pristine snow just waiting for hoof prints and I had two horses who were willing to oblige. The snow was deep but fluffy, there wasn’t a hint of wind, and the only sound was the soft swishing of hooves. Zeda and I had a good canter on the trails. It was like riding through a cloud!

We are likely going to have only one perfect day as rain is forecast for tomorrow. I’m so glad I could take advantage of today.

Zelda Tracks
These are Zelda tracks. She left a wake of snow behind her.

Self Portrait in Snow

Freedom in the snow
Freedom got a good work out in the snow, too. We did some hill work to build up his hind end. Riding in deep snow is like doing constant cavaletti!

When drivers are dangerousII

It’s gotten to the point where I hate riding on the sides of roads because so many drivers are either clueless about horses or downright evil. Giving the majority the benefit of the doubt, I think a lot of drivers simply think of horses as machines, like bicycles, and don’t understand that driving by them fast, beeping their horn, or otherwise scaring a horse can result in a bad outcome.

This poor 4-year old Quarter Horse gelding was spooked by a driver and slipped into a ditch by the side of the road. Not just any ditch, but a horse trap — too deep and narrow to allow the horse to escape.

The rider was able to get out unharmed and luckily the Miami Dade Fire Rescue Team stepped in with equipment that allowed it to lift the horse out of the ditch. It was unharmed.

But here’s the kicker. These guys  get a lot of practice because, apparently, this happens once or twice a month!

“The tech rescue guys at FS 43 created a mock horse built out of steel and concrete [that] weighs 1,000 lbs. It allows the team … to rotate through and practice securing the horse to lift it out,” Miami-Dade Fire Captain Jack Swerdloff said.

Hard to believe that there hasn’t been some educational outreach to try to prevent this from happening so often.

The Ultimate Sales Video

Man, this is one of the most amazing and thorough sales videos I’ve ever seen. I actually watched the entire 20 minutes. This is one trail broke horse, but also a horse that looks like a lot of fun to ride. Neither of my two, despite years in the hunt field, could perform up to these standards! I’m going to have to work on a few of these skills.

The funniest thing in the video is that Walter shows a lot more humor (love how that horse will fetch a frisbee) in the video than his trainer, Zackery Stevens, who has the most deadpan voice over ever.

I’ve seen a few threads over the years asking how much it costs to buy a solid trail horse. The answer appears to be $50K. That’s what Walter sold for, according to the site where he was listed.

An Update on Freedom

Conditioning walk
After 5 days of rest, I took Freedom out on two light hacks. Mostly walking with a short bit of trotting. Luckily the weather cooperated. Unfortunately, while he feels a bit better, when I did try to canter him on the third day, I found that he is still having trouble with the left lead canter. Right now I’m continuing to hack him and am making sure to add some hill work to build up his muscles. I’m also considering some massage as his muscles are still probably tight from the SI pain.