I must say I am currently loving the weather in Colorado now. Instead of monsoons we are now imitating Ireland! And I must say I LOVE Ireland. If I could just up and move there I would! I get to wake up every morning to birds singing and fog!
So I had a grand plan to ride my ponies in the field yesterday since our arenas are a filled with various puddles evidenced from my last post.
Of course I have to work Cash first. He’s a wee bit jealous when I work other horses. I must admit that it’s kind of nice, but needless to say if I don’t work him first I get the death glare and he’s just mischievous enough I worry how enjoyable our ride will be.
So I saddled up Cash. He was already being a bit of an idiot but some of that was partly my fault. I have my trailer parked near my tackroom so I can slowly start filling it with my hordes of tack that I’ve somehow managed to collect. Cash loves trailering, or at least going new places so he gets really excited when he sees the trailer there. Enter in cool weather and he kinda looses his mind.
Off to the small pasture we go! And we begin to lunge…It was at this point I decided I was not gonna ride anymore. I haven’t seen him so energetic and just playful in ages. Apparently he loves foggy weather as much as I do, though there were a few to many spooks in there and after 20 minutes of cantering he didn’t seem to want to slow down. (Video clip below) I worked cash until he was finally listening to me and transitioning easily before calling it a day.
Now it was time for Jackson (yes his name has evolved from Jack to Jackson…you can thank my mom and my husband for that) l figured I’d lunge him without the saddle and bridle. After watching him at home it amazes me how much like his Uncle Jackson really is! I’m not sure if I’m excited or scared about that. Luckily Jackson seems to be a bit more low key then Cash but their mannerisms are very very similar. You can see his exploits on the Lunge below as well. (Though I wished I’d caught his ability to trot and snag a bit of grass without breaking stride. It’s quite impressive)
Now to get to the meat and bones of this post. As I went to ride yesterday I failed to take into account the change in weather. Colorado is very rarely foggy and cool like this. Add to the fact the boys haven’t been getting a lot of exercise due to the mud and also changing up what the tack area looks like by adding a shinny trailer, And working them in a new area, I’m thankful I decided to lunge before jumping on. My day could have ended drastically different if I hadn’t.
It’s easy to forget that our normally good horses can be completely different with the weather or simply being in someplace new. In hot weather they can become sluggish and slow to respond and in cold weather they can become hot headed and spooky. In new environments they can become the classic lookie loo that feels like a bomb ready to explode. Don’t be afraid to sit down and re evaluate what your plan was for the day. Maybe instead of riding, lunge or walk the path with your horse until they calm down. If you’re at a show and your horses aren’t used to show environments try to get there a day or more early so they can learn the area and get used to all the commotion.
My mistake was thatCash and Jackson are never worked in the pasture. Pasture for them has usually been about turnout and play. Asking them to suddenly focus and listen is just not gonna happen, especially on a cool day. At least not with my boys! So for now we will take it slow as they adjust to working in the Fog and the pastures. I’m sure with a few days solid work we will have the brains cells back! Until then, I do believe there will be a lot of lunging and a bucket full of patience to go with it to.