March 5, 2017 Leave a comment
I’m a sucker.
I know the string of 60 degree+ days that started in late February and have continued into March won’t last. The snowblower still has plenty of gas in it, and I’m not putting away my winter gear, because I know what’s going to happen in a couple weeks. We’re going to get punched in the teeth, because that’s what March does.
Jag is also a sucker, because he picked today to drop about half his winter coat. Since I retired him, he’s grown a winter coat like a yak, and as happy as I am to see all that hair in late fall, it’s exactly zero fun to shed out. I’ve never taken as much hair off a horse as I did today. Yuck!
Still, between Jag’s shedding and the fact that the bulbs in my garden are all up (some of the narcissus are 5″ high!) I’ve got a bad case of spring fever. All I want to do is play outside, and I’ve hit that stage where I’m done wearing winter coats. No more black down, please.
Fred is feeling it, too. He’s been giving me rides that are forward and frisky, once we get past the initial mulishness. The focus is very much fitness and forward, so when he bursts into a crazy trot worthy of a standardbred or takes off in a hand gallop down the long side instead of his usual sedate canter, I just let him roll. I play him some music, and eventually, he stops pinning his ears, and starts to have fun. He exhales and snorts, his ears flop and prick and I can feel him anticipating an upward transition. He’s getting more responsive, and more enthusiastic.
I’m home for a while, so we’re going to ride. Fred is going to get the Couch to 5K treatment, alternating short trot sets (just a couple minutes at the outset) interspersed with walk breaks. We’ll throw in transitions within the gaits, and and some canter, but job one is to put some condition on ol’ Fred.
I’m being careful to work in plenty of walk, and have been really pleased how with the lengthy stretches I get from Fredders at the end of our rides. We may be walking, but every stride in this kind of connected stretch is helping put top line back on him too. I’ll get a “before” pic of him tomorrow, for posterity.
As we walked and stretched today, my playlist (set on “shuffle all”) served up “Ride” by Twenty One Pilots. Apropos – I’m taking my time on my ride.
I took my time after my ride, too. It was the perfect day for puttering around the barn, so I did. My saddle, girth and bridle are detailed and ready for our lesson tomorrow, my cabinet is organized and Fred has a full canister of no-suger-added treats. Good stuff, all around, and another warm day on tap for tomorrow. 🙂