Winter blues (rather browns and grays) – Sarah

Well its the time of year when most riders stay indoors with a cup of hot cocoa and a few cats.  Usually I would say I am different, venturing out into the snow for fun rides, but sadly, I am not.  If you are from Southern Ontario, you already know that we have had unusual weather patterns recently.  Christmas was t-shirt weather (of course, fully committed to family engagements, I was unable to ride in my tee in December), then after that we got rain, freezing rain, deep freeze, some snow and then some more rain.  This means riding in the ring will ruin the footing, and riding out of the ring poses safety issues with wet ice.  The ski hills are just barely open, so no distraction there either!  So we are down to maybe once a week or so, but its better than nothing right?

One of the dryest places to ride also has beavers.  Lots of evidence around, but still haven't seen the naughty critters themselves.
One of the dryest places to ride also has beavers. Lots of evidence around, but still haven’t seen the naughty critters themselves. (the gray)

We have been doing the best we can, I have been keeping my weekly lessons with Karen, toughing it out through whatever weather and footing we manage to find.  Thankfully, the slush seems to have a positive influence on our dressage work… Bentley seems more compliant with doing circles in nice balance when the footing justifies it.  Less rocket effect when we are on a treadmill of mud.  Whether its a breakthrough, or just the effect of the footing, he has been getting a lot of “good boy!”s and scritches. Maybe it will stick.

IMG_20160103_151133
Little snow wont stop us! Freezing rain… well that’s another matter. (the brown)

Since a lot of walking is in order, I have picked up a project horse of Karen’s who she thinks might make a nice distance horse.  His name is Excalibur, and he comes from the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society.  We will work on re-training him for a new career and potential adopters.  Hes only been out 4 times now, but hes already showing great potential – going everywhere on the property short of hitting the actual trails.  He has been so easy, a willing partner with real trust in humans.  The only naughty bit is some dangerous in-your-face mooching for cookies… but is rapidly improving. We gave him the barn name Kirby.  He won’t last long once he is listed for adoption.

I will keep everyone posted on his progress!

A funny story that earned a lot of comments on my personal facebook page (and is just too good to keep to myself!) is about my kitten.  Last spring we adopted a feral kitten, bottle fed it for a week, and it became Tess, our spunky little girl that the internet just seemed to love.  Yes, she was seriously adorable.  Eight to ten months later (including all her kitten shots over several appointments), we took her to the SPCA to be spayed.  Lee had the honour of picking her up, and in front of a room full of people, the nurses announced that Tess, was indeed a boy.  Oops!  This is taking a bit of adjusting too… but explains a lot!

Our cats Tess (now Taz) and Abbey (brown and gray!)
Our cats Tess (now Taz) and Abbey (the brown and gray)
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