I've been thinking a lot about what this year will look like for me and trail riding, and it is a bit bleak. I have an older herd, who are mostly retired, and a lameness issue. It reminds me of the years where Cowboy had his Headshaking Syndrome--he still does--but we didn't know how to treat it then. There wasn't much saddle time that year either.
Tumbleweed will need a lot of attention, so it is probably a good thing that doors are closing as his is opening, but he's still very young. He turns 3 in May. That's really too young to put any long rides on him. I'll probably contain his rides to 30 minute training sessions at our nearby park. It has an obstacle course and lots of flat, easy trails. I'll also take lessons with him throughout the summer, to help me, and build his and my confidence as a team.
It is possible that Leah will benefit from light rides and, in that case, I'll step them up. These last couple of weeks, I've been hand-walking, then cold hosing her, and she has improved a great deal, which means I'm on the right path. Her issues have always improved with exercise, and deteriorated during winter, just like Cowboy.
I'm sensing a theme: all my horses need "light exercise."
How convenient. So do I. And I've been rising to the occasion. The Fitbit step counter really motivates me to move more, and I've been averaging about 80,000+ steps per week. I feel like I need to be as fit as possible to keep up with Tumbleweed and the upcoming foal.
When I hear my friends talk about all their rides planned for this summer, it does make me a tiny bit melancholy, but only because I'll miss time with them. I'll still have plenty of adventures with my herd. In my opinion, a fulfilling life with horses is not galloping through green pastures all the time; it is exactly this, the caretaking. And I have a lot of that in my life!
I've been watching videos of horses giving birth. OMG. OMG. OMG. Crazy! One hoof pops out, and the horse is still up and down, then part of the head and hoof, and the horse is still up and down, and finally the body starts to come out. I'm so glad I'm watching these videos because, otherwise, I'd be having a melt down and calling the vet.
I will need to consult Shirley in the lead up to the birth! She has done it so many times. I sure wish she lived right down the road and not over the border.
Well, time to head back out to the barn. What would my life be like if I didn't have these sweet, sweet horses to fill it up?