Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's downright balmy outside

It seems pretty depressing when 32F makes me feel like I'm visiting the tropics, but it's been a cold month. The warm temps we've had recently, combined with the longer days (I get to see my horses in the daylight during the week now!) made it so I could finally do something with my horses besides throw hay at them.

Tuesday night I decided to pull Gwen out and go for a walk. My expectations weren't high, it's been a while since we've gone out and I figured she'd regressed a little. She had, but not nearly as much as I'd expected. She did start out by rushing off ahead of me so we had to a bit of head lowering first, but after that she did pretty well.

Tonight I rode! All I can say is that Coriander's feet must be feeling better because he was rarin' to go. He distinctly asked me if he could gallop at one point, something he hasn't done in a while. Unfortunately I don't feel comfortable enough on the bareback pad to do that so I had to tell him no, but it made me feel good that he wanted to. If it's still nice on Friday I'll put a saddle on him and go for that gallop.

Here's a question for the masses: I'm debating ponying Gwen off of Coriander once the snow and ice clears. I know I said before that I was a little concerned about her causing a wreck but I've been second-guessing myself lately. I want her to see me mount and see her brother's (non) reaction to it, and I want her to get used to seeing and hearing me up there before I try throwing a leg over her again. Not to mention she'd be getting more exposure to the outside world with company she feels comfortable with.

I think with the western saddle and Coriander's new-found fearlessness of the local flora and fauna that we'd be alright. I wouldn't even think about it if he were still as spooky as he used to be. Plus Gwen was really good both times she went on a walk with Rocky and her brother. Good enough that I feel she probably wouldn't cause a wreck.

Any thoughts? Talk me out of this if you think I'm a crazy person.


  1. I did quite a bit of ponying when I started my boy last year and I really do think it made all the difference. I think it's a great activity and hey - you exercise 2 horses at one time. Efficient!

  2. Ponying is a very good idea, if the ponying horse is reliable and pretty much unflappable. The other thing I'd do is to first practice in an "easy" area - the arena or an area near to home where the horses are comfortable, then gradually expand where you go.

  3. Take pictures if you decide to do this!! BTW, it's balmy here too (thank goodness!). We are at a high of -4C (25F) today. Yipee!!

  4. Oh good, so far the consensus is positive for giving it a try!

    Karen that's exactly the response from her I'm hoping for. Hopefully she'll be like your boy.

    Good point Kate, fortunately I know just the loop to try it out on. The short, close to the pasture loop that we've been taking our walks on should be the perfect place for a virgin voyage.

    Wolfie, I'll see how she does first, don't forget that she's a little firecracker- I'm going to need both hands ;)

  5. I've ponied horses too in the past and will do it again. If your pony horse is reliable it's good. I agree with Kate starting out in a familiar area that is familiar is probably a good idea. I also like to start off someplace small so there is less room for things to go wrong. I did inside a small arena.

  6. Ponying is a great way to work with multiple horses at once.

    Do you have someone who could help you as a ground person at the beginning? This could be helpful at the beginning, with another person walking beside her until both horses get it figured out.


  7. We had the same temps today and I thought it felt warm. Crazy when 30's feel warm.

    As for ponying you've got some good advice from everyone here. I'd say if you think it's a good idea and Corriander and Gwen can handle it do it slowly and build up her confidence. Good luck.

  8. Thanks everybody, good advice all around!

  9. i know what you mean! this morning was 18 degrees at the farm and i wanted to take my coat off - it felt like spring compared to the -14 i had the other morning!

    i love ponying to get horses exposure and/or exercise, and they do benefit from having company if they are anxious or new to things. you've got some good advice here. the only thing i'd add is, if you think you can manage it with your reins, try using a longer rope or longe line at the beginning in case she gets away from you a bit so you can let her settle at a distance or even circle around you before reeling her back in. it is pretty rare - most horses want to stay with with their pony-mate, but i've found if one is going to freak or try to get away, trying to hang onto them with a short rope can be a recipe for disaster! but don't bother if you think it will be too much to keep track of with your reins. you don't want your hands too full!

    good luck!

  10. That's a very good point about having a longer rope, if any horse could be expected to flipout it would definitely be Gwen.

    I think I've got an old, cruddy longe line I could cut down so I don't have so much in my hands.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Thanks for visiting my blog. :) I'm practicing the tongue click. I'm just not very consistent with it yet. I'm worried I'll confuse Chrome if I get it wrong lol. I do plan to switch to that eventually though. :)

  12. Keep at it but don't worry too much about perfection. My two aren't very discriminating, if it sounds anything like a click they're looking for treats.