Monday, January 4, 2010


I look out my window this morning and this is what I see.

At first glance you might think that my horse is dead, but if you look closely, he is just trying to absorb any and all warm sunlight possible. Today was a bit warmer, I only wore one pair of gloves. It helped that the wind died down to a breeze. We started out like any other ride, walking down the lane to our trail. Remember the little creek I said we went over? Well it took us 15 minutes to go over today. DON'T ask me why!! It was like it was lined with snakes. The first few tries he came close, then I used a bit of aid enhancement, an old dead flower, and after 13 minutes of coaxing and calming I just got off and made him walk over the stupid thing. Tomorrow I will take a picture just so you can see how SMALL it really is. I mean, seriously!!! It isn't the Grand Canyon!!!! So once he made it over I gave him a good boy and repeated the crossing like 15 times, one for every minute he wasted!!! Then I got on and made him cross 15 times again. I would understand if this was a bit of a task, but it wasn't AND(!!!) he crossed it FINE yesterday! I am not sure if I will ever figure out his mind! After the "river" crossing we walk towards the boat launch. I thought he might like to see his friends that he met a few weeks ago. On our way we did trotting and cantering sets. Once we were like a 1/2 mile from the horses he started perking up, he remembered the place. i was actually surprsed. I know horses are smart animals, but MY horse didn't seem to remember a creek that was only a foot wide and how it wouldn't hurt him, yet he can remember a paddock of horses from a month ago. Again, I am not sure if I will get a handle on his mind. He did react better than last time. We ended up riding for about 6.5 miles. And we both enjoyed it alot more than yesterday. This cold weather is taking a toll on all of us. For me my diet has changed too, but not in the way Olly's has. I have cut back on alot of foods that I would normally eat on a daily basis. In the winter I hate going outside in the cold, therefore I am less active and do not need all that much to keep me going. I try to eat more veggies and fruit and as always drink alot of water. Let me tell you this is somewhat difficult since my children were home for vacation. Snack, snack here snack snack there...for the kids that is fine, but not for me. Olly on the other handneeds to take in 3 times as much. He has free range hay and water, and he is grained once daily with Legend Performance (14% protein) and I ass 1/2c oil and 2 oz of a weight builder. He is a tough keeper in the winter, but I think that is due to his TB metabolism. Thankfully winters are usually short in Va! I go out to check the horses every night at like 2100-2200, When I got out and check if it is colder than usual (and it has been for the past 3 nights) I polo wrap his legs. Olly is from a warm temperature climate and HATES the winter as much as I do. He tends to stand and not move around as much when the temp drops, in turn he gets stocked up. Instead of reacting, I try to act. I don't go all out with standing wraps. I don't think he needs that much. Just a little help when it get cold...that is what mom's are for! So tonight the blanket is on the hay is out and the wraps are velcro'd. Good night!!

305 Stats
walk Lap 1 0.35 mi avg speed 1.4 mph
trot Lap 2 1.34 mi avg speed 8.1mph
walk Lap 3 0.75 mi avg speed 3.0mph
canter Lap 4 0.81 mi avg speed 11.8mph
walk Lap 5 0.68mi avg speed 3.7mph
trot Lap 6 0.57 mi avg speed 7.1mph
canter Lap 7 0.85 mi avg speed 14.0mph
walk Lap 80.86 mi avg speed 3.5mph


6.31 miles
Avg Speed 4.7mh
Max Speed 18.7mph
Calories Burned 3978cal
**Calories burned is based on human calculations**

Sunday, January 3, 2010

COLD is an Understatement

I had planned on riding yesterday and giving Olly the day off today, but I was so cold I couldn't bring myself to take his blanket off. I did open his stall, against all my will, and let him get out of the weather.
So today when I got up I looked out side to see if the wind calmed down, NOPE! High of 31* with winds out of the west at 15-20mph. Super! I waited until like 1400 before going out, hoping it would "warm" up a bit. I realize now how stupid that sounds. I had a great idea to wear over my jeans a pair of my hubby's winter PT's, until I came down and watched my husband look at me like I was crazy. "You wear those and you'll slip right outta the saddle!", he said. Good point. I had planned riding in my dressage saddle, which is even more slippery than any saddle I have ever ridden in. I loaded up in my arms all the items of clothing I would need and headed downstairs to the tack room. By the time I had everything on an ready to go I had on two shirts, two pair of socks, jeans, with half chaps, a hoodie, a scarf, my Carhart, a hat under my helmet and two pairs of gloves. The easiest way I can give you a mental picture is to think back to the movie A Christmas Stroy, where the mom wraps the kid up so much that when he falls he can't get up...that was me today.

While on our ride today it didn't take long to realize that the ground was frozen. We started out walking to get warmed-up. I didn't want to trot or canter on anyting that wasn't grass for fear or hurting his feet. He is barefoot now and doing well. We stared our trot set and happened to come to a creek that was no more than a foot wide. I guess he wasn't paying much attention, because he acted like it snuck up on him. Once he realized what it was he hopped over it and we moved on. 7 minutes later we were back over the "creek" and walking. Since all the crop fieds would be frozen we went to the grassy land where I filmed my flat work. It was big enough to paractice on cantering-galloping-cantering. what a better way to exercise self control :). Once we had done a few sets (which will be posted at the end of the blog)we went to hack out, walking only. By this time I think my nose was frostbitten and Olly was ready to take the first flight back to Hawaii. I couldn't do it anymore, we turned around and headed home. This was the coldest part of the whole ride. I felt terrible making him go out and take his blanket off. What a mean mom. As were walked back to the house I tried to have a uplifting conversation with Olly to try to keep our minds off the cold. It didn't work. I could tell by his attitude he wsn't happy to be out in this nearing Siberia weather. Both he and I resisted the urge to canter home. I could feel it in his step, at any moment if I had given the word we would have been off! As we neared the drive, I waited to hear the neigh of Kiki...nothing! where was that little pony? As we get closer to the barn I see that she is hunkered down in her stall. She has a thermal blanket on and was trying to stay toasty. I didn't blame her a bit. She did come out to greet us once we were at the gate, but soon left us to go back to her stall. I hurried to get olly's blankets back on him so he could be warm and I threw them some hay to hold over til feeding time.
As I was taking my saddle back to the take room, I snapped this pic...

I think she was cold too, I could almost hear her say "let me in, b-itch!"

305 Stats
Walk Lap 1 0.32 mi 7m07s avg speed 2.7mph
Trot Lap 2 1.02 mi 8m02s avg speed 7.6mph
Walk Lap 3 0.3 mi 6m50s avg speed 2.4mph
Canter Lap 4 0.32 mi 5m34s avg speed 15.8mph
Trot Lap 5 0.66 mi 4m58s avg speed 10.0mph
Canter Lap 6 0.74 mi 3m07s avg speed 14.3mph
Walk (hack out away from home) 1.13mi avg speed 3.4mph
Walk (toward home) 0.84 mi avg speed 4.0mph
**Notice speed changes going away from home vs. toward home**

7.46 miles
avg speed 4.8mph
Max speed 19.9mph
Calories burned 4433
**Calorie count based on human equations**

Friday, January 1, 2010


Today I talked my hubby into making, not one, but two coops for me!!! Wow, am I lucky! I had one large peice of plywood. One coop is 2'2" and the other is like 18". Now, they aren't pretty, but they will serve the purpose. I wanted to go out and try them as soon as I got them out there, but decided against it since Olly has jumped two days in a row. And yesterday wasn't that easy for him. He worked really hard and I wanted to reward him by just hacking out and relaxing. So, on that note, instead of the kimberwicke, I grabbed his loose ring and instead of the AP saddle, I grabbed my dressage saddle. I was a bit nervous about the loose ring. I know that is what I have used in the past, but we were doing so good with the kimberwicke and I don't think he likes it. So this, too, was a reward. Today is warmer, so I had on my hoodie, with a few shirts on underneath, of course and forewent the hat under the helmet. BIG MISTAKE! See we are back in the woods, if it feels warm here it will be cold in the field. you would think I would know this by now....
I started my GPS and we were down the road. We sarted at a walk, just to kinda warm up, about 15 minutes. Then we started with the sets. 5 minutes of trotting (which we encountered the huges puddle I have seen in along time. Olly was not so thrilled. He tried in EVERY way to go around, but what do you do when it is all wooded and there is nowhere to go but IN!? He isn't afraid of the water, I mean he will go in and trot and even canter, I just don't think he likes it. If there is a way around then he will find it. We worked on being steady in our pace and not having a high head. Most of the time when he settles into his gait his head will stop being in giraffe mode. The kimberwicke has helped with this alot. Next we walked, mainly to recover. It took us 10 minutes, not to recover, I usually only allow 5 minutes at the most for this, it was because I had nowhere to canter and it took me that long to get to the next field. I hit the Lap button again 5 minutes for the canter. I started thinking to myself, "man we are gonna cover some ground in 5 minutes with his canter," but to my surprise he settled in quickly and we were down the road. No pulling, two-point, or seat shifting. He has a VERY nice canter, the one I know from the hunter ring (not an actualy hunter canter, but Olly's "hunter" canter, which is like a gallop for normal hunters lol). Then we walked for 3 minutes. I only did three minutes because he didn't seem to need a full 5, let alone the 10. Back to a trot. 5 minutes again. Instead og giving he a waslk to recover from the 5 minutes of trotting I gave him a 3 minute canter. Then we walked the rest ofthe way home. It totalled like 4.6 miles. I have the GPS download of all the STATS that I will list at the end of the blog. Oh, and my heart rate monitor is not on my dressage girth so I do not have the HR stats, and even if I were using my AP girth, I am not sure that the GPS would pick up the HR through the wolly mammoth. I have thought about clipping a spot, but I haven't acted on it.
After our sets I looked down and Olly was sweating. Hmmmmmm...I think we need to do more of this type of work. We were only out for an hour and he was spent. Boy is out of shape!!! Time to cross train. We trail ride alot, but not with monitored sets. Walking on a trail is good, but not for the type of riding we want to do. Eventing required alot of different skills. And to just jump 5 days a week is not the way to go. And from what I am seeing walking and trotting occasionaly on a trail isn't doing it either. I run and try to keep myself fit as much as I can, and I should do the same for him. I will be coming up with a schedule that will be applied IMMEDIATELY! Woohoo! More to write about. You just wait, this spring and summer we will be ready for the show ring!!
As always, we went back to the stall to get a good grooming and some love. He ALWAYS has to have the area where his brilde was brushed and scratched.

Garmin Forerunner 305 (with HR Monitor)
Trotting Lap 1 0.58 miles 4m59s average speed 7.0mph
Walking Lap 2 0.66 miles 11m21s average speed 3.5mph
Cantering Lap 3 0.75 miles 3m38s average speed 12.4mph
Walking Lap 4 0.27 miles 5m03s average speed 3.2mph
Trotting Lap 5 0.72 miles 4m55s average speed 8.8mph
Cantering Lap 6 0.29 miles 1m29s average speed 11.8mph
Walking Lap 7 0.67 miles 11m59s average speed 3.4mph

4.61 miles
Avg Pace 12.41min/mile
Avg Speed 4.7mph
Max Speed 15.3mph
Total Caloried Burned 2898