Wednesday, April 10, 2024

What's Up Wednesday


I'm thoroughly off schedule this week and have no idea what day it is anymore. I mean, I know this will post after midnight and it will be Wednesday when you read it... But still. I'm a little out of sorts. Not in a bad way, just in a my schedule has been disrupted sort of way. Anyway. Let's talk about horses!

I managed to sneak in a few more rides than I thought I could this week with my traveling. We left late enough on Sunday that I was able to get up at 0 dark thirty and ride all three horses before we departed for VT. And then we returned home in time Tuesday to get to the barn for late afternoon/evening rides. They'll have the rest of the week and weekend off from riding though. I think. Shiny might get ridden. Her kid is visiting from Florida for a few days while I'm gone and I told her she could ride whenever she wants while I'm away so long as barn owner allows it. She may just require that kiddo rides in lessons, which is fine with me. We pay a service fee each month that we can use for lessons or training rides or rigs or whatever, so I will have some credits that need using anyway. 

Shiny has been great this week. I mean, she still wants to kick out when we pick up canter, but other than that she's feeling quite good. I'm hoping that behavior is related to needing the chiro and will hopefully resolve when her body worker gets back from Florida. Fingers crossed anyway. She was exceptionally good in her lessons this past week though. She's really jumping well! She's finally jumping across the fences and has plenty of impulsion off the ground which we've been missing for the last year or so. I really wasn't sure the EPM meds were doing anything from her, but I've since decided they are helping a lot. Just not with the kicking out part. We'll keep investigating that. Regardless, I'm just really happy with how she feels at the fences. 

It was weirdly beautiful and warm here when I got back from VT so I got to ride Shiny outside. She loves it out there! I have a real appreciation for what a good steady pony she is when I head outdoors. She's exactly the same out there as she is inside (though slightly less grumpy about going to work). People who don't have extended winters and/or don't ride indoors exclusively for a length of time might not fully grasp how INSANE some horses can be when you transition back outside. I've generally had the horses who go a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs when they first get out there. Shiny doesn't do that, and I'm so grateful for her! Eros is normally also fine, but not always. You have to see with him. So he hasn't been out just yet. Al is better outside than in, but the first few rides can be a bit exciting. I'll likely lunge him out there before I ride the first few times. But ultimately, he's not as worried out there as he is indoors. 
Eros is doing great! I've held him up at six full trotting minutes and 24 minutes of walking for our rides. He could have progressed to 10 minutes this week, but I figured with me going away and him having time off, we should probably wait for the increase. I'll likely do half a week still at the six minutes when I get back, and then start building. I'm not in any hurry with him, so better to take our time. 

Al has been a tale of two horses lately. It seems for most of my flat rides lately he's a complete basket case. But when we lesson, he's all business. As long as his buddies stay in front of him. He followed our lesson mate all the way around the entire ring Saturday even though there were sunspots all over and the wind was howling outside. AND it was effing cold out. (Like 34 F. Gross,) He just got behind that buddy of his (who happens to be a half brother, they share the same dad. And they're both spooky idiots, just about different things) and followed him right around. He almost gets trance-like when he follows another horse. It feels like he stops thinking entirely and just does what he's told. It's pretty pleasant really. Except that he has a really big step when he relaxes like that and we have to slow down to keep our buddy in front. Similarly, once we got to jumping little courses, as long as his buddy stood at the scary end, Al went right around so nicely! No buddy down there? The wheels come off. This horse is a weird one guys. We have a lot of work to do. Now that he's coming around enough to let me put some pressure back on him, it's time we start trying to work through some of his anxieties. I don't think it will be fast, but I think we can get better. At least a horse shows there are usually horses all over the place to keep him feeling safe!

So that's the update on the equine. In other news, after getting up at 5 to ride all three horses before 9 (which I accomplished thank you very much!) I headed north with my family to visit my little brother. His farm was right in the path of totality for the eclipse, so it was a really fun trip. We headed that way Sunday night. Stopped at the farm for a visit and early dinner. 

Hilde, Hugo, and baby Toby

The rooster's name is Red and he's a pretty cool dude. Very friendly.

It was a lovely day up there and it was great to see my brother. Then we headed to our Air B&B which was an interesting place... but did the job. Had plenty of room for all of us and was clean and warm. (There were too many of us to crash with little bro- my dad and stepmom, me, my older brother, my sis-in-law, and the two nieces.) We headed back to the farm mid morning on Monday. We saddled up the horses for a little wander around the property. All the non riders hiked instead. Riding is way more fun though. 

Do you see this attire my brother rides in? I bought him a helmet but clearly he's not using it.

Yes.Those are crocs. CROCS. Geeze.

Around 2pm we all got comfy on the patio to watch the eclipse. I gotta tell you guys, I thought I knew what we were in for. I was present and witness to the eclipse in 2017 which was about 92% I think where I was. It was interesting and all, but not THAT exciting. But Totality? It's amazing. If you ever have the chance to witness it, definitely take that chance. It was pretty incredible. My older brother had a ton of different cameras set up with all different settings (including a drone he sent up just before Totality) and got some really impressive footage. You can see it on his Facebook page, look him up (Lon Seidman). I don't think he's private, but FB won't let me share his eclipse videos for some reason. These photos below I snapped with my iphone so they are zero percent impressive. 

Anyway, when Totality occured, it got VERY dark, muck darker than I anticipated. Not quite dark as full night, but close. When the moon completely covers the sun and you can remove the glasses, it just looks incredible. It got very cold too. Really was a sight. The animals didn't seem particularly bothered by any of it, but the mare Hilde was pretty convinced it was dinner time. Apparently so were the men folk because once totality had passed the grill got lit and we ate again. So I guess Hilde wasn't wrong. We headed back to our home away from home around 7 and just relaxed for awhile before bed. 

My brother makes maple syrup on his farm (look him up and place an order, you won't regret it! Season is winding down, but the sap was still flowing, and he had a boil planned for Sunday. Obviously we stopped by for that before heading home on Tuesday. 

It was really neat to see the boiler firing. We got to taste the product as it was in process too, which was delicious. We didn't linger too long though since we had to prep for part two of vacation when we got home. Plus I wanted to ride. So that catches us all up! We're off to do some island hopping on the boat for the next few days. I will try to post a Thursday's Threads, but I'm not sure I'll have internet. So if that doesn't happen, I apologize! I hope you all got to see at least part of the eclipse if not all of it! 


  1. lol i love your brother's #rootd !! and charlie is like Al about following other horses too --- it's like the rest of the world melts away when he can just nose up to another horse's tail. will just mindlessly follow anywhere, probably thru fire.... compared to when he's in front and feels like he needs to be thinking through each step and direction of travel and all the things...

    1. The crocs though... LOL! He's too much. Also, his horse tried to lay down in a pile of snow we rode through. And I might have laughed at him. Heehee...
      So funny thing about the following another horse. I was joking the other day about what a sheep he is, blindly following the horse in front of him. But it turns out, I DO THAT TOO! When on vacation with my family, I literally just follow them around wherever we go. I don't make any decisions or have too many thoughts. Just follow along like a good little duckling... Just like my horse. Haha!