Thursday, December 31, 2009

Trail Training Newsletter – 108

Trail Training Newsletter – 108
January 2010

Dear Readers,

December was a tough month for me due to Mingo and his mysterious illness. I haven’t spent any time out on the trail. I don’t ride Cruiser on frozen, uneven ground—must protect that tendon. We have been working in the arena. Of course, I haven’t been riding Mingo, at all. Someday…

Ranger completely recovered from his hoof abscess, and the first day Ellen got him on the trail, he was so hyper that he demonstrated his ability to buck—several times.

We have had very little snow, and on most days, the trail is frozen hard. Kevin has been riding Starry on those days, but he keeps him at a walk. We always walk our horses on frozen trail. One day, when it was slow at work, I found an old book on riding and training on the internet. I wondered if maybe we were overreacting by being cautious on the frozen ground. I wondered what people did when horses were a more important part of day-to-day life.

I skimmed through the book, and lo and behold, this author exclaimed that anyone doing fast work on frozen ground can be considered a murderer. Although he felt light trotting was okay, any more than that was out of the question.

I felt vindicated with my cautiousness. I’m sure that frozen turf has enough give in it, but our trails are hard enough in the summer. Freezing makes them even worse. Cruiser, back in the day when I would ride him on the trail when it was frozen, would trot a few steps out of exuberance—and then stop on his own because they were too hard.

Now give us a few inches of snow…

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