The world didn't end so I rode my horse. Not that I was worried.
Winter weather in our mountains is challenging for the horses. At night, we regularly have temperatures in the high 20s to low 30s. During the day, temperatures can soar into the upper 60s and even 70s. The horses grow thick winter coats and we don't clip or blanket them unless necessary. Jackson has trouble staying warm since he doesn't move around too well so he gets a blanket at night. He loves his blanket and would wear it 24/7 if allowed. Sometimes, I have to take it off in the early morning when it is still cold because I'll be at work by the time it warms up. Jackson will walk away from me, wag his head at me, and give me the hairy eyeball before giving up and letting me take it off.
During the past month, I've noticed that Winston gets very sweaty on his neck when I ride him. It can be cold and the work light, and he still sweats. If I am going to keep him fit, he needs to be able to work comfortably. Today, I rode him in the mid afternoon when it was 50F. The puddles in the shade were still frozen skating rinks for mice but it was comfortable in the sun. We did a long warm up at walk and then some easy trot and canter work. We didn't ride long. He was very good about lifting his back and bending. I started teaching him how to stretch down on a circle and he had reached down and out for me by a couple extra inches when we finished.
Thirty minutes of work and his neck was all sweaty. I took off his tack and soaked a rag in hot water. I washed off the sweaty parts and got his neck as clean as I could. Then I clipped him; just a trace body clip. Funky, but functional.
Winston wasn't too sure about the big clippers when I started. A couple of cookies later and he was fine with the whole thing. I tried clipping him like a diagram I found awhile back on a website. The line from his shoulder should really continue down and end just behind the girth. This is my version. I only clipped the places where he sweats so he can stay warm in the other spots.
After doing the evening chores, I put on his blanket. When I bought Winston in January, he came with a blanket but it was rubbing his shoulders and, after his growth spurt this summer, I knew he needed a new, larger size. He likes it.
Jackson didn't eat his lunch and just pushed his dinner hay with his nose and tossed it around his run-in shed. He doesn't appear to be colicy; his manure is normal and I heard gut sounds. But it isn't normal for him to be uninterested in hay.
I'm hoping the hay is gone in the morning.
My fitness is coming along as well. I'm still working with a trainer at the gym. I'm getting stronger and my waist is shrinking. My weight isn't moving much but I'm not worried. As long as I don't gain weight over the holidays, I'll be happy.
Clear and cold most of today. Clouds came in this afternoon. Rain in the forecast for this weekend and Christmas Eve.