Friday, December 21, 2012

Fitness Friday

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.


  1. Looks like it is drying out. Hope Jackson is ok. Good for you, working out and getting a smaller waist. I have not been to Agape all week.

  2. I hope Jackson is OK. I feel the same way when one of my gluttonous dogs refuses his dinner. But they are usually OK. We have the same weird weather on our mountain, we had 10 degrees yesterday morning, 32 degrees today and when the sun is out it gets really warm in the afternoon. I never thought about how this would affect a horse. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  3. Such wonderful boys and congrats on your training! I wish I could say same - LOL.

  4. Love the looks Winston is giving you in the clipping shots - what a character he is.

    Not gaining over the holidays is so challenging. You are not alone in that endeavor. Wishing us both luck. ;D

    I hope Jackson gets his appetite back asap!

  5. I think Winston looks adorable with his new clip. I have been known to do a "racing stripe" clip myself because who cares what it looks like as long as it works. Considering I have ridden once in all of Dec (work has been a bit crazy and it gets dark here at 4:30pm anyway) I think Lucky is safe from clipping. I hope Jackson is okay. Sometimes horses just like to do things to make us worry and make sure that we are still paying attention!

  6. My best wishes to Jackson.
    Winston is stylin' in his new blankie!
    Getting fit over the holidays is awesome! I eat a healthy diet ... except for holidays!


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