Sunday, December 18, 2011

A cold day for riding, and a first (in a long time) for me!

Rough & Ready, ready to go
I looked at the thermometer this morning around 8:30 and it was up to 19, not too bad I thought. But we had a hard time getting ourselves motivated to leave the wood stove and head out to the barn. John started some chili in the slow cooker while I lounged around drinking coffee until we realized we'd be on the other side of high noon if we didn't get going!

The horse were sunning themselves down the hillside, out of the wind, munching on hay and soaking up what heat they could from sun. I almost felt guilty bringing Harley and Ruffy into the cold barn. We tacked up, and headed out towards North Point. Harley, after having a few stops at "scary things" was not setting a good example for Ruffy, as John pointedly announced.  But not much further on, Harley redeemed himself. Ruffy would not cross the stone wall, even after John dismounted and tried to lead her. So I took hold of the reins, and led her, with John urging from behind. She must have decided Harley was like a "pony" at the track, and followed willingly.

Harley looking for dinner
We ran into Rebekah out for a ride from North Point, unfortunately going the other direction, . John wanted to do the Jepson loop, but I didn't want to wade through frozen  deep water. So rather than turn back, we opted for a shorter loop which only had minor water crossings. With skim ice on on the puddles, standing water, and slow streams, I had to urge Harley forward, but he behaved smartly, assessing the footing and slowly picking his way through. Ruffy, on the other hand, was spooked by the ice, frozen frost-heaved ground, and tried bulldozing her way through it all. With Harley out front, it kept her from charging through the worst of it.

John wanted to see Ruffy under saddle, so we swapped horses so he could observe her. This is the first time I've ridden a four year old since my college days, and the first-ever directly off the track OTTB. She felt so different compared to Harley--narrower, and at that weedy, green stage where she's still not sure of all the aids, and moving over uneven terrain. But such a good girl, with such a sweet face.

Once that sun started slipping down, the temperature really began to drop. We put everyone in early with a pile of hay and alfalfa dengie for Harley and the gals. Blanketed, and snug for the night, we shut off the lights. By 5:00 p.m. with only an orange glimmer on the horizon, we headed home, anticipating a hot fire, and a warm bowl of John's chili!


  1. You both deserve the yummy warm chili and hot fire. What troupers you are! Harley and Ruffy too.

    I envy having your husband as a riding buddy. Brian and I are famous for lingering over coffee on cold mornings and then heading out to run together, but I think it would really help me if we also headed out to ride together. He is interested in riding down here in warm Florida, but he has zero interest in PA when the temperatures drop.

    I think your trails sound wonderful - but that Maine temp is not for me! Brrr! You crack me up with your profile saying you are from southern Maine. Isn't that an oxymoron. Could there be anything "south" in Maine? lol!

  2. Ayuh, we're southern Maine Juliette, in fact so far south we're considered part of the greater metro Boston area, much to my dissatisfaction, hence my desire to be further north! Yes, it's cold riding weather, but there are also better chances for skijoring :)
    Temps moderated today, could have shed a layer and my hands were warm! Today I rode Rolex Girl--she's amazing for a horse that just raced back in October! Smart, athletic, and cute!

  3. So glad your two new girls and "old" sweet boy are working out so well! Bay State Brumby often talks of skijoring too! I do think I would love the riding in the North Country you mention - just not the normal temps. So glad it is a warm December!


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