Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Warm Weather in December?
Last weekend the weather was really too warm to be December. It’s been an odd autumn, with some cool, crisp days and some unseasonably warm ones. Poor Buckshot, with his winter coat on him, I’m sure it makes it a bit hard on the warm days. On Saturday, it was cloudy and warm. I brought him from his pasture to the main barn and groomed him. His tail was a bit dirty, so I didn’t use the new conditioner on it. Instead I worked on cleaning it as much as possible. I planned to let it dry out while we rode, then brush and condition it after the ride.
Ah, yes, the new conditioner. A few weeks ago I decided to get a regular conditioner for Buckshot, and went to the store planning to buy the Cowboy Magic brand which I had heard was a good brand. But my eyes popped out of my head at the price! I think it was $38 for a small bottle! I couldn’t afford it, so I bought a different, more economical brand, Mane and Tail, that came in a large bottle. Now that I have used it several times on Buckshot, I realize that I use quite a big dollup of it for his tail. A horse’s tail has quite a lot of hair on it! Thinking about that small bottle of the other brand makes it even more expensive in my mind, since you have to use so much for the tail. Anyway, Mane and Tail conditioner works great and makes Buckshot’s mane and tail look nice.
Back to Saturday. We went out to the arena and using our new protocol of mounting, I got on fine. (As an aside, a week ago, Buckshot forgot all about standing still during mounting! I think it was on Sunday, he moved his hind legs away from the mounting block, time after time, as if he’d never even heard of standing still! The BO saw my predicament and rode over on her horse and we got Buckshot situated closer to the rail so he couldn’t move out as much, and I finally got on him. It’s crazy. He had been doing so good with the new mounting regimen we have been using, then one day out of the blue, he acted like he couldn’t stand still at all! Then, next time, he was back to standing still just perfectly. Maybe that’s how horses learn: learn new skill, forget new skill, remember new skill. LOL!)
We started our walking warm up and I rode him over to the trail head, thinking we would go into the woods. But Buckshot wasn’t interested and balked. So I thought, well, maybe we won’t go into the woods right now, so we went back into the arena and did some exercises. Ten minutes later, I put him on the buckle to let him wander for a few minutes, and where did he immediately go? To the trail! So into the woods we went. What a character! We returned to the arena a few minutes later and rode in our Saturday class, with whom we went out to the field arena and did some work there. Buckshot was rather low energy, but it may have been the weather.
Sunday was a warm day also, and so I expected that he would be low energy. After grooming him and tacking him up, we started our ride. As we rode in the arena, I looked down and I could see Buckshot’s hoof tracks clearly in the dirt. Wanting to take advantage of that, we did some circles and then stopped to evaluate them. They were beautiful! Buckshot made some wonderful circles! I praised him and petted him neck – such great circles! ( I appreciate such little things.) Then I wanted to go through the woods by ourselves and get to the field arena, and work in it by ourselves for a bit, before the BO and BOH joined us. It’s fun to have the whole arena to ourselves and be able to do entire patterns. So I headed Buckshot into the woods. He did pretty well, going through the woods alone, and then we had fun at the arena. I kept my expectations low since it was warm, and didn’t try to do too much cantering with him. At one point, after the other riders had arrived, I led Buckshot into a small trail in a different area of woods. He went willingly, leaving the other horses, and we enjoyed a newer section of the trail, then returned to the other horses at the arena.
I had a good reminder of how disconcerting it is when the weather is unseasonable. Yesterday at work, the air flow at work doesn’t work too well, and in the afternoon, the temperatures get pretty hot. I found myself getting so irritated at having to adjust to summer-temperatures while wearing my winter clothes! Darn. It made me grouchy. Then I thought of Buckshot! And thought, this may be some of what he feels on a warmer-than-normal day. I feel it- it’s irritating. He may feel it also. It made me really sympathize with him. I must remember to try to divert my attention when riding him on a warmer day- he can’t help it, and I shouldn’t expect him to be in a great cool-weather mood on such a day. It was a good lesson for me to learn.
Well, not much else to share about our weekend. Buckshot did great, all things considered. I hope the joint supplement is helping him, but it is hard to tell. The persimmons have gone from the tree. Christmas is coming. I have two new books to read to him about Christmas. I think he’ll enjoy the books – Twas the Night before Christmas, and the Christmas Story. I’ll let you know what he thinks about them.
Hope your Christmas plans are going well!