Thursday, September 8, 2011

Preparing for the winter

How do you know its fall? It is a definite sign when you realize your horse's coat is getting thicker. The temperatures haven't dropped drastically, but it looks like Little Love is preparing for the future. Which is a good thing, since last I heard they are predicting a really cold winter for us. I am looking forward to that with mixed feelings. It would be nice to have some snow (emphasis on the word some, not the same as tons), but when temperatures linger below -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) for weeks on end... it gets a bit old. I'm starting to think ahead and have looked into getting metal "spikes" (well, they are really like these raised screws) for Little Love's boots, so we can get up and down those hills also when it gets slippery. From what I remember, the first times the temperature starts going into the freezing digits is at the end of October (next month! Yikes).

Thinking about the future has also brought me back to the question about the saddle. I know I was sort of on the fence about purchasing one, but have finally decided to go for it. I don't plan to start riding Little Love a lot, in fact, quite the contrary. I'm hoping to use the saddle for short trots and canters while we are on the trails and perhaps when the snow is too deep for me to tread. Although, if it is too deep for me, it may also be too deep for my horse! LOL. I definitely need to build up the muscles on her top line before I even consider sitting on her back. And ask her for permission. I have contacted a saddle fitter and am now hoping to hear back from her, so we can get the process moving forward.

In the meanwhile Melissa and I have been taking walks with Little Love to build up her stamina (and help burn some of that sugar :-). Yesterday I ventured quite far on my own. Little Love seems quite comfortable on our walks, she takes new thing in stride and looks for me when something is not quite right. I, too, have learned to stay in my body and be with her, even if I'm not actively seeking contact at all times. Yesterday when my husband called during our walk, I immediately noticed a change in Little Love's focus. She started scanning the surroundings with heightened interest. Someone has to keep an eye on the environment, after all, and if I'm on the phone, I'm obviously not doing it. When I heard it was not an emergency, I told my husband that I would call him back later. I have learned my lesson about cell phones and horses!

Tomorrow it is time for the trimmer to come again. It is about time. I trimmed Little Love myself about two and a half weeks ago, but her hooves seem to have kicked into a whole new pace when it comes to growing. Which is great, of course, but means she needs to be trimmed more often. Especially her bars are quite high at the moment and I can see it affecting her. I would have trimmed her myself, but the trimmer wanted to see for herself how and where the hooves had started to grow after her last trim (I only take the bars and heels down when I trim). Especially the right front is a bit tricky.

Then, on Saturday my friend Selma, the osteopath, is coming to work on Lilo, Kira and Metku. Hopefully she will be happy to see the progress we have made with undoing the tensions in Lilo's ribcage. I certainly have made my best attempt in completing all the stretches, but we'll hear the verdict tomorrow!

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