My first ride of the new year was January 5. Our great winter riding conditions have been severely damaged by a day of freezing rain New Year's Eve. Our deep snow now has a crunchy layer on top, which Kelso can mostly skim across but the horses definitely break through. It makes riding in the snow even more difficult and a little bit dangerous, too. The crust does not give fast enough sometimes, and Rhio really struggles to get those front legs up & out of the entrapping snow. We had a few dramatic stumbles, but luckily he is agile enough to catch & right himself, and I was lucky enough to stay on (this time anyway). No more trotting & cantering through the deep powder, which was so fun! We are now stuck at a slow, lurching walk.
In anticipation of the risk of abrasion from the ice crust, I decided to try riding in polo wraps for protection. This resulted in utter failure, basically! We lost both front wraps somewhere out there, and one hind wrap was bunched around his pastern & hoof when we got back. Oops. Guess I won't do that again! Hopefully I'll be able to find the missing polos when I head out there on my snowshoes later. Thankfully they are bright red, so they should be fairly visible - I hope. He did acquire one tiny little scrape on a front cannon bone from the crust, but nothing significant.
Our companions for this experimental ride were Kristi & Winston.
|On alert! We'd hand walked up to the house to fetch Killian so he could come along with us. This required us to "run the gauntlet" between the goat/alpaca pen and the cow pasture. SCARY!|
|The steer is actually much more afraid of Winston than Winston is of him, only Winston doesn't know it.|
|The friendly white one|
|Letting Winston break trail and leave tail swish marks on the snow!|