I have definitely found the learning curve for winter horse care with ponies at home to be much larger than summer. As I mentioned in my last post, Stampede is pretty insistent that I keep him warm and dressing him is much different from how it was at the boarding barn. The other night it had been snowing like crazy when they came in so I took the time to brush the snow off their blankets and such. I had never experienced horse ear icicles before!
Providing winter hay has been one of the bigger challenges. I found that my intended hay troughs meant they would just throw the hay on the ground and make a mess. I’m currently testing out securing hay nets in the troughs and securing the troughs to the fence (since certain ponies were then knocking the troughs over) so we will see how that turns out then I’ll blog more about it! Thanks to all of my blogger friends I’ve been pestering for the input on hay feeding!
Yesterday as I was picking the pasture Stampede decided to roll and then lay there in awkward positions for a while. For example…
It appeared he had a good time then went back to hay clean up. I try not to think too hard about what he’s doing when I’m not looking.
When I was changing Stampede’s blankets for the millionth time a couple of days ago I realized I finally had a good photo opportunity. For Stampede this is a pretty decent weight. I’d love more yet but he self limits himself on food so I just keep stuffing in what he will take. It’s interesting that his “hunter bump” has gotten less noticeable in retirement but the location of his back arthritis is a bit more obvious (look right at the back of where the saddle would sit and you will see the small hill). He might challenge me from a care standpoint but I still look at him and think he is so handsome.
Maestro continues to show more personality as time goes on which I’m having fun with – love horses who are fun and playful. He is such a chill horse in general that it’s amusing to me when something happens where he reminds me he’s a baby. Saturday in the lesson we were just starting to jump, trotting back and forth over an X to warm up, when a baby moment appeared. My friend on her Irish Sport Horse was going to the X before me and I had picked up a trot as she was going over the fence. Her horse farts as he goes over and then Maestro just finds that super exciting and starts hopping around. He then proceeded to be super excited and forward as we continued jumping, complete with one of those moments where you are supposed to trot a fence and do a roll back and we continued straight with no brakes, lol. I was beginning to wonder what this meant for me as we moved on to an exercise of doing a two stride to a two stride to help the horses rock back and use themselves and I only had a Sprenger Duo (ie piece of rubber) on him. Maestro continued to be fairly animated but the jumps helped to back him off a bit. Next was a full course and I’m imagining my lack of brakes that might be coming when I headed to the long run diagonal straight towards the exit door of the indoor. Thankfully, while still more forward than usual (which is actually nice!) he was responsive to my requests to slow for the right distances and went around pretty nicely. What a good egg!
Maestro also got a new stocking after he made love to the last one. This time I hung it up at the far edge of his stall to ensure its safety.
I’m still on the name hunt if anyone has other ideas. Wondering if I should leave behind the music theme since that type of music is totally not my thing and maybe try to just think of something Irish or you know completely random but fitting to his personality? Names I still have on my mind include Virtuoso (of course!), The Conducter (really sad people would probably think it’s about trains though), Crescendo (although kind of goes against hunter consistent pace), and Double Concerto (kind of cute that it’s about two performers).