I have a confession to make.
Between the weather being less than ideal, a host of deadly sheep surrounding the arena, and the threat of marauding wolves in the forest, I've been a bit of a wimp for the last two weeks. Call it SAD, January Blues, Le Cafard, missing my buddy MC, or whatever you like, but I've been in a bit of a funk, finding it hard even to get the dogs out for a decent walk. I did manage to take Flurry out for a hack the week before last but it was bluddy freezing and my hands and feet were completely numb by the time I got back. Not to say I didn't enjoy it - it's always nice tramping through the woods with my little Flurry, but it just didn't leave me champing at the bit to get out again any time soon.
After the heavy rain last weekend, everything was plastered in mud for the first half of this week (including the horses!) and it was still c-o-o-o-o-l-d!
But by last Thursday, I'd given myself a figurative kick up the bum and convinced myself to get back in the saddle. I took Flurry into the arena for half an hour, he was lazy but obedient, and I felt a bit better for doing it.
On Friday, I did the same with Aero, with my usual caution when dealing with him! I tacked him up, took him up to the arena and led him around on either rein. The sheep seemed to be gone and he was quite relaxed, but just as I was leading him towards the mounting block, his head shot up, ears pricked. I looked back towards the gate, and there was one of the other liveries, with her horse on a lead.
I've met her a few times, but she doesn't seem to ride - she turns the horse out in the arena, he rolls and goes ballistic for ten minutes or so and then she take him back to his paddock. We talked for a moment, and she asked if it would disturb me if she let the horse loose in the round pen. I told her to go ahead, and I'd mount Aero if he was calm once her boy had blown off steam...
Well, Aero could have cared less! He completely ignored the other horse's antics, so I mounted and we worked away. He was calm, attentive, obedient - what more could I want?
Very happy (possibly even ecstatic), I finished up after about forty minutes and had a nice chat with the other lady who was now giving her Boy a pick of grass. We swapped numbers and she is hoping to hack out with me & Mr Safety Flurry in the next week or two (her Boy is a bit of a scaredy cat and doesn't like to go out on his own).
Buoyed up by Thursday & Friday's rides, the plan for Saturday was to walk the dogs in the morning and go for a trek with the LSH in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the dog walk turned out to be twice as long as planned and I was wrecked afterwards - in no shape to ride! So on Sunday, we made sure the dogs only got a short walk and took the boys out for a hack in the early afternoon.
It was one of those uneventful hacks - we were out for an hour, the weather was ok, Aero led, Flurry led, we walked, we trotted, we weaved in and out of trees, they were both great, there's not much more to say, really.
I am, however, going to order a pair of hind boots for Flurry. Both horses are suffering with the wet conditions (it is MUCH MUCH wetter than it was here last year), their frogs seem to be shrinking before my eyes and becoming more tatty looking every day. Flurry seems just a little tender on his hind feet, and I think in order for us to be able to tackle 3 hour+ treks with a clear conscience, I will have to boot him on all four feet, for the moment anyway.
Off to the on-line boot shop I go!