Monday, 29 October 2012

Not much new here

Welcome to the world's most boring blog! We are trapped for the winter on a cold and rainy island where not much happens...ever :)

The weather has been downright depressing, but I have been getting out somewhat regularly to ride, maybe every second day or so. Ginger probably needs a little more than that to stay totally sane. She's been a bit more like her old self lately - in a good cheeky and fun way of course. We've put in quite a few miles on the trails and she just gets better and better. We've now crossed very busy roads, waded through nearly belly deep 'puddles', snuck down narrow trails with overhanging branches brushing her all over,  climbed steep rock faces, crossed bridges, and wandered the wide open spaces. She's even seen other trail users out and about, on everything from their own two feet to motorbikes to other horses. As typical with most Gingersnap Adventures, all of these things at one time or another were a Big Deal. Every day she is more and more reliable, though, which is something I love about her - when it comes down to it she's probably the most intelligent horse I've ever dealt with and learns from her experiences very quickly.

The ring has basically been flooded out the past couple of weeks due to the excessive rain and what seems to be a failed attempt to improve the footing/drainage a couple of summers ago. It's really too sad, the club got a large grant to replace the footing and the drainage and we were so excited, but somehow the work made it worse. Its almost like they added to much sand and didn't compact it properly.  It really wasnt too bad previously, now it's a bit worrying. After Lainey's suspensory injury a couple of years ago I am scared of soft, deep footing.  I've been steering clear of much ring work these days. Lets hope conditions dry up a bit and I can avoid buying a pass for the indoor a little longer.

Ginger had her feet done this morning by my most excellent farrier. After all the farrier drama of the past couple of years, it's a wonderful treat to come back here and have someone I know and trust a phone call away. He immediately sussed out her strengths and weaknesses and got to work correcting some issues that needed addressing. As I'm sure you've all seen from the pictures, she has nice straight legs with good angles and nice sized feet. On the downside, she's quite long backed and has a weaker hindquarter than what you'd expect given her front end. Visually, I can see all this, but it's fascinating to have my farrier show me how that affects or doesn't affect her feet. My understanding of what I learned today : Because she is a bit conformationally unbalanced back to front, her front feet are flatter that what would be ideal and tend to flare if not kept up to date. Luckily, they do wear quite evenly and are healthy and strong so we`re still ok to be barefoot this time around. He was showing me where they are being affected by the significant change in footing and climate out here though, and can`t guarantee she won`t need shoes or boots as the winter progresses if she continues to stand in the wet and I want to ride rocky trails. Sadly, besides her stall and the trails up the mountain there isn`t a whole lot of uber dry ground to be found around here at the moment. She seems to be partial to standing in a little muddy hollow in the back of her paddock as well so she can socialize with other horses over the fence - buying a load or two of gravel may be in my future. Às for her back feet, they were very unbalanced laterally - he suspects that was an oversight from the previous farrier, but something we`ll keep an eye on in case does partly wear them like that naturally. Overall, he liked what he saw and was quite taken with her. Of course, she was terrified of the poor man. She stood quietly but had to snort and sound like she was hyperventilating the whole time he trimmed her. Lets hope next time she`s a little more friendly with him. I`m the girl that previously always had the overgrown rescue or the baby with no manners given to me, which of course always got sold or passed on once they were healthy and had good manners so the cycle could begin again. I`m kind of thinking its time I gave him a break and had an èasy`horse or two - I`m starting to appreciate more and more how good he is at his job and need to keep him around :)

Again, no pictures - the weather has been very dark and rainy so all my pictures look like I took them in the middle of the night :(

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