Thursday, February 19, 2015

Waiting out the winter

I've decided to stop feeling guilty for not going to the barn and being productive with Charlie. It's just too damn wintery! Sorry, New England, I know you guys have way worse issues than us right now, but this is by far the worst winter we've had here in NJ in a very long time, and it really sucks for horse-related activities.

Just a typical day
I've realized that trying to ride or do groundwork right now would be skating suicide, death by frostbite, or a combination of the two. I have also realized there is nothing I can do about the weather except wait for it to improve. And that's ok. It's alright for Charlie to have the winter off. Plenty of horses do that, and they do just fine. I'm sure he'll be fine too, although is topline is now completely gone :'(

On the plus side, Charlie is actually growing a coat this year and he's the fattest he's ever been. About a month before the move I switched him to Tribute Calm Ultra and he's really doing well on it.

Looking good, minus the shoulder rub
As it is, I make it out to the barn 2-3 times a week, give Charlie some love (and a quick brush, if it's not too cold), check for scrapes or blanket rubs (kicking myself for neglecting to put on his bra under his notoriously-rubby heavyweight early in the season), paint his toes, and then I'm out.

Now that I've accepted the fact that we're having a winter hiatus from "school", I feel like a guilt-ridden weight has been lifted. Honestly, I think it will be better for us to take this time off and start fresh in the spring as part of a regular routine, than to fight with the elements and inconsistency and ultimately leave us both wishing we had just stayed in bed. If I've learned nothing else in the world of horsemanship, I've learned that consistency is key. And the only way to do that right now, is to let Charlie be a horse.

These two say "Screw winter. Bed sounds nice! Huddle for warmth :)"

Charlie doesn't seem too concerned with the matter and is enjoying his time off. Although I wish I had a blanket with a hood for him for when the wind is really whipping, he seems quite happy to be out in the elements in his high-neck, even with constant negative windchills, and routinely is seen hanging out with Nic at the very far end of the field.

Waaaaaaay out there

Charlie's feet are doing fabulously, by the way. Despite those couple of ouchy days immediately after pulling his shoes, the only time I've really seen him acting wimpy, there have been no continuing issues. I'm putting on Farrier's Fix 2x a week and he's golden.

Every day I'm thankful for these feet

Sooo now we wait for spring!


  1. I'm so glad to see he's doing well barefoot! People don't give these thoroughbreds enough credit sometimes. The right care and the right farrier, anything is possible. Can't wait to see him! I'm hoping I can make a quick trip in March but if not... Maybe I should take the train and come earlier in the week in May and the girls can meet us later in the week ahahaha. That way we can whip you and your pony back into shape :P

  2. I'm right there with you! It's hard not to feel guilty, but in the end, Miles is happy, healthy and cared for. And he'll be just fine with a few extra days off!

  3. Farrier Fix is the best stuff! I discovered it last year and always have some in my tack box. :) This winter has been IMPOSSIBLE. I live in NH and we've been getting so. much. snow. When there hasn't been snow, it's been unbearably cold. Sometimes both unbearably cold AND snowing.

    I haven't ridden since January 1st. Usually I'm at least able to get out and ride on the weekends all winter long. Not this year! Hey, the horses will be there in the spring. A winter off never hurt anywone. :)

    1. Ugghh I can only imagine what its like up in NH. We have relatives in VT who keep posting some serious snow pictures and it makes me really glad we didn't get all of that. Like you said, though, we'll hang in there and the horses will still be there in the spring!