Stuck in Neutral

Winter sucks two-fold: it’s wetter and it’s darker. The darker part really only bothers me for one reason. My natural habitat is cave-like conditions and I hate overhead lighting, so sunset at 6pm isn’t so bad for my Circadian abnormalities. But it sucks if I want to ride my horse. Luckily, I do board at a barn with well-lit arenas. However, if it rains and these arenas are too sloppy to stand up to hoofprints, I don’t have the “oh, I’ll just hack in the field” option like I do in the summer. Maybe with a different horse, walking around in the dark wouldn’t be so bad. On Eli? Nah. If you disagree, I invite you to come ride him around in the dark and see what happens. Anyway, Texas has had WAY more rain than normal this year. I think on average I have been able to ride Eli about once a week since early September. Because of course he tossed an injury into the mix that required stitches.

if it’s raining, we are stuck hand walking around the barn

This is all to say while we did begin to make some progress on building up Eli’s topline and hind end strength (and now I don’t even remember why it got bad, but I think it was basically my negligence during the hot months–sure we’d go for a ride, but didn’t really work much). And certainly the times that I have been able to ride Eli, he demonstrates that he has retained some of the new buttons we’ve installed and shows a willingness to perform. But to make progress, I have to be able to ride him more than once a week!

and sometimes the footing is only good for walking and a little trotting

So here we are, kind of stalled out. Stalled out for reasons beyond my control — the weather and work. Okay, actually, I have control over work to a certain extent, but if I don’t work I don’t get paid and wouldn’t be able to afford to have my current problem.

I don’t have any plans for Eli, other than to ride him when I can.

I’d review this Noble Outfitters coat, too, except I bought it on clearance and I don’t think it’s available anywhere any longer

I do have plans to review some things once I can get a reasonable amount of rides in them. I’ll be reviewing my Charles Owen Sparkly SP8, although I was hoping it would be available in the US before posting a review but I guess shopping online overseas isn’t out of the question for many riders. The wider brim is really the important part, not so much the sparkliness. I also have a top and some breeches I plan to review eventually — just have to ride in them first, preferably more than once!

12 thoughts on “Stuck in Neutral

  1. UGH just ugh I am ready for bed at 6 pm too. And sorry the weather is really crapping on you lately in Texas. Usually you guys get a decent winter right? Eli doesn’t look the worse for wear though 🙂 He is like just keep bringing me cookies and we are all okay. Ha and no I will pass on riding him around a field in the dark. Remus is spooky enough and I never do that or I would die 🙂

    Hope the weather improves soon for you!


  2. Frustrating! I hope the weather will improve! It has been weird all over this winter. We have had verycold weather earlier than normal. Then a thaw and sucking mud in the paddocks followed by a hard freeze that leave perilous rock hard frozen divets. But we do have an indoor arena. So that is a big plus. All the best to you for the holidays.


  3. Yup. I felt stuck in neutral for awhile, too, although we do have an indoor arena. Mine was somewhat self-inflicted in that Duke was not clipped. Not being his owner, I wasn’t sure if I could/should body clip him, so for the last couple of months he became hairier and hairier, so eventually I would barely work him to avoid having to cool him out extensively. The horse sweats a lot haha. But we won’t be stuck forever!


  4. Been in the once a week crowd for several years now . . . sucks but it’s workable. It’s a good opportunity to try new things, test a new button, or just focus on maintaining if there isn’t a specific goal. Probably wouldn’t have tried liberty if I didn’t have one lengthy day to do barn work and ride.


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