The amount I’ve ridden Eli this winter? Low. Not a lot. Paltry. But … I have figured out that even if he goes a week without a ride, if it’s a nice day, he’s a nice horse.
He HATES the cold. Drizzle sends him in head-shaking fits, complete with hops and squeals. Oddly, it can be windy AF, as long as it’s warm – and he’s totally okay, even with jump standards blowing over as we trot by.
So, of course, is riding in nice weather only showing any kind of respect for my horse as an athlete, or for the sport as sport? Nope. We are not athletic right now. Instead we are tubby and casual and happy (on warm days). Eli still has the same level of care, maintenance, turnout time, and I lay eyes on him most days. I just don’t ride as much right now. But when I do ride, I thoroughly enjoy my horse, and he enjoys the exercise. I am on the fence about getting Eli back in the show ring any time soon, too. Partly because I am waiting to see if this Osphos stuff lasts him at least 6 months. So far, so good, but we’ve got another month to go. Maybe he can go even longer than 6 months, I have no idea. His comfort is my top priority, of course!
Having quiet, relaxing, pleasant rides in nice weather is a close second.