Summer is Over

 It’s cold enough now that most of the windows must be closed at night or I can’t sleep. I don’t want to get out from under the cocoon of covers when I wake up because it is so warm and the air around is too icy.

The nights are chill too. When I get out of my lessons on Thursday nights, it is dark. The first dark night, I left the trailer lights on. Jigs was definitely spooked by the lights. He loaded because he wanted to get home, but he was suspicious of the glowing things above him.

I’ve been having an internal debate whether or not to suspend lessons during the winter.

I can handle the cold, but the footing will make it difficult to practice. Already the wet fall weather has made loping at home chancy, so we don’t do much of it. And the trails are pretty muddy, so riding is limited to walk-trot.

I’m too old to take chances with myself or Jigs. This week the only real cantering we did was during our lesson.

I love riding in the indoor during lessons. The footing is level and soft. Jigs seems to like it too. Let me rephrase that, Jigs doesn’t seem as lazy when we are riding in the indoor during lessons. Of course that just might because the instructor is there and I’m using spurs. He definitely takes it more seriously, but he doesn’t hate it.

The barn where we board doesn’t have an indoor or a fancy ring- it is almost level, but grass. The barn does have 12 acres of pasture for the horses. Jigs can be out pretty much 24/7, weather permitting. He’s really happy there.

I do believe horses are outdoor creatures. It may be because when I was 15 and got my first real horse of my own, the vet told us to keep him outside and build a lean to for shelter. He was a believer that horses fare better outside and that keeping them stalled was not good for them.

That was in the 70s. Recently I’ve been seeing articles about studies that show there is a benefit to keeping horses outside, not stalled. One noted that stalled horses are more prone to colic than horses kept in pastures.

I have noticed when new horses come to the barn that have been kept stalled most of the time, they eventually get calmer as they adjust to pasture living.

So as much as I like riding in the indoor, I’m happy boarding where I am, partly because I believe it is ultimately better for Jigs. I also like the people I board with. Like me, they care most about their horses being happy and well. They are true horse people. It’s about the horses, not them.

But lessons have been great for Jigs and me. We are getting stronger and more balanced. I’ve learned things that I have never would have otherwise.  So we’ll sign up for another 4 weeks. By then, the clocks will have changed and it will be dark before the lesson. I’ll decide then if we continue through the dark winter….

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Explore posts in the same categories: horses, Living in the moment, respnsiable horse ownership, Responsible horse ownership, trail riding

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One Comment on “Summer is Over”

  1. freefalah Says:

    Cute horse! Interesting observation about the living outdoors. I know my guy prefers it out in the sunshine!


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