Friday, December 19, 2008

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Now that I've gotten nicely settled into my winter riding routing (going so far as to change my work schedule so I can ride 3 weekday mornings each week), we are leaving for our winter trip to AZ. I went to the barn on Wednesday, but Steen had availed himself of the thaw on Sunday to roll roll roll in the mud. So he was filthy. I spent most of my time grooming him. Then I turned him out in the indoor arena and tried to get him to move around naturally a bit, but he mostly just wanted to hang out with me. Standing in the cold stall definitely makes him stiff, so I didn't ride that day, just led him around and tried to play some games, which may or may not have been successful.

Wednesday I went out in the morning again. I had 200 lbs of grain to unload, though, and not much time, so I did a very short bareback ride. We did a lot of walking to get him limbered up, and a little bit of trotting. Steen was good, and I could really feel that his spine is more padded now - much more comfortable for both of us, I think. He is also just looking burlier. He's put on more muscle and fat covering that muscle. I think I'll be able to decrease his grain intake soon.

This evening Brian and I went for a quick stop at the barn to drop off a heated water bucket for Steen's stall, some goodies for the kind folks who take care of our horse, and to say good-bye to Steen, who was out in the winter pasture munching on the big bale of hay. He saw us when we came to the gate though, and left the hay to come say hi. Then he hung out and got some pets - seeming happy to see Brian, who hadn't been out in a while. Then we explained to him that we'll be gone for two weeks. He seemed ok with that.

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