Sunday today, so Brooke was here to ride Dressy. Misha came, crippled up from a fall in her driveway, but rode with us anyway. It was a pretty good ride. Six miles in around two hours. I used the GPS, but neglected to turn it on until we’d been out for about 20 minutes. The snow was not too deep, but was very wet and heavy. So it was hard slogging. We walked almost all of it. King has been doing this all winter and he’s showing obvious improvement in his strength. He really plows through even big drifts without much effort.
Dressy had the heart rate monitor on, and she’s actually running a bit lower than I expected. Though she definitely started running a bit higher towards the end of the ride. And Diego is looking very good. He’s put on weight through this past winter and is looking much rounder and not so weedy as he did originally. He doesn’t like the heavy snow, but he is still pretty fit considering how little he did through the fall and winter.
I feel kind of guilty that I haven’t ridden since Monday. I’ve been on a roll up until now. I’ve ridden King an average of three times a week since mid-December. But I’ve been feeling like hell all week. At one point I started thinking it must be food poisoning when the nausea got really bad. Couldn’t eat for three days. On the plus side… I lost about 4 lbs. And I’m starting to feel a bit better today. Brooke is coming to ride Dressy tomorrow, so I will probably try to ride. Hopefully King won’t be too sprightly. Famous last words.
I’ve been tinkering with his saddle for the last few weeks. It’s an Australian saddle with the wool flocked panels. It’s supposed to adjust to fit him over time. But it’s been dropping down way too much in front. I took an awl to it and shifted the wool forward. It took a couple of sessions of adjusting and then riding on the shifted panels, then adjusting again. But it’s definitely starting to fit him better now. The cantle has dropped down some. It’s sitting more correctly over his shoulder, giving him room to move. And it’s stopped rubbing hair off his loin. I took out the pad completely for this, and have just been riding him with the saddle directly on his back. It’s completely covered in white hairs now of course. But he’s not sweating a whole lot and he’s not particularly grubby since it’s a snowy winter so it shouldn’t do the saddle any harm.
I’m getting pretty tired of winter. We had a little taste of spring last week, but we paid for it with a winter storm right afterwards.
I have, however, been virtuous and have ridden King quite regularly since the end of December. Mostly walking through the snow. It got quite deep, and even after our big thaw, there are still some leftover deep sections. At first, he seemed to find it quite hard work. But now he ploughs through it like a big freight train.
Today I put the heart rate monitor on him for the first time in about a year. It was only reading intermittently, but the highest that I saw was 110. He does get quite damp, but he has a very heavy winter coat, so it’s not surprising.
Speaking of the winter coat…. holy cow. He’s starting to shed, and it’s like a great big exploding down filled pillow. There is hair everywhere. In the barn, on my clothes, in the house. Up my nose…