February brought ups and downs and not a lot of consistency. Unable to hunt very much. Unable to ride very much. Unable to keep them all 100 percent healthy the whole month; unable to keep plans…but not worrying about the backstory, let’s go foward.

Today in a high wind I did get Lucky lunged and the left lead is THERE. Finally, he’s offering it first time and keeping it all the way around on the lunge circle. This is a big step. Not only that but he is aware that smarting off, bucking, and shaking his head, as well as pulling toward the gate while in the arena are all Mommy NoNo’s. Before, he did not care about Mommy NoNo’s. He did them anyway. Now he gets that the Million Pound Shithammer comes down on your head when you do a Mommy NoNo, and is beginning to respect that connection. I love it when a smart horse learns fast. I am still lunging him before riding, mainly for the groundwork/manners reminders, but am very happy with his steady progress. My goal for him is a few quiet outings someplace — perhaps a dressage show at the Intro level, or two. I want to hack him all over the property first, and ship him to school or trail ride with someone too. That time is not quite here yet, I need a bit more relaxation and manners in and and out of the ring.

Hamish survived a cut over the eyebrow of his left eye (eye is fine), a clinic, and a light month. He and I are working on the canter together and the jumping is great! I have not had the time, or light to work him enough to get him fitter – fit enough to hunt – but I think I will be able to get him out to do something in March. My track and front field are good, and I’ll get some shoes on him in a few weeks so we can go cross country schooling and hunting before end of season. He remains steady, reliable, congenial and happy in his work — and he loves all treats of any kind and is particularly fond of Starlight mints! We just found this out! 🙂

Rugby survived the Barn Sickness but went off feed a week and I am dismayed by not being able to attract him to his grain better. Sending off a fecal sample for analysis and hoping that this year I will not have to deal with the photosensitivity too early. He is sound and capable but I always wish I could do more to deal with the liver stuff. Perhaps I can find a way to get some real answers for this condition this year. Hopefully before spring brings too much sunny weather. That is the beginning of the end of year for us, usually.

It was very cold today riding in the wind and rain. I don’t mind it if I am dressed well enough. A scarf, cover for my ears, gloves, a good old Rambo coat I bought on Ebay a couple of years ago…got more pockets on this coat than a hobo! I don’t always take the time to dress for the weather, I just run outside with whatever is handy on the hooks by the door. When I think about and make the right choice I can actually ride in some comfort. I bought some very thin polyester long underwear last year for hunting, and it also works very well in cold weather. It does not trap the moisture and make you cold from your own sweat, which I really despise. It took some looking to find it at Boscovs, a local department store, last winter. I keep going through different brands and types of gloves. I need grip, and warmth, and short enough finger length. Let’s see….I’m up to four pairs this winter so far…Ears are good. I just use a bandanna under my helmet and tuck the scarf up high enough to cover on the outside. Best purchase this winter? Kerrits warm polar fleece breeches from the Bit of Britain tent sale — awesome toasty breeches and well worth the price. The full seats are sticky, too!

On to March!DSCN2030