In the past five months we have sure covered a lot. Found a horse, lost a horse, brought in a new horse, dug up some dirt on a rider and discussed which show records are worthy of bragging rights. We have gotten off track, then back on track but still haven't actually been to the track. Save up your $$$ we will go there, I promise... And trust me those grooms do things to make the horses look great because they hope they will soon be in the winners circle.
I have been thinking of a few things lately to post about. But being as it is going into winter, there are some things that will have to wait. Because things are different in winter for people on different parts of the planet.
A while back another person on fhotd posted asking about things in the southwest. I told her feel free to email, I would be happy to fill her in with whatever info I can. So she did. Asking about the price of hay, the cost of board, the number of covered arenas, distances to shows, if there even are shows(?), trail riding available, average temperatures, etc. She is in Wisconsin and interested in wintering somewhere warmer. Can anyone blame her?
Well the part about the covered arenas made me snicker just a bit. There are a few here, but not for the same reasons as you would find one in her area. Here they block the sun in the summer, there they keep the snow and ice off the ground in winter. Both good reasons to have one, but not something she had considered.
The show seasons- same thing. Here we are in full swing from about September through around April. There- it's picking up around April and shutting down in September. So in some areas you may be dragging out the show clothes while others are putting them away.
Trail riding is going strong here, put on a light jacket and hit the trails. Places where it is snowing and below 0 on the thermometer, the horses are getting time off, their shoes may have already been pulled and they are coasting until things have thawed- including their water tubs!
Pretty much everyone is dragging out their horses blankets though (if they haven't already) and checking for holes, making sure they still fit, letting go of the old ones and shopping for new ones. A blanket is a good thing to always have on hand just in case. Temperatures may plummet suddenly before their coats come in, there may be health issues deterring weight gain and if you are here- your horse had better be body clipped if you plan on hitting the ring.
I will be posting on the art of body clipping, but since none of ours will be showing this year- there is no need to shave them bald and blanket. That one will have to wait until spring.
Even blanketing though, there are considerations as to when and why. Increasing the amount of hay or roughage fed at night helps the horse produce their own heat and maintain a natural warmth. A lot of times if it is raining, just providing a waterproof sheet is enough. As long as they are dry, they can stay warm underneath. Same goes for windy days, a sheet to block the wind may be all it takes.
I will try to get pictures over the weekend of some of our blankets and the blanketing process. Some horses take to putting them on/taking them off, with no problems. Others, just don't even bother. It will kill them and they just know it. Nothing in the world will change their thoughts on the matter and trying to get a blanket on them can be dangerous. Staying safe is more important. That way you will be around to feed them in the morning. Which is more important in their world? Blankets or food. I bet we can come up with pretty close answers there!