Merry Christmas!

It’s really cold here in KY, but May and I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

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Off Season Goals & Secret Santa

Since this year didn’t totally pan out the way I had expected, I didn’t get the chance to meet really any of my original 2017 goals. (You can hear me complain all about it in this blog from August.) However, we are officially at the point of looking towards 2018, and hopefully, the horse trials that will accompany it. While it’s probably too early to set any concrete goals for our actual show season, I thought it made sense to put together some goals for our off season.

Well… I guess just one goal. We need to get in shape. Not just May, not just me, but both of us.

May is currently on a light work schedule due to the lack of light and due to the craziness of the holidays. I will be going away for a week in January (finally taking that honeymoon!), so I figure once I return from that, it will be time to start putting fitness back on May. Fun fact about draft crosses, especially those with no thoroughbred blood, they lose fitness FAST, and it takes a long time to really build it back up.

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Unfit May vs. Fit May

Our rides right now mostly consist of either long walks or easy, stretchy sessions. Basically just get the blood moving, make sure the buttons still work, and leave it at that. It just isn’t fair to ask for a full workout without any real breaks when she’s not in shape. (And that’s not even considering the increased possibility of injury)

As for me, I am hitting the gym. The nights when I would usually ride, but it is too cold and dark? Well, that is now automatically a gym night. The few days off I am getting around Christmas? Also gym days. (subject to the days my gym isn’t closed). Anyone have any fun/effective gym fitness routines they do?

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Secret Santa!

A big shout out to Hillary at Equestrian at Hart for my secret santa gift! The ear warmer has already been put to good use (although we are going to have some warm weather around Christmas). It’s the first ear warmed I have found that I can comfortably fit under my helmet.

Not surprisingly… May’s favorite part we’re the cookies (which already made their way to the barn before I remembers to snap a pic)

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Yum yum cookies 😂🐴#horsesofinstagram #may

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Yeah… those are going to go real quick. 🙂 Merry Christmas May (those treats might be the last of the unhealthy kind until that goal up there is achieved hahaha)

Fighting the Dark

Dramatic title much? Borderline click-bait? Oh well, I got nothing else.

Can we talk about something real quick? This:

Weather

Now, the cold is totally something I can deal with. It is not even that cold. If you put on a few layers and keep moving, it’s totally do-able. What I am talking about is that bottom right hand corner… that SUNDOWN AT 5:22PM thing. As someone that works a job that requires me to be at work until 5PM and a job that is 40 minutes, without traffic, away from the barn, this is kind of a big issue.

Who cares if it’s dark, just get your horse from the barn and shut up about it? Right? Well… no. My barn does year-round night turnout. From a horse management perspective, I do really love this. The horses go out around 4PM and come in around 9AM, which gives them around 17 hours of turnout everyday. And with either access to grass or round bales in the fields, it also means my horse can more easily keep herself comfortable, temperature-wise.

However, it also means that if it is pitch black out, my chances of finding my horse in the field plummet. And trust me, I have gone out there with an amazing flashlight and stumbled around a frozen field more than once trying to find my horse… only for all of the horses to spook at me when I get close to them and run off again. Sometimes I get lucky and can catch mine, and sometimes I don’t.

The point of this post? There are 13 more days until the days start to get longer, and I am begging each one to go a bit faster.

What limits your riding during these winter months?