Sunday, November 28, 2010

Moonlit Rides and a Conundrum

Spider had Thursday and Friday off since we had to do family things for the holiday. And then Saturday went by too fast. Suddenly it was 4:30 and getting dark and I hadn't ridden yet. I mulled my options. Option one: Suck it up and ride in the dark. Option two: Wimp out and look like a backyard yahoo at the clinic Dec 10th. I hate looking like a backyard yahoo. Plus, I was inspired by Carol at Dressage Training Journal. She wrote about a moonlit ride recently that sounded just heavenly. I must admit that there is something magical about working a horse in the dark. We humans are such visual creatures, we tend to throw all our other senses away and just rely on our eyesight. But in the dark there are no distractions, it's just you and the horse.

We just worked a bit on suppling, bending into and out of the circle. We walked, trotted, cantered and then called it an evening. It felt good.

The conundrum: What do I do about a blanket for Vinny? He still lifts his hind legs up too high and he got one leg caught in the belly straps of the blanket. Luckily, he didn't hurt himself, but he did rip the belly straps off the blanket. I tried using the blanket without the belly straps. I found it in a heap in the middle of the pasture this morning. I probably should have known that would happen. I'm going to try sewing one strap back on nearer the front of the blanket, where a girth would go. If that doesn't work, I'm all out of ideas. Maybe I could just wrap him up in insulation and vet wrap for the winter? *L*


  1. There are a couple of brands of blankets that have a belly flap that wraps around instead of just straps - I'm not sure of which brands. He might do better in one of those.

  2. Strap under his tail? One of my blankets is missing one of the rings for the leg straps so I just ran a strap from the one top ring to another and it seems to hold the blanket fine. The sheet/blanket also has two diagonal surcingles which also might make a difference.

    Can't blame you for worrying about Vinny's getting a leg caught in the leg straps like that. Super stretchy, elastic straps can be fastened a bit shorter--tighter too.

    I suppose a huge polo wrap would be an option. *G*

  3. Thanks for mentioning my blog! It sounds like you had a great ride - isn't it magical when you can focus in the quiet and darkness?
    I've never figured the blanket thing out. Depending on the horse, they seem to be able to wreck just about anything :( The suggestions sound good though.

  4. Ihad my BEST EVER canter at dusk BAREBACK on a very spooky Anglo-Arab mare. Unbelievable but true. I am very visual, perhaps the fatc that I could not see, made me relax and feel more,Boh?

    It is truly magical. How brave you are! You do not sound like a mother of two LOL!

    Ni idea for Vinnie' blanket problem. Sorry

  5. I love your blog. It is especially interesting to me because I also have an old horse with stringhalt. His name is Danny. He came to my mom as a rescue horse and then I got him when she lost her home and had to move to a place where she could not have him. We don't know what his life was before he came to us, but he must have been somebody's wonder horse. He is just the sweetest thing ever. I can do anything to him and he stands like a gentleman until it is done. Then he takes off in his "triangle gait" as if to say, "I have had enough"
    I do have a solution for your blanket issue. We live in WY and winters are harsh here, so blankets are a must. Danny's blanket has a wide belly band which is a piece of material which fits up snugly under his belly his legs come all the way up to his belly and he has never gotten caught up. has some good ones. Or your local tack store should be able to help you.
    Vinny and Danny sound like they are much alike. Danny is always getting into mischief and still thinks he is top horse.
    Thank you again for the wonderful stories.

    1. Thank you, Cindy!

      Vinny is mostly recovered from his bout with stringhalt, in that he can get around easily and is not bothered by his "unsoundness". But, he still gets awkward if he has to move about in tight quarters. We were lucky that last winter was mild and we didn't have to blanket him. This winter the weather people are calling for a harder winter. I'll definitely be looking into that blanket!

      Thanks for your recommendation!

      Danny sounds lovely. I just love the older gentlemen, because they're so calm and considerate while they're being handled. But then you let them loose, and they show the young'uns' how to tear it up!


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