January 14, 2012

Want to join us on a winter ride?

I got inspired by Mugwumps "BraCam" and thought that I could try and make a video of Fame and me hacking out today.
I decided on the easy option though and just hold the phone in my hand while riding.
So do you wanna come with us?

Unfortunately hard wind and milder temperatures have made the trees lose all the snow, we don't have much snow  and we did not see much of the sunshine today either...but never mind, it was nice weather for a ride!

You'll just have to take it as is :-) ...no such fancies as music and headings, the post as editor is vacant at the moment.
So please join Fame and me hacking out today!
Here we are heading down towards the creek:

Horses are by nature afraid of ice, just as they are on any insecure footing like bogs etc.
It's logical - a horse in the wild that gets stuck or hurt the legs by all likelihood ends up dead.
Two years ago, a rider from one of the other stables rode out on the ice on a lake at wintertime.
The ice couldn't bear the weight, and the horse tragically ended up dead.

So you have to build confidence with them over time, and on this day we had weak ice which is the worst.
Fame was a good girl though, and we found a way over.
Had to keep both hands on the reins going down to the water though.

Looking back on the water, I saw something floating? Oh no, my glove....
Not exactly the right time for a bath. What to do?
I just had to turn Fame, and see if I could get hold of it.
It floated merrily downstream, but luckily ended up on one of the icy part in the middle, and I managed to fish it up with the dressage whip. Yes!
And up on the other side...with a soaking wet glove. Nice.
Couldn't keep it on, and couldn't put it in the pocket either.
I finally decided to hang it as a tree decoration until our return.

So my next project was to try and video at canter.
Bear in mind that I was riding bareback, and my horse is an agile spooker.
So, halfway down the video you hear me squeak almost falling off as she spooks over a small darkish pine tree, silly girl.
I apologize for the video quality as the wind made a lot of noise and the camera man did some shaky footing.
Fame was actually a good girl and kept a nice controlled canter apart from the spooking. I believe she was a bit puzzled about what I was doing though.

We continued up, and did some more canter intervals at a higher speed, and this time I decided to be a bit more sensible and keep both hands on the reins and my concentration on the horse.
As usual I jumped off at the top, and walked beside her on the way down.
When I hack out I normally ride her bitless, either on a sidepull or as here on a hackamore.
I have exchanged the chin chain with a leather strap though, it is a softer solution which works fine.

Finally found a stone and was able to get on Fame again  so I did not have to splash through the creek by foot.
Found the glove as well.
It was frozen stiff, but I managed somehow to get it into the pocket of my jacket for the last part of the ride home.

Thanks for joining us!


lytha said...

love how your adorable horse is listening to your every word!!

Di said...

How wonderful, I just wanted to join you! A lovely long canter also. Thanks for sharing!

mugwump said...

I love it! Of course if you had on your bra cam you would have been hands free....

Liz Stout said...

Snow rides are the BEST. I need to get off my butt and edit some footage I have in the snow. Not nearly as fun as your ride! So lucky you have rivers to cross. Thanks for sharing.

lmel said...

Thanks for the "ride". I wish mine was that nice. We have a breakable crust on top of 4 inches of snow--no fun, stuck with road riding. Thanks for sharing!

The Odyssey Farm said...

Lovely ride! Thanks for bringing us along. Your glove-less hand must have gotten cold!!

Laura Crum said...

Thank you! That was great fun. Looks very chilly, though. Especially crossing the icy creek-brrrr...

Francesca Prescott said...

I love this! Amazing how you can film and canter while riding bareback in snow!!! And how brave to you to cross that coooooold river! I have a question: how is Fame shod to avoid the buildup of snow and ice in her shoes? Does she have "hoof grips" (that's what they are called here in Switzerland)?

HorseOfCourse said...

Thanks for your comments all!

Lytha - yes, she is sweet. I love the sense of companionship when we are out.
I believe she was a bit confused though, in particular in the canter where she sensed I was not quite focused on her.

Di - how lovely if you could! That would have been fun, don't you think?

Mugs - that far reaching product development has not reached as far as the Norwegian forests yet.

Liz - thanks for commenting! It is lovely to ride in the snow, in particular in the soft, fresh snow with the trees laden with snow as well. Was not so lucky on Sunday, but we will probably get some more during the week. We'll see!

Imel - no, that is not fun. Boring to have to stick to the roads as well. Wish you an early spring!

Odyssey - managed ok as it was not that cold on Sunday. During normal January temperatures I would have had to turn and ride home!

Laura - it was not that bad really, just below freezing point.

Francesca - yes, she is shod with studs and hoofgrips. I have written more about how we handle the snow and cold in an earlier blog post. Look at "Horses and riding in cold weather" from Jan 2010 if you are interested.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Thanks for the amazing ride. You are a great rider and Fame is a wonder horse. Wow, you really know how to make the best of winter riding. I hope Misty and I can venture out in the winter like that some day, although we'll just stay at a nice walk; it's our favorite gait.

KD said...

What a lovely winter canter ! Whenever I try to hold a camera it's much more wobbly. Think I might try a helmet cam one of these days.

DollHouse said...
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