Yesterday was yet another Just Feeding Day. That's not a surprise, and neither was the fact that it started raining just before I got to the yard and stopped just after I departed! For the first time in an age I was able to go up during the day.
The rain and milder temperatures mean the snow is being washed away, hopefully that's the last of it for this winter.
Partly due to my relentless hangover, we didn't hack until the afternoon. Luckily it hadn't rained all day and we were still blessed with sun for our ride. Tacking up, Quadi bit the door when I put the saddle on. A red flag, but he doesn't seem sore? I am just trying to be extra-careful with tacking up, mounting, riding and dismounting. If I weren't going away we'd have the saddler booked but c'est la vie. Hopefully he'll have another massage in a couple of weeks.
We were concerned that the boys would be a little 'up' having not been worked for week, but they were great. Quadi's walk was loose and swinging despite the sometimes nasty terrain. Sometimes frozen, sometimes not frozen, some slushy ice, pockmarked with hoofprints. Nothing we couldn't handle at a walk, and he was lifting his back up into my seat. I gave him a long rein and concentrated on trying to sit straight and tall with my lower back engaged. I try to think of having an extra rib in my left-hand side and it helps a lot as I can sit square without trying to wiggle my weight around.
The least boggy most fun route for our on-foot escort Meg was an alternative entrance to the forest, not our usual route. The reason we don't normally take this route through the forest because the path is crossed twice with little burns/waterways. Fin is still a little sticky with crossing them, and Quadi, whilst he probably would jump them solo, because Fin couldn't do it, neither could Quadi.
First time Kate dismounted and walked Fin over, Quadi followed suit and put in a lovely pop. Second time Kate, Fin and Meg were all across and Quadi became a little confused as to why we weren't with them. I thought it more prudent to dismount and lead him over. Even though remounting with the treeless is tricky for me. We were successful anyway. Rode around the loop and apart from jigging up one part of the track (where both boys clearly felt they should be cantering), they were foot perfect.
My ankle began throbbing halfway around which made me rather tense, meaning Quadi stopped lifting his back. However, the numerous trees we had to step over and weave through was good physio work :)
Whilst I was untacking I noticed how cresty Quadi is becoming. I'm sad about that, I'm trying very hard to keep his calorie intake down and his workload up. I'll check his current muzzle fits tomorrow and measure him up for another. The one he has is off-the-peg and is ok but I'd prefer one made to fit his head exactly. He's not especially fat in other areas, but it's definitely fat and not muscle :(
Only one more ride until I go away. Boo!