Saturday, September 29, 2012

Shorter days and routine changes

Calabar stood (mostly) patiently in the cross-ties as I rubbed him down down after our ride the other night. It was  about 6:30 p.m. and I found myself struggling a bit in the dim (what? dim?) light.

Right. Days are getting shorter, it will soon be time for the fluorescent lights and blurry night-time pictures--or no pictures at all. Soon, there will be rain and puddles and mud and a grumpy horse who has not been able to lie down and nap.

Calabar likes to nap, to sink deep into REM sleep. I think he even snores. I know Lena snores when she power naps, but I don't know for sure that she naps like he does as often as he does--which I'm pretty sure is at least once a day. And he is very serious about his naps. Katie sent me the above photo with the text, "I thought he was dead." I've had that same heart-stopping moment a few times, but he's always up and at the gate by the time I get to his paddock.

Winter is hard on him in terms of the power nap. He is not overly fond of the mud, but will lay down if it's not raining on him. If it's raining, he stands under his shelter rather than lie down. Or at least that's how it seems much of the time.

I notice he is grumpier in the winter and I seriously think it's lack of power naps.

But before you suggest I put this lovely boy in a stall, forget it. He thinks stalls are prisons and wants no part of them, thank you very much.

Winter, rain in particular, also signals another switch to our routine--with blankets and sogginess, the ritual rolling must come before riding, not after. In the warm weather, he has little to no interest in rolling before we ride, but does like a good toss in the dirt when we're done. When he's been out in the rain, wrapped in Gore-Tex, the number one priority when we get into the arena is rolling until itchy blanket-skin can be relieved. Having been encased in rain gear and multiple layers for hours on end myself and knowing how blissful a shower feels afterwards, I really can't blame him. And once the rolling is done, he is attentive and cooperative with whatever comes next.

Ahhh, yes--that's the spot!
It seems that the older I get, the faster the years go. I could swear to you we just had winter and that summer could not truly be over, and yet the thickening coats on my horses tell me otherwise. Soon, Peter will be reminding all of us to turn off the darn arena lights, too.

It could be worse. We could be without an indoor arena to use to burn off all that autumn energy and ease blanket-itchiness. We could live somewhere it snows. (Hahahahahahahahaha!!! With much respect to my friends that play in that cold fluffy stuff--no. Make that a Hell No.)

Coming soon, the season of Calabar the cocoa-covered truffle pony. (Arena dirt sticks amazingly well to soggy ponies.)

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