Wednesday, November 23, 2011
It is now officially the rainy season in the Pacific Northwest; the monsoon moved in 2 days ago and has been nonstop. We expect a break by June or maybe July. Add the rain to the shorter daylight hours and this becomes the time of year when I wonder why I live here. I don't stop riding in the winter; neither Grace nor I do well with time off. In the past I've toughed it out in the rain or hauled out to an indoor arena. Last year my neighbor rebuilt their entire barn. It was a major undertaking and the finished product is to die for! It is a very private facility and I am incredibly fortunate to be able to ride there.
I met the owner on the weekend to sign the usual waiver, write the check for the ring fees and get the ground rules. The place is absolutely breathtaking, almost too beautiful to have a horse in. The new footing is a dust free synthetic mix of fancy stuff. It cannot handle any organic material or water. Hooves must be picked out before entering, as for horse poop - I'm just really glad that Grace rarely poops under saddle.
I've ridden in the arena for the last two nights. Grace was silly last night as I completely changed her routine by bringing her up there. I went the extra step with her hooves and wiped them dry with a towel before entering the arena. The first night I even took her tail bag out so as to not drip any water into the footing. We had a great ride tonight, Grace was much more focused and centered. I am in love with the mirrors in the arena, what a wonderful tool! I have a much better idea what what Sarah means by straight now. I plan to ride there two nights a week, outside on the weekends and if I get in some groundwork two other nights we are still at 6 days a week. Not bad for Winter.