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Paris Ride 4: Catnip Roasting on an Open Fire…

December 19, 2009

Friday, 12/18/09

Wizard got his shoes pulled today. Because the ground is frozen, he looks footsore but I am hoping he will adjust in a few days since he was barefoot for several years before I was riding him. I applied Keratex Hoof Hardener and am hoping it provides some relief.

A big snowstorm is predicted for the weekend so we made sure to get the barn ready, checking the doors, getting extra feed, and giving the horses warm drinking water.

I rode Paris for about 30 minutes. I tried my new Nunn Finer Piaffe girth and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. The padding is generous and the girth seems to stay in place while keeping the horse comfortable.

We started off by longeing for a few minutes since the ground is frozen outside and I wanted to see how she was moving. As usual, she looked perfect :^) I rode her in a Thermatex quarter sheet to help warm her muscles up in the cool air.

We started out working on suppling exercises at the walk, straight lines down the center line, followed by some shapes. Once she felt soft and responsive, we picked up a trot and continued our work, doing serpentines and changes of direction. I asked for a few halts and walk transitions. About halfway through the ride, Paris’ trot became noticeably bigger and more energetic. Her power was impressive- I was trying hard to properly ride her trot! Once our trot work was done, I asked her to stretch down at the trot, which she did instantly and willingly. Whoever trained this mare did a wonderful job. Even as we were walking to cool down, her walk was swingy and animated. I could tell that she was just getting started :^)

For your entertainment, a few videos of the kittens playing with their Christmas toys. I had a pack of catnip toys in my grooming bucket and Timon found them and took off down the barn aisle with them in his mouth. I figured that since he found his gifts, I should give them to him and his brother early. They spent the better part of an hour playing with their prizes.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2009 11:46 am

    Paris sounds like a lot of fun. Did you ride in your saddle, or does she have her own?

    I love the kittens with their toys! One year in Memphis I bought the barn cats a Ratzilla, a rat stuffed with pure catnip about the size of a softball. Needless to say, it was a big hit.

    • December 27, 2009 3:48 pm

      Thanks, Funder! I’m riding her in my saddle, which is a wide and seems to sit well on her back.

      Ratzilla? Sounds like something I need to purchase right away :^)

  2. February 6, 2010 6:46 pm

    Probably a silly question — which direction does the girth go? I see that there is contouring along one edge. Is that to go toward the front of hte horse for elbow clearance?


    • February 6, 2010 6:48 pm

      Not a silly question! The curved side goes toward the elbow and the straight side goes away from the elbow.

      • February 6, 2010 6:58 pm

        Thanks for that. I had guessed as much but didn’t want to make a donkey of myself. 🙂 I’ve got one on order. I was hesitant at first, convinced that I needed elastic for comfort/fit. But after seeing the girth in real life and seeing how it works, I was sold. It’s nice to have feedback from someone (you!) that has already tried it and likes it.

        Thanks again,

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