It would have worked better if I had cross-ties, which I intend to install, but I made it work. Ashke hated it.
He wanted to be outside in his run with his buddies. And he also thought saddling him in his stall was the worse idea ever! I had issues with being on his right side, picking out his feet, tightening the cinch, and getting him to give me his head. He nipped a lot. Although, he did seem to enjoy the grooming since he is shedding like a banshee.
His "I really just want to hang out in the sun" face. I finally got him to turn around and face me.
Saddled and ready to go. We went back to the Equipedic blanket, because the thinner blanket made his back hurt. The Equipedic is supposed to shape itself so the pressure is even across his back, which it does.
We headed to the indoor. He was quite high energy. Rachel moved her hand and Ashke went sideways. It was fun. After walk, trot and canter I was pretty over it. There were a bunch of people riding and at least two lessons, so Ashke and I took to the hills, where we are always going to want to be.
There was about four to six inches of snow, with puddles of melt where the rock was. That was interesting because Ashke hates to cross water. He did, however, once he got a good look at it and realized he didn't have a choice. I can safely say, we were the only horse out on the Mesa today.
We followed the coyote tracks out from the barn. They keep coming down, but I figured out they are coming down to get water from the creek that runs past the barn. It was pretty cool to watch how the tracks wove through each other, zigzagging through the brush (following the scent of rabbit, I'm sure).
We did our two mile loop in about 40 minutes and Ashke loved it. He was breathing pretty hard and got nice and warm, but didn't break a sweat. It was a perfect work for his right hammie.
We met several runners, but no bikes today. There were coyote tracks all over the place.
When we turned the far corner for home, the wind hit us in the face. Ashke stopped dead in his tracks, head up and tension sang through his body. I figure a coyote had crossed the trail only a little bit before and the scent was fresh. We both searched the area and the bush for the culprit, but didn't find it. I waited patiently for Ashke to decide if it was safe. After a thorough search, we moved forward.
Typically, Ashke prances and trots real slow downhill on our way back. I let him, as long as he is respectful. Today, however, we didn't do that. There was just enough give in the snow that he really had to concentrate on keeping his butt underneath him while we were going downhill. He stumbled one time and then figured it out. He stepped carefully and deliberately on our way home.
As you can see, we were able to use a grooming stall when we got back. I took these pictures to show the compression marks from the saddle blanket. They seem pretty even on both sides.
And pretty even front to back. He still needs to gain some more muscle across the top of his back and butt. I'm hoping Diane can give me some idea of how to do that. And in the meantime, we are going to ride the Mesa and finally make it to the Lakes.
Ashke gets a break tomorrow and probably Monday. Colorado has finally remembered it's supposed to be winter and we are under a Winter Storm Warning with an expected 6 to 10 inches of snow. I am planning on staying in my PJs for the day, even though Nico is coming home tomorrow.
I left him chin deep in bran with carrots and apples.
He opens his mouth to take big bites of the mash. He likes the mash from Murdocks better than the mash from the Coop in Brighton. It's thicker and meatier, I think.
And because life wouldn't be complete without some puppy yummy-ness - here is your fix for the weekend:
They are exhausted. We only allowed them three 30 minute naps today in the hopes that they will sleep through the night.
Wanting to know where their dinner is .. .