It has been a very busy and exciting week, lots of progress and good stuff.
First, we have a brand new barn! While the barn we were at was lovely, lots of turnout and access to trails, only 2 people ride there and none on trails. This would be an issue soon enough as Beaux is regaining his health and spark.
Mr Beaux Windswept is now at a small co-op barn directly behind our favorite park, Tree Tops Park. Only 12 horses, including the owner’s, and the average boarder there has been there 6 years. There is great security, all of the horses are in fantastic shape, and everybody rides! Bonus, the family next door, has 3 of their horses on their own property, and they are also active riders. Being a co-op barn, everybody pitches in to help each other, and it already feels like home.
Beaux is already settling in well, he honestly is his happiest in an active barn. He shares a small 2 horse run with an amazing SSH/TWH mix Duke. Beaux has a 12′ x 12′ stall with a 12′ x 24′ attached run. Duke shares the stall and run next to him, they are already buddying up and they enjoy facing the road behind their runs, people watching and judging the horses heading towards the trail head.
Next, we have a saddle!! Christmas/birthday present from BFF in New Orleans, a gently used older Wintec dressage style saddle, even came with saddle pads! All I need is irons/leathers, girth, bridle, and looking at a 3 piece lozenge style Baucher bit. Beaux was getting better with his leg cues, and with his mouth issues, I believe the Baucher will sit better and allow him to swallow. I truly believe this is why Beaux drools so badly with other bits and his bracing with the bit, his low palette/fleshy tongue combined with the old bar injury doesn’t allow him to swallow properly. So we shall see!!
I rarely seem to make my goals, but with my new job and better schedule, combined with a very active co-op barn, I see a lotta miles in our future. To give me at least some goals for the month of February:
- Acquire tack to actually ride with.
- Groundwork to prep for riding, start getting that rust shaken off.
- Continue handwalking, gradually increasing distance/time.
- Plan on a birthday ride (26th of Feb)
Beaux is gaining weight again now that the weather is no longer horrid, he has a mild case of rain rot that will be cleared in another few days. He will get de-wormed, see the farrier, and get his bridle path trimmed. I am also starting Beaux on some Ulc-r Aide to help his sensitive stomach. Beaux’s been through a lot these past months and getting him healthy inside and out is what is most important. Beaux just now needs some muscle and that will only come with movement. Even when we do start riding, it will be only in the arena, at a walk, and short trips around the farm and down the street and back. Once Beaux has a stronger back, we will start doing short trips into Tree Tops and slowly work our way into trail shape.
I am from the “old school” of training horses, put a 100 miles of walking miles on them and you won’t have any issues with the intermediate gait and canter. Beaux has a lovely canter but it is his intermediate gait that I am most excited about. I still have lofty goals of competing in Limited Distance (LD) Rides. The Introductory Rides are normally around 12-15 miles with the average LD usually around 25 miles. If all goes well this summer, we should have rides planned for the fall/winter (which is the endurance/LD season here in Florida).
I will also be joining Open Trail so we can track our miles and finding a different app then Endomondo as the Open Trail shaves off almost 10% of mileage due to Endomondo’s slightly faulty GPS tracker. So while Endomondo was easy to use, I need accuracy over ease, but I’m sure I can find an app to accurately and easily track our hacks.
On my end, I am focusing on my fitness by participating in the upcoming 30 Day Rider Fitness Challenge. This fitness challenge will help me to be in as good of shape as I will be asking of Beaux. It is only correct that I can be in the best shape to help support him as a rider.
I am excited for the month ahead, Beaux and I both have a lot to work on, but it won’t be drudgery but us “getting our groove back” so we can hit the trails!