Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Springtime Exercise

One of the biggest downsides of my little farmette is the minimal pasture. It's certainly workable, but it takes careful planning to manage properly. Primarily, it requires a limited turnout schedule based on weather/season and rotational grazing between the two 1-acre pastures to limit wear and tear on the grass and soil. No turnout during the wettest times, limited turnout for grazing during the growing season, and limited turnout for exercise in the off-season when the pasture is frozen. (You should see the divots and churned up topsoil from the one time they were out when the ground wasn't frozen a month ago, oi vey!)

I have anticipated that the early weeks of spring would be the most difficult time for the horses because this is the time of the year that their turnout into the pastures will be most minimal. To allow the grass an opportunity to establish itself requires that the horses are not turned out for a good 4-6 weeks. It's a temporary sacrifice to help guarantee that they have a better turnout situation through the rest of the year.

But springtime weather is helter skelter. And as any horse person knows, the beasties are really feeling themselves this time of year. They're absolutely full of piss and vinegar.

To help keep all of us sane through this period of limited turnout, I've been doing my very best to get them each out for 2-3 mile jaunts as much as possible. I do my best to include one mountain climb on every ride, too. It isn't anything crazy at all, mostly a lot of marching walk, but it does the trick!

The best old man. 
My only occasional riding partner - my neighbor! We've basically quarantined ourselves together through this whole mess. It's been so nice to have female companionship.
Looking north through Canaan Valley. We live on the southern-most point of the Valley.

Though my rides aren't always during nice weather! This time of year isn't exactly well-known for blue skies and sunshine.

A classic day up here, living in a cloud.
The looming shadow is a house.
Descending out of the cloud
See where the trees disappear in the mist? Uh, yeah, we live up there lol
I love how confident this little pony is these days. There was a long stretch of time I couldn't imagine taking a photo like this while riding her because she spooked so much. Now, I take photos like this almost every ride! Oh, and with a bareback pad! It has been months since she wore a saddle. 
Back up on top, about a quarter mile from the house. 

But the pretty days are always the best.

Such a stunning place to call home!

It's such a gift to be able to have the horses at home through this time. We are all thoroughly enjoying our little jaunts about the mountainside. The fresh air and leg stretching certainly helps to keep us sane!

1 comment:

  1. You are lucky to have access to trails from home so you can get them out to stretch. Pasture maintenance is tricky especially with a smaller area. Thoughtful planning is important and you’ve done that so you are already winning!