Why yes, yes there is a bright side.
A full hour extra of daylight in the evenings.
Once I realized that it was like that, suddenly it was all worth it.
So I made good use of my hour of daylight and lack of wind yesterday.
I worked 4 horses in the round pen.
I started with Danny, what a good boy. He moves so effortlessly even with his handicap, when I watch him move I just know he was a great athlete in his day. I wish I knew his story, and not just his story with me.
We trotted in both directions, then we cantered, then we backed up. Plus Danny gets stretching and massage. Oddly enough, I can back Danny around the pen in both directions without any problems. The other 3 fight me every step of the way. Danny made 4 trips around (2 each way), I was lucky to get 1 a piece out of the others. It cracks me up that even though it is physically harder for him, mentally it is easier, so he just does it. He is such a good boy.
It had snowed all day the day before so the pen was muddy, but only in the middle where I was. The outside edge was nice and dry. It wasn't too bad for me as long as I didn't have to go fast.
Sassy was next, and she did quite well, except with backing up, although she did better than the other two. Her biggest issue is still being caught, but we did it without food this time. I think the difference was being able to take my time this time because eventually she just gave in. I think I need to do this with her every day if possible, before feeding, so she isn't only getting caught for work.
Trax was originally loose in the pasture so I had not planned on doing him, because he does work harder than the rest, he doesn't really need the exercise, and truthfully he is impossible to catch in the pasture if he thinks you want to catch him. But he was nice enough to lock himself in Sassy's run while I was working her so I figured that meant he did not want to be left out.
With him, I decided to practice setting him up for a halter class. We got the fronts down pat with hardly any issue. He pretty much stands square in the front on his own. The back is a different story. Since body movement from me incites a bigger body movement from him, I used a different approach. I used my stick to lightly touch the leg that I want moved. I would never want to be behind him if kicked. I swear I barely touched his rear leg and he kicked out so hard and so fast at that stick...It would have hurt for sure. Probably would have broken a leg. My leg. So I decided I needed to rub my way into him with the stick before touching his leg. It made the difference and he was no longer kicking. So then I was able to just barely tap his hoof and get him to move his foot. He still didn't put it where I wanted it but it was progress. I was finally able to get him to square up once, and even let me drop the lead to step away to see how he looked. I called it good. Of course forward movement is no problem; backing up...a little more work.
Finally was Killian's turn. Man that horse is hard. With him I started with backing first because the halter I had was way to small for him and so I wanted to get if off as quickly as possible. He did it, but he fought it every step. Then came forward. He started off at a nice trot, but getting him to maintain it require me to stay on him constantly. I tried to get a canter, but couldn't get more than three steps. When I round pen my horses I don't just stand in the middle. I drive from their hip, and my feet move in the same direction as theirs the entire time. My circle is smaller but it is still constant movement. With 3 of them it takes almost nothing to keep them going. With Killian I have to expand my circle to keep him moving, which means I have to move faster. If I let off even a little he stops. This had me trying to jog through the slickest part of the round pen. By time we were done I was huffing and puffing, he wasn't even breathing hard.
I'm changing his name to "Killin me" LOL
When I finally had had enough I opened the gate and he raced out and ran all over the pasture. This leads me to believe that pain is not his issue, laziness is. I think he's got my number. Tonight I will get his.
Afterwards I fed everyone and topped off Sassy and Killian's water. This morning I looked out my bedroom window, and thought, wow I don't recall there being that much snow in the pasture last night. But it sure is wet out there. (I did not have my glasses on)
When I went out to feed this morning the first thing I heard was water running. Somebody forgot to shut the water off last night. I washed out Sassy's run and flooded the whole pasture!
Well that is one way to get some grass to grow and the water tub is spotless!