Keepin' It Fresh

Dino and I have been at our new barn home for nearly a month now, and we're slowly starting to get back in the groove of riding on a regular basis.

The early darkness and poor footing of winter are no longer obstacles, so I've been getting to play with my favorite pony a LOT more, which is awesome! Our biggest challenge is proving to be exactly what I thought it would: keeping Dino's work ethic at an acceptable level even though we have to ride in the indoor just about every day. The other night he had his first truly cranky ride in the indoor, and even though it didn't devolve into a full-blown pony'tude tantrum, his bad attitude drove home the fact that Dino needs a LOT of variety  and time outside the ring to stay happy in his work. Nightly dressage schools in the indoor is just not going to cut it for him this winter.

No matter how great the outfit, the indoor can be BORING. 
A packed schedule this past week helped me mix things up for His Royal Highness, and he had a very light week of riding interspersed with a lunging session in the chambon, a night of intense grooming and massage in lieu of work, a very chilly road hack on Thanksgiving morning, and a western ride during which we rode around the pastures (very frozen, Dino's feets were not happy about the footing), in the outdoor (surprisingly great footing despite the cold!), and a few minutes in the indoor. Dino definitely liked massage night and his road hack best, but by the time we found ourselves back in the indoor, I had a much more relaxed, willing, happy pony under me! (Even though he still thinks that loping slow is hard and just trotting as fast as he can is the answer.) I don't get much time during the week to be at the barn during daylight hours, so it was really wonderful to take advantage of the holiday weekend and get outside several days in a row.

And of course, taking the time to do all of these different things with Dino instead of working hard every ride is teaching me more about how to let go and listen to my partner, which is always a good thing!


  1. yay i'm so glad you're finding more and more pony time now with the new barn!! i feel ya tho on the souring effect of night after night in the indoor.... charlie agrees with Dino completely! mixing in more cavalleti and ground pole exercises helps with him a LOT, but ultimately by the end of last winter i ended up shifting one day during midweek to a morning ride so at least we got daylight even if we still couldn't ride outside....

  2. Scout is already over the indoor! But I am not --what a fantastic luxury to have this year! Now if only this rain would stop so I could ride outside more!

  3. Such a gorgeous indoor! There were a few nights last winter where B was like "Nooooo...not the indoor!" And so we went outside in the wind and dark, and pouring rain. Suddenly she was quite happy to have a hack in the indoor, lol

  4. Beautiful indoor!! I wish we had one!

  5. I'm glad you get a chance to do more this winter! And since you can it does provide ample opportunity to just spend those nights grooming and enjoying the pony!

  6. I'm so glad things are working out so well at the new barn! Sometimes it really is nice just to hang out and groom our ponies.


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