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We Are Flying Solo

January 2, 2010

Feeling Frosty

It's cold. Like your-face-puckers-inward-to-avoid-contact-with-the-air cold. Then the wind blows. And I seriously rethink my decision to walk out the door.

But I still rode, dangit! We did some trots and canters up and down the hills in the pastures. Or rather, Solo did his best to maintain some time of crooked bow shape to his body so he could remind me where all the OTHER horses were in the arctic windstorm. At least, until my face gave in to wind chill, then I went back in.

Today I am thankful for:

Barn doors to close everything up nice and cozy
Hot water to wash the mud off of pasterns
Heated buckets to absolve me of water hauling duty
Heated stock tanks in the pasture to spare me soaking gloves from icebreaking
Extension cords for all that stuff

For your entertainment, a couple videos from our jump school on Friday. Notably, the day when it was 50 degrees out instead of the polar gale we seem currently stuck in. Sorry, the camera was stuck on a tripod, so you get only a fixed camera angle.

A little warmup gymnastic, in which I need to give more rein...

This one is a 2'11" (regulation Novice height) oxer that was two strides after a similar sized vertical.

This was our "biggie" -- I always try to set up just one that is at a more challenging height or type so that I know if we come to something that looks crazy big to me on a course, we can handle it! This was a 3'2" vertical on an uphill and as you can see, I made sure I had LOTS of horse under me coming to this thing, it was big!

And if you can stomach my giving in to the temptation of cheesiness, this is just a little montage I put together in a late night fit of boredom. I had never made one before so this was my trial run.


  1. First of all, I'm quite proud of you for riding in freezing weather! Was it officially below freezing?

    You guys look great jumping! Nice and forward! I'm insanely jealous that you not only have 50 degree days, but can jump school in the middle of winter!

  2. Woohoo, Solo is looking very bold these days, tackling those big jumps. Good on ya! :-)
    Oh, and he and Salem are now not only Blanket Buddies but also Bit Buddies. I got a Happy Mouth boucher, although I might switch it for the double-jointed version. (I have been getting some quizzical looks from my barn-mates, though -- bouchers are not exactly commonplace in the H/J world).

  3. It was officially 31, molly, and the windchill was 27, so I think we get points! Thanks!

    And Frizz, isn't it a great bit? I tell you what, Solo really likes it and it seems to give me the perfect combo to use for schooling just about anything (whereas with the Myler D, he'd get too stiff for dressage but with the loose ring KK, no whoa when jumping, among other things).

  4. Yes, it is a great bit! When one of my friends asked me why I switched to it, I told her that it is a much more stable bit in the horse's mouth and doesn't move around like a loose ring. She said, "Well, you want the bit to move around." I had never heard that before. I certainly respect her opinions, but she wants me to put him in a 3-ring. I'm only working him on the flat right now and he's respectful of the boucher, so I am sticking with it.

  5. Hmmmm, well, there is a difference between the bit moving because you make it and useless jangling that muddies your signals! Good for you for sticking to your guns, a green horse doesn't need a 3-ring anyway! :-)

  6. Just discovered you - beautiful horse, and you're doing some interesting things together! (I answered the mystery horse quiz you put up a few days ago - I may have an answer on horse no. 2).

  7. Thanks, Kate, I think you have solved our mystery!!

  8. First time commenter, but I've been following your blog for awhile :) I love the video montage! You did a really nice job with it. Your jump schools look really nice, too. Solo seems like a great guy.

  9. Love the video montage! Solo takes such beautiful photographs...probably since he's such a beautiful boy. You guys always look like such compatible partners. Also love the video of you guys jumping the 3'2" vertical; lots of go!