Lily’s Fell Pony movement got put to the test a few days ago, and I was honored that Lily initiated the test. My New Year’s Resolution was to advance Lily’s ridden training. Well, resolutions are great, but when the New Year dawned, temperatures were a few decades below zero, and I lost enthusiasm for spending time outside. When it warmed up, we did do some ground work and various challenges from the Horseman’s Jingle, but the cold began alternating with snow, a pattern that lasted most of the month.
Our sessions were usually in the round pen, and we packed the snow down with our groundwork so we had a decent surface. In past years I have taken the fence down and plowed (which is why I have a moveable round pen), but we’ve run out of places to put snow this year, so Lily and I have made due. When the first of February rolled around, it became clear that waiting for a run of good weather was futile. Then another eighteen inches of snow fell.
Though the round pen gate will barely close now, I decided I had to start ridden work somehow. At first we tramped the deep new snow down in a small area, and I confined our activities there out of concern about the footing. Lily, though, apparently felt I was being over-cautious, and she offered to venture out around the ring. I was so impressed: up came those knees, up came those hocks, forward went her ears. She was obviously enjoying it! Around we went without a stumble. Okay Lily, you’ve shown I needn’t let snow get in our way!
The pictures show Lily doing a circuit on her own, as I have never figured out how to take a picture of myself riding. (Besides, it was way too cold for electronics to be outside anyway.) Hocks that are used: not bad. Knees with some lift: not bad. Thanks, Lily!