Every year when December is surprisingly warm and pleasant (at least in Virginia), we get weirdly hopeful that we’re just going to have a mild winter. Turns out, we humans have a shockingly short memory, because every single year January and February in particular come around and absolutely murder us horse people. My birthday is in February, and even then, that month makes me almost lose the will to live. So, with that being said, I will happily take these weird 70 degree days a week before Christmas.
News From Around the Globe:
If you’ve been out on the eventing circuit in the past 8 years or so, you’ll recognize Pebbly Maximus. Although small in stature at barely 16 hands, Rory never had less than the largest heart. With an easily recognizable big blaze and four white knee socks, Rory competed through the now-four-star level with Caroline Martin (sporting rather shorter stirrups than usual), and then went on to “retire” to Prelim and Intermediate with Maia Kantorowski, and helped both girls build confidence as riders. Rory is just one of those magical horses that loves the job, and teaches all his riders to love it equally. [Horse Heroes: Pebbly Maximus]
Looking for a fun, easy way to strengthen your position and improve your jumping rounds? This hourglass exercise is simple to set up and beneficial for any riders with at least some experience cantering small courses and jumping bounces (no-stride combinations). Shaped like an hourglass, with a double bounce in the middle and bending lines to four single verticals in the corners, it will develop and strengthen your basic position and make you a more effective, reactive rider. [Time For The Hourglass]
Thoroughbreds are known for their speed, athleticism, and grace, but unfortunately they are also known for having less-than-durable hooves. Often you’ll hear the terms, “thin-soled,” “brittle” or “shelly” describing the thin nature of the layers of keratin that make up the Thoroughbred hoof, and it’s usually true. While some have more issues than others, Thoroughbreds just tend not to have the same durable hoof of other breeds. Thoroughbreds are bred with so many things in mind – speed, precocity, conformation. Unfortunately, good feet are pretty low on the list. [Dealing With Thoroughbred Feet]
Speaking of Thoroughbreds, lots of people transition racehorses into sport horse careers over the winter as the tracks close down. But transitioning them from race life to “normal” life is a special skill that takes time, care, and knowledge about their previous life. In this companion video to the BloodHorse magazine feature, Jen Roytz shares tips on successful transitions for off-track Thoroughbreds and how the early days of the transition are key. [Early Days Critical to OTTB Transitions]
I’m not crying, you’re crying!