I went out yesterday and today just to breathe in the horsey smells and maybe see if the arena was in any shape to have horses turned out in. Well, the only smells I got were of wet horses, mud, mud and too much mud to turn out in.
I couldn't stand it any longer, so I decided I'd take Bijou the one place on earth where she wouldn't sink 6"+ into the ground, which was down the dirt road. I had envisioned us taking a few balking steps as she realized she was getting further away from her other horsey friends and then taking a few uneventful walks up and down the road, maybe trotting a few times just to do something. Well, she was not very worried about getting back to the other ponies until we hit the section of the fence where the big bad booming barking pitbul lives. He picked up his refrain and Bijou tried to wheel around and head for home, all but forgetting that she had me attached to her. We sat there for a while until she could take a few nervous bites of grass without another attempt at tally-ing ho toward home. Then I turned her around and tried to make my way back. The whole way back she shoved her shoulder into me, to the point that snatching down on the halter did nothing but pull her closer, so I had to resort to whapping her on the shoulder with her (very heavy and wet) leadrope. The first few times she was so offended that I had treated her with such brutality that she full on reared and somehow simultaneously ended up about 6' away from me (my secret goal).
I couldn't get her blanket off even after we'd gotten home because the clay and mud has infiltrated the buckles to the point that they no longer open. So I didn't even get a chance to brush her, and fluffy shedding pony she would remain. I made up more rice bran (got a new bag yesterday) baggies and fed her an extra flake as it got dark.
Today was slightly more successful, I got the blanket (that she tore a huge hole in the shoulder of) off after about 15 minutes of painful struggling so I at least got to pull big hunks of winter coat off of her. I'm really hoping that I didn't clip off the top of her summer coat when I clipped her earlier this month, but it's going to make shedding her out so much easier. I didn't attempt to take her down the road again but she ended up running from the imagined monsters when I turned her out to eat some grass. She's got quite the headset to her when she wants it (and is high as a kite). Another few flakes of hay and some beetpulp and we called it a day.
Here's to hoping next time I can run her around a bit.