I guess it's to be expected. It IS December, afterall. Yesterday I stood in our barn for over an hour while my farrier made and installed new winter shoes for my daughter's horse, Twist. The thermometer in our barn read 28°. John finished with Twist and he followed me over to Penny's to do Tom. The car said it was 24 °. Standing in Penny's barn for another hour while the wind whipped down the hall made it feel like 0°. I was too frozen to ride. I chased Tom around in the indoor for about 15 minutes then I came home and thawed myself out.
Today the wind wasn't whipping around so much but the thermometer never got above 30°. When I went to Penny's Tom was standing outside with one of his new buddies. He was so busy socializing I had to go out and catch him. I decided to get on him without lunging and do a long, slow walk warm up. It's hard for me to lunge him when it's this cold- I end up frozen before I get on. He walked well and when I asked him for trot he willingly went forward. And he kept going! Suddenly I realized a huge difference. He was trotting under his own steam. I didn't have to push every stride or tap him with the whip to keep him going. He was just "trotting along"! What a concept! I suspect the change in routine with the ability to go out at will and possibly the change in hay (I WILL get both my hay and Penny's tested, SOON) has made him feel much better. His back end almost seems over active (is that possible?) and he doesn't quite know what to do with it. He tends to drift in and out on circles and I find I spend most of my time feeling as if I'm steering the Queen Mary around the ring.
He got better and better today and I finished off with some skip-transitions i.e. walk to canter, trot to halt and we even got a couple of really nice halt to canter transitions with very little driving aid!
I'm scheduled for a lesson tomorrow with Jutta Lee, my trainer, but it's not supposed to get much over 20° so she might cancel. She's one tough German cookie though; I haven't heard of her canceling for something as silly as cold weather! I'll have to wait and see.