I decided to give Boomer a little break today and we just did a short ride and I set up three trot poles in the middle of the arena. We only did walk and trot work. Working on staying relaxed and bending, which was fun because snow was being plowed outside of the arena. Boomer wasn't acting nervous at all, but was very interested in all of the noises coming form outside and would rubberneck around corners to look at the walls where the noises were coming from. After a brief warm up we trotted back and forth across the trot poles a few times. I worked on keeping him at the same pace before, through, and after the poles. I also worked on using my legs to keep him centered. After he gave me a few good passes where he didn't even try to drop to a walk, I called it a day and walked him out. We rode for maybe 30 minutes including warm up and Boomer stayed interested in the poles the whole time. I think I will start to incorporate one easy day per week of trot poles or a small cross rail to keep him fresh and interested during the winter.
On another note, I think I am going to have to order Boomer a new blanket sooner than I had hoped. I was planning on getting one in the spring when they went on sale. However, he comes in with a new little nick on his every day. Today there is about an inch long rip along the seam above his tail. I want to get the iron on repair tape for this blanket, but I'm wondering if I should just go ahead and buy another blanket now and alternate both as they need repair/reproofing. I'm also considering getting him a cheaper blanket. Right now, I LOVE his blanket. It fits him perfectly. It has a raised wither and a bellyband as well as being fitting to conform to his topline- all features that I love. However, if they are only going to last a few months, should I bother to get the $120 blanket where there are others out there for $70 that don't have any of the above features that I like? Any input?