Winter Is Dumb

Cold weather has set in, and in true Mid-West style, it gets stupid cold and then we get a glimmer of hope with two random days of tolerable weather. Not that it matters, because everything is so wet that you can’t ride, walk or drive anywhere that’s not paved without four-wheel drive and a set of chains. It’s come to the “I hope it just freezes stage,” the final acceptance of winter’s wrath.

Since I have to stay in Indiana and adult, my horses get feral and I’m left to random bareback rides and occasional weekend hacks. I get to sneak away for random lessons (which generally don’t go well, see feral reference above), and local schooling shows with people that are in the same boat as I am. All this extra time leads to online shopping, Netflix, extra hours on the ambulance, and impulsive decision making.

Luckily, depending on the level of chaos in the city, extra hours on the ambulance can sometime include Netflix and online shopping. Today, in between albuterol and 12 leads, I managed to watch Bird Box. I figured that the Facebook sensation was worth a few hours of my day. Other than being totally unrealistic, it wasn’t that bad. Not unrealistic because of the dark monsters, unrealistic because no one on this planet would be able to convince small children to keep a blindfold on for five years. Please. Mine won’t even drink juice without arguing with me. Sometimes there are tears involved, I never pick the right cup, and if I did ask them to put a blindfold on due to a supernatural mind sucking creature, it would for sure be the wrong color, they would rip it off, and then we would all die. Within like three minutes. Movie over.

Because I’m stuck here and not somewhere dry with fields of cross country jumps, I did the next best thing and bought a horse. I wasn’t looking, and I didn’t need another one, but when a small, adorable, red mare becomes available and your “friends” peer pressure you, sometimes you lose your extra stall. Other than being offended by the Indiana weather, Nola (from LA) has fit in just fine and has a super chill 2-year-old baby Thoroughbred brain. Of course she already has a newly purchased leather halter with her name on it, which means she’s secured a home for at least the next few month, or 25 years, whatever works … I’m excited to work with her and see what she wants to do in life.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Skirvin.

Cold weather also means more hay. Finding round bales seems to be an adventure in itself, and hauling round bales is even more fun. I decided that I was going to rent a flat bed and get more than my horse trailer would hold. I enlisted my friend Lindsey to come with the children and I, knowing she would be good at second opinions involving round bale stacking. We drove up to the amazing LAZs farm who graciously offered a few spare bales. Of course it was sleeting and about 20 degrees out, but we had an 18’ flat bed, a Carle (1 ton dually) and two brand new ratchet straps. Nothing could stand in our way. LAZ fired up the skid steer and managed to Jenga five bales on the flat bed and one in Carle’s bed. With some tweaking, cursing, ratchet strap ratcheting and re-ratcheting (because you never do it right the first time), and a blessing from the farrier, who gave us the “you should make it” talk, we were off. It was about that time that I realized the trailer was wired for lights but not brakes. No worries, Lindsey decided that anything Prius sized or smaller would just get pushed out of the way. Survival of the largest. I knew she would have good ideas.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Skirvin.

I sometimes worry about the stories that the kids are going to tell their teachers at school. I try not to make eye contact with Oliver’s pre-school teacher when I pick him up. I fear that she will one day pull me aside and tell me that he’s been swearing like a trucker and telling stories of picking up horses from Louisiana and planning on smart car annihilations via round bale, all on a weekday. Ill just tell her that he must have heard it from his father as I hurry him into the truck and quickly drive away.

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