It’s the end of January 2015. January was a fairly cold month at the farm, but we have definitely made the most of the sunny 30 degree days and gotten some riding in. With the prospect of heading to Aiken, South Carolina in the beginning of March, we definitely want to keep the horses at least slightly fit.
Although winter always seems to put a cramp in your plans, and here comes a giant snowstorm. Possible blizzard, Snowmageddon, prepare to be drowning in snow. Ok, well hopefully not. It’s looking like our awesome, all-weather arena will be getting covered with a few feet of the fluffy white stuff.
Don’t get me wrong it does look so pretty for the initial 6 hours, providing of course that you can start your morning by actually driving down the road to the farm. Lucky for us we are on a quiet, private, dead-end road. Unlucky for us it never seems to be on top of the list to be plowed in large storms.
Once we can get to the farm and shovel a path to be able to open the doors, we can rush around to feed the screaming and pawing horses that are aggravated that we have taken 10 minutes longer to arrive due to the weather. They obviously aren’t sympathetic to our troubles.
Now since there has to be a path plowed down the farm road to get to the horses that live outside, Ted (My knight in Carhartt coveralls) quickly excuses himself from all the farm work to go hang out in the plow truck. Our plow truck is about 100 years old and a rust bucket that almost always seems to start; as long as you don’t leave the battery hooked up from the storm before. But we are very thankful that we do have our own, one of a kind plow truck. It definitely beats dragging hay on a sled down the farm road in waist deep snow.
Separating the horses for breakfast now poses a new challenge. The fresh snow in the fields is apparently so exciting that they can’t stop galloping and bucking. With a couple of close call we decide to just hand out grain while they are all together in the field. Once they start eating they settle down a bit. We realize that the horses can care less about being out in the weather as we try to add a blanket here or there and they gallop off to the furthest point of their 10 acre field. So we give up on adding to their wardrobe and head back inside to start mucking, shoveling and watering in the barn.
This feels as though it has been 6 hours, it has probably been two at the most. The rest of the day keeps on dragging along as we trudge through snow and shovel paths to and from the barns and the shavings shed. The snow that at first glance looked pretty is no longer so attractive. Snow on a horse farm = 10 times the amount of work you do in a day; and probably also means that you won’t even have the energy to go for one 20 minute ride to enjoy the snow!
So as we get the farm ready for a big storm, and I freak out a little to think of the lessons we will lose in the next few weeks and that the snow will probably be getting in the way of the horses fitness schedule. At least I can look forward to the trip down south. There is also always the prospect of taking the horses to some local indoors to get them super comfortable working anywhere.
2015 is a year to turn small annoyances into good experiences for our riding and training. Blizzard or not we will get through it and look back and laugh at all of the ridiculous work that goes into dealing with this obnoxious white stuff.