So, it snowed here. In the strictest sense (i.e. my farmyard) it snowed about two inches. At my parent’s house two hours north, it snowed 20 inches. IN ONE DAY.
Winter is not a new or unexpected phenomenon, but it seems to take me completely by surprise every year. I laughed out loud (probably snorted) when I read that Doug Payne spends a whole afternoon sorting blankets in preparation.
We tend to spend about two or three months trying to get ready for winter, and STILL when the temperature first drops below freezing I’m running madly around crying, ‘Where are the damn tank heaters? Why are there no extension cords?’ But the frantic running also serves to increase my core temperature, so perhaps it’s a survival instinct.
While things on the farm kick into high (panicked) gear at the approach of winter, and everybody hits Facebook to whine and moan, ride time on my mare comes to a screeching halt. I’ve been building fences, pounding t-posts, moving water tanks, repairing shelters, washing blankets, trailering hogs and sheep…the list goes on.
Not much time to spend on leg yields and jump grids, but I find that my limited time with my peanut takes on a less frantic, more ‘enjoy our time’ pace. The last event of my season was way back at the end of September, and since then we’ve been doing a whole lot of ‘nothing’ – leisurely trail rides in the fall foliage, impromptu bareback rides at night, and some playtime in the new snow.
And I find that I don’t mind. Winter brings with it a more relaxed feel, time to look at ourselves and try to improve. I have time to really go fix those flatwork things that niggle us all season long, time to have fun groundwork days and bareback rides and just enjoy my horse. Because as much as I’m a competitor, I’m in this for the love of all the furry fat ponies.