Friday, January 25, 2013

Why do I always say how much I love winter??

I really do love winter. The way the cold hits my face when I walk out the door, and the crunching sound the gravel makes as I walk from my car to the barn. I don't, however, love the threat of frozen water buckets and outdoor footing unsuitable for any type of equestrian activity. Well, I suppose Nikki and I could do some walking in hand exercises, but let's face it by 4:30 in the afternoon the temperatures drop quickly and there is only so much of that cold face slapping that I can take!

The water buckets are filled late morning after the stalls are cleaned so by the time the horses come in there is a thin film of ice covering the surface. My concern is that some horses won't push their noses through even the thinnest layers of ice and as the night progresses those buckets surely freeze. So I go in and shake each horse's bucket (in addition to those belonging to my girls) so that everyone has an opportunity to drink. Suki always takes a long drink after I do this like she hasn't had water in years. Personally I believe this is for effect, since it is usually obvious that she has already taken water from the other bucket. Always the drama queen!

I confess, the past few nights I have not even taken Suki and Nikki out of their stalls. I have added layers of blankets, fed treats and moisturized Suki's neck, but those blankets did not come off. Some of this has to do with my continuing recovery from that awful flu that the child brought home to me (and my husband LOVES to point out that he had a flu shot and did not get sick). I am so tired by the end of the day (because of the flu) that a full grooming in the cold barn just doesn't work for me. But I also feel guilty removing the blankets to groom. Yes, I have coolers to keep half the body warm while I groom, but instead I have been just grooming legs, faces and necks, conditioning tails and picking feet. So far the girls seem fine. My love affair with winter, not so much. These are extreme temperatures right now and we are heading for a warm up back into the low thirties for next week which will undoubtedly feel like a heat wave. That's when I will go back to loving winter.

Nikki does not seem all that bothered by my abbreviated groomings in her stall. She smushes her face into me requesting an ear rub and continues to dunk her hay. Suki, on the other hand, appears to be quite annoyed and slighted by the subpar treatment. Every time I open the door to walk out of her stall I feel a big head presssed against my back as she tries to follow me out the door. Because I am not going to notice 1400lbs of chestnut mare attached to me, right? Suki is so funny. She obviously wants to come out on the cross ties and receive a full grooming/spa treatment accompanied by gummy bear bribes and fussing from me. It's not like the horses are not going outside every day and she just wants to be out of her stall. She is going out in the pasture regularly and when I arrive at the barn, has probably only been inside for 30 minutes or so. Maybe it is just that special bond that Suki and I share. Or maybe she is just super demanding! : )

Friday, January 25, 2013
As the cold snap continues (but now warming to 21 degrees!)I keep the girls bundled in layers. Each day I check to make sure that Suki and Nikki are not too warm under their clothing and not chilly. You know, that perfect temperature. I sweep my hand under the blankets to feel their bodies. Sweating underneath can cause a chill, and although I am probably over protective, I do take my job as their "mother" seriously. Today I went to the barn early because of the approaching snow. The winding hilly roads to the barn will be covered with snow quickly so I wanted to get there early before the snow starts.

I am sitting in the room at the front of the house (the library) writing this watching the snow fall silently over the mountains. My visit earlier brought Suki right to the fence, waiting for me to get out of the car. Yes, that is a sheet on top, but underneath is her Rambo heavy, and a blanket liner! What a joyous sight it is to be greeted by this always reminds me how close I came to losing her.

Nikki was eating hay near the gate of her pasture when I arrived, so after greeting her majesty, Suki and offering treats to her and Banker I walked through the barn to see Nikki. I couldn't get a good photo, but I love this did I get so lucky to have such beautiful girls.....

The day I met Nikki, age 2.... I am such a at first sight!

I finally found a clinic to audit! Two in fact!! One was supposed to be tomorrow, but was rescheduled to next Saturday. So I will go to that one and another on the 10th of February! Yay! I am also hoping to re-connect with local dressage people in anticipation of my spring competition goals.

My love affair with winter continues......


  1. 2 years old! Still such a baby girl. Nikki is growing into a beautiful lady. After so many months of spa treatments, I bet Sukki keenly notices their absence (& the gummies ;).

    1. Thank you! I agree (but am likely biased) that she is growing into a beautiful lady! Hard to believe she will be 6 in April!