photo of the day (barn covered in ice)
One of the biggest downsides to the extreme winter weather we have been having is that I have missed many lease rides and lessons. Besides the snow, sleet, ice and rain, the cold temperatures have caused many a cancellation. I am pretty hardy when it comes to winter riding. Anything warmer than 30 degrees and I am quite comfortable. But the rule of the barn is that less than 27 degrees means no riding. The horses are outside all the time and they need their energy to make it through the frigid weather.
Finally, a day with no extremes – it was a bit on the chilly side but the sun was out. No rain, no snow, no sleet. I headed to the barn for my first ride in weeks. My route there takes me through some narrow, windy back roads. This winter’s dose of weather has whittled those already narrow paths down to one lane in many spots along the way. I drove very slowly and kept my eyes peeled for oncoming traffic.
Most, if not all, of the ice that coated the trees around my house has melted off in the sun but the trees in Easton and around the barn are still coated with a thick glaze. The woods sparkled and glittered in the sunshine. It really was a lovely sight. I would have loved to have taken more pictures but between my lesson and having to pick Clare up and drop her off at her choir rehearsal, I only had limited time.
I didn’t have an extraordinary ride but it was a good one. While we were warming up, Oso spooked pretty good at the sound of snow sliding off the roof of the indoor arena. Adriane and I were both surprised that he did. Last year he barely flinched even though the sound reverberates through the ring and makes it seem as if the roof is caving in. This time, he started and I could feel him drop out from under me. Adriane said that last year I would have probably done a face plant in the dirt but this time I barely moved out of the saddle. Go, me! Oso was better after that but he did give a little flinch when he heard the sound of the rake in the dirt as Adriane cleaned up after him. I tried to stay focused and keep my seat in case something loud scared him again.
We worked figure 8s in the walk and in the trot and I marveled at just how much stuff there is to concentrate on while riding: seat, legs, hands, diagonal aids. I am so very glad I decided to give this riding thing a try. If I had a bucket list I would say riding would be the first thing on the list, if not one of the only thing on it.
After the lesson, we took Oso’s tack off to see if he would take a roll in the dirt before we brought him back to his paddock. He looked like he might but then he turned and walked towards me and just stood there as if to say, ” Time to go back to the barn so you can give me that treat you promised me.” So we did just that. After he was blanketed and treated and put back in his paddock for the night, I had to leave. I always wish I had more time at the barn. Maybe someday I will.