A couple of emails back and forth with Wateryglen got me thinking; hence the title of my post.
With the time changing this weekend, and Sandy's tendrils extending into SWVA, I have started to b*tch about the coming season. Bah humbug.
Oh, goody, I'll get to tromp around in the dark to find/feed horses. Yay. Dark bay/black horses coming at me all jazzed up due to the addition of some oats for dinnertime. Think I'll dump the oats in their tubs and then sequester myself in the round pen before I call them. Or maybe I'll put on dayglo orange coveralls and use those "Hey, Jet, go thataway" stick thingies the airport employees use so I can direct horses towards their meal.
Mud. Better yet, frozen mud. Or slick icy grass. Frozen mud and icy grass around the ice covered water troughs. Lovely.
Clouds. Wind. Rain. Wet stupid snow. Dry snow is not stupid, of course.
Long, winding driveways that have enough of a grade to scare an Ice Road Trucker. I esp enjoy going backwards and sideways towards the rock outcroppings as I make pathetic attempts to get home.
Cold toilet seats. There, I said it. I hate cold toilet seats.
And I might as well Edit To Add:::: please realize I am saying this in jest and I do not worry, more than any sane person would, about horses coming out of the dark.
"Horses! Go to the light! Go to the light!"
I hate winter but yes, nice cold snap to kill off buggies will be appreciated.
I am SO lucky that I board my horse. And the only thing horse-related that I like about winter is that it is Clean Horse Season (very light gray; he has had a sheet on this past month and will be blanketed all winter.)
Armando del Fuego, Best Boy Ever (almost always)
Member of the Not Too Klassy For Boxed Wine Clique
Proud owner of The Roadkill Cafe
Wee fun... draining hoses every day, two trips down the feeding lines, one for the buckets out, one to feed grain. Life by headlamps, dressed like the michelin man, with one day to ride a week because it's dark after work.
This weekend I'm moving my horses off to winter boarding (where they have an indoor so that I can keep working). But I won't be able to check on them before work, and after work, and before bed.
Getting up to ride (well) before the sun...
Gettng out of work well after the sun has gone down.
Snow. Lots of frickin' snow...
Snow sliding off of the roof of the indoor... Frisky young horses doing their best bronc impression.
Having to share the arena with lesson kids on days that I cant make it out before work... (how are they ALWAYS in the way)
Talking myself into working horses after weeks of sub freezing weather....
Then we'll have spring, when the mud returns, horse hair everywhere.... Bah...
I forgot about the cold toilet seats.
Add me to the complaining there.
Here, winter is fine with me, when the wind is not blowing 40+, which is seldom.
The past many years, in this ongoing drought, we don't even get enough snow to complain and I think we would not complain if we got dumped on.
In the dark?
Lights are your friend.
I leave a light on under the barn, along with the overhead lights outside and that helps get around.
You mean YOUR ticks die in winter?!!! MY ticks don't !! They find warm places in the horses fur to spend the winter and I spend the winter pulling them off the horses. Just like summer!
My fav?!!! When the farm hydrant freezes up for several weeks during peak winter cold spells....and then I do the 150 ft. hose from the house thing and drain it and keep it on the porch or in kitchen to warm it up and bla, bla, bla.....I hate hoses......
And don't forget the falls on the slick footing....at least one a week due to the incline down to the barn & back....or up to the roundbale site. I'm a klutz so....it happens!
How about feeling like I am having a heart attack while trying to push the wheelbarrow full of manure through snow, and breaking into a sweat under the 17 pounds of clothing I have on, yet the fingers and toes are painfully cold? Or the wind blowing soggy snow into the run-in shed, so I have to practically shovel it out.
We were supposed to pick rock out of a plowed up pasture today, but it poured rain and hailed, apparently only over our house, so that killed those plans.
Not to mention, the gun deer hunting season is looming, so my house reeks of meat. DH makes beef jerky for hunting, and the dehydrater runs almost non-stop. Yay.
I don't think ticks die here. They just can't crawl up through the snow. Last winter was pretty mild and I rode quite a bit, but I don't expect that to happen again.
It's winter here, without a doubt. That storm that came north across the border hit here Thursday night and is STILL at it. Was so bad Friday that I didn't make it to the barn, as in WHAT barn, what outbuildings. Horse has a bale and a half of hay as of yesterday and an old freezer full of water and his heated big blue bucket; at least the tank de-icer and the bucket both work, and I will top the freezer up with snow tomorrow, since the barn is gone again, as is most things 200' away. Cats out there have food and hay to sleep in so they will be good to when this crap ends tonight. Best guess on amount of whitecrap is around a foot, probably more. Temps went from above freezing to flirting with 0°F in less than 24 hours with bad windchills. Wallkicker is in jail, no out until this is gone.
Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!
1. Draining hoses!
2. Riding silly winter horses in 20# of layers so you can't move body parts quickly enought react to silly winter horse shenanigans, yet still having frozen fingers and toes. (The upside is that you have plenty of padding for the landing - even better if its in the snow. ) Of course, all this is assuming you're one of the lucky ones with footing that's not downright dangerous.
3. Picking out feet with ice pins in shoes.
4. Cleaning filthy turnout blankets.
I don't mind the winter too much - stock up on hay and bedding in December and then spend 2 months at my desk trying to sort through piles and get caught up on over due bookkeeping. It is a good way to pass the time waiting for light and warmth -
Have plenty of light in the barn but hate cleaning buckets in the cold.
Haven't had too much trouble with ticks this year but the fleas have driven my dogs nuts so hope we have a good deep freeze to make them go away!
The only thing I can say I truly hate about winter is having to put all those clothes on one last time for night check - it is just plain rude to have to go back out in the cold when you are all sleepy and just want to go to bed!
The ONLY thing I like about winter is getting home from work, doing horse chores, and then doing NOTHING and not feeling guilty about it!
In the summer, its nice out, so I feel bad when I'm in the house just relaxing. I feel like I should be doing something. In the winter, who in their right mind wants to be out in that blustery cold longer than absolutely necessary?!
My barn chores are relatively simple...horses are alive, check. Horses are not shivering, check. Toss hay into field. Fill heated tub with water (short hose that drains all by itself on the way back to the barn). Done.
The only time its more work is when the weather is cold AND wet, and they come in for the night (then I have to fill water buckets and hang hay nets, and clean stalls the following morning). BUT...this isn't often, because my ulcer prone mare HATES being in her stalls, so I must make the decision between her staying out with a happy tummy, or being dry but pacing in her stall waiting to go out.
"If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."
I like winter! I love snow, I prefer being cold to sweating, my HAIR cooperates better when it's not 10000000% humidity outside, and my horse has some serious pep in his step! I love the frosty air, the twinkling lights, the warm sweaters and boots, and everything else that comes with this time of year.
......or at least that is what I tell myself so I don't have to think about the ice, the shoveling, waking up before the sun is up, freezing fingers and toes, the extra 10 pounds I'll gain thanks to all the holiday goodies, the 20 layers of clothes that are so not fun to peel off when you're exhausted from pushing the wheelbarrow through knee deep mud and snow, AND I HATE grooming muddy gross horses with full winter coats.