This is my least favorite part of the year. We're slogging through winter, 2/3rds of the way to spring, but February sprawls in front of us: cold, icy, and seemingly never ending. All of our ridiculous temperature swings have settled into a steady, below average cold that turned our slush into endless ice. I look out onto the icebox and have zero urge to go outside.
But that doesn't change anything so far as Theo is concerned. While cold, it's in the twenties during the day so it's warm enough to safely ride. We have an indoor. I have no practical reason to not go riding. Theo needs work, especially with the alfalfa in his system, and he's not going to get work if I sit at home in my fleece pjs. I know I'll be happy to see him and that it's good for both of us. I just feel incredibly unmotivated and whiny about it. Another day going round and round in the sandbox. I think Theo shares my opinion.
So when temps went all the way up to 36*, we rebelled. We demanded our freedom! We ran from the endless grind and dared to travel where we had never roamed before. I rode in the snow.
It seems crazy, but I have never ridden in the snow in my life. Yes, I have lived and ridden in Minnesota, Massachusetts, South Dakota, and New Hampshire, but I've never ridden in the snow. When it snows, I hide in indoor arenas. With a history of show horses, I always feared slipping or stepping on something or otherwise ruining my horse by risking anything less than perfect footing. This time, I looked at my sure footed, lazy ass horse with his borium studs and said YOLO.
I actually said YOLO. I'm not proud of that.
I bundled up and wrapped us both up in his cooler to keep him warm. Mi papi was confused by our sudden departure from the indoor and our trip down the road. I usually don't walk down the road in the snow since the snow banks keep us from having a place to jump to if cars are dumb. We turned on the trail and set out for a nice walk.
It wasn't entirely relaxing. Several horses were shocked to see someone out on the trail and came rushing down to see what we were doing. I was terrified, since Theo was standing on icy snow and I have that little phobia. I got scared enough to start shaking and contemplate crying, but I stayed on and Theo ignored the stampede in favor of me stuffing cookies in his face. We ended up walking around for about 40 minutes. I was going to do our 30 minute walking loop, but found a tree down at 20 minutes in and had to turn around. Between the studs, the balanced walking (stayed on at least a soft contact the whole ride), and the chill pace, we made it through our adventure with no slips or scares.
It was a good choice. We both came back feeling better about life. Some quality time out in the fresh air was what we needed. And now that everything is back to rock hard ice, it looks like we don't have a choice but to go back in the indoor. But it's okay, I've got jumping and another bombproofing clinic to get us through the week. And February's the shortest month, so surely it won't feel never ending.
No, I don't believe that.