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January 12, 2013: Nasty Weather

It’s been a day in which I’ve had to work hard at keeping my spirits up. I most likely was not alone in this respect. The always hardworking guy who lives in our weather radio said a few days back that a rain/snow mix was coming. For once he was dead on right.

Early this morning, when I was tending to the animals, it was just a light drizzle. This turned into a snow/rain mix. And this turned into a heavy drizzle. Yuck. So my day’s activities centered around making sure the animals were all comfortable.

After breakfast, Pete and I took Hrimfara and Siggi for a walk around the loop. (A part of our routine now centers on checking out the nearby creek overflow.) Then, after we got home, we took Tinni and Rainbow for a walk on the nearby trail. We eventually came back to the upper road, and Pete and I went our separate ways. He went home and I continued around the loop.

The snowplow was out – Pete and I had heard it earlier – soon enough it came up behind me and Tinni. I urged him to trot to what I’ve designated to be one of several turnout areas. We got to the one at the corner of Sybarite and Samovar, just as the plow roared up behind us. (For the record, he did not slow down.) Tinni jumped around when the plow clattered by, then quickly settled.

I got home and found Pete clearing the glob off the rubber mats in the horse enclosure. I grabbed the big plastic shovel and gave him a hand. After, we put hay in all three shelters. Our very smart ponies went into their respective areas and chowed down.

I next took Raudi and Signy out for a ride around the loop, after lunch. Signy stood quietly as I mounted up – lately


Rainbow checking out the overflow



she’s been dancing around – then took off at a brisk pace. I’d decided that today the three of us would work on walk and whoa. I dropped the lead when Raudi jumped, bumping into Signy, and then again when Signy hit a rut and stumbled, falling to her knees. Both times, Raudi stood still and waited for me, on Signy, to retrieve her.

This half-hour trek attests to the importance of getting out and riding. I could easily have blown off taking the two horses out, using the weather as a legitimate excuse. But I was motivated by what I am seeing to be true – that consistency pays off. How else are the two going to learn? If I want reliable trail horses, I have to continue to work with them.

I brushed, and dried all the horses off with towels – so as to remove the rain from their coats and also to fluff them up a bit. Doing this made me wish that I had a heated barn and a hair drier. They’d all like this, especially Queen Raudi. But we do with what we have.

I cleaned the goat pen after the ride. My taking care of the animals raised my spirits a notch by further instilling a sense of purpose. It’s important that all the animals have clean, dry shelters, access to food and water, no matter what the weather. Today, mission accomplished, in spite of crappy conditions.

I’m pleased with having done well by all our critters, but still a tad bit down. Writing this dispatch was even ridiculously difficult – it came, one-word-at-a-time. It’s just hard to remain upbeat when slop and glop prevails. But I did it.

Tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same. And the same is supposed to be true of the day after that. If this continues, my focus will be on indoor projects.