Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2014 >Daily Dispatch #263

October 3, 2014: Winter Approaches and Encroaches

The day started out nice – warm, sunny, near windless. Then the day got not so nice. It got colder, overcast. The winds sprung up, sending the yellow birch leaves skittering about. A sad, but beautiful sight, meaning, winter weather is on the way. Later, as I was saddling up the horses, I saw the season’s first snow droplets fall on Raudi’s dark saddle pad. Pete and I set out, in a very Hobbit-like fashion, by then it was both raining and snowing. A small consolation – by then the wind had died down.

I wasn’t keen on getting out – I didn’t want to deal with inclement weather. But once we got going I was glad that Pete

had talked me into it. Yesterday I came off Raudi – this was on the trail that links the Jim Road and ATV Bench trail. Raudi, perhaps spooked by Ryder, did a 360, sending me flying out of the saddle into the soft brush. So today, the first order of business was to find my crop, which I released in the course of communing with rarified air. Pete found it by the side of the trail.

We continued on – turned out to be a very mellow ride. I’ve been working with Hrimmi on ground training by taking her over a yard obstacle course. We’ve been weaving through cones, stepping over a fence post laid on top of two tires, and winding our way through a labyrinth. Pete’s also been working with her – yesterday he ponied her through the same course.

The sky grew darker as we rode. By the time we arrived back at the trailhead, it was gray/blue as opposed to blue/gray. To me, this was a harbinger of winter. I have this, and other years, observed how the ground prepares itself for winter. It becomes colder, harder, and then frosts over, the frost appearing to be like a dusting of snow. In the past few mornings, it seems to me to have been screaming “I’m ready for the big stuff. Bring it on!”

Last night I went to watch the lesson at Beth’s – it was held at the Sindorf Center, which has a heated arena. On the way there it was snowing/raining. By the time I got to Buffalo Mine Road (which is approximately a mile and a half from our Oceanview Road property), it was snowing. I slipped around some, realized that I had to drive really slow.

This morning it was a winter wonderland outside. The heavy snow clung to the trees, on the ground was about three inches deep. The change in the weather, which was reflected by a change in the landscape, has forced me to reconsider my horseback lesson plans. Most, if not all the winter lessons, will be held at the Sindorf Center. I’ve decided for now to forego these lessons until spring and just trail ride around here.

There are several reasons for this. First of all, I would need to clip Raudi in order for her to feel comfortable in the heated arena. Secondly, driving the trailer will become less safe as the winter progresses – the roads are going to become increasingly more slippery. Thirdly, it is too expensive an option to consider right now. There are arena fees, an instructor fee, and instruction fee. Fourthly (is that a word? If not, it should be), Pete, who is now back teaching, is really busy. And lastly, giving my hardworking horse a break from arena work is in her best interest.

Of course, I’ll miss taking lessons. The consolations are that I’ll still be able to go for trail rides. And also, I’ll again have more time to focus on my writing-related endeavors.

Next: 264. 10/4/14: Slop and Glop – the Story Continues