But you know what? I AM SURVIVING IT. Every November I'm pretty sure I'll freeze to death before March. I know I've blogged about it but I'm too lazy to look it up and link it. If you've been around here any length of time, you know how this goes... I'm Canadian; it is my patriotic duty to alternately complain bitterly about winter and brag about how tough we are to simply live through it year after year.
This is what my lessons looked like during March Break this year:
Oddly enough I don't have any pictures of lessons during March Break last year, because I only had one student. And THIS is what it was like outside then:
NO SNOW. It was actually warm. The grass was turning green. I have videos of the kids and I off checking out a really interesting spot on a dirt road a few miles away from home, now that the Girl is always on the search for photo shoot locations. All three of us were wearing shorts and T shirts. In March. In Canada. It happens maybe once every ten years or so. We've had a few mild winters, but this year reminded us what the deal is.
Here, my daughter and I hopped on bareback and bit less. That's my favourite way to go in winter - body warmth and no cold metal in the horse's mouth. But as you can see, we didn't venture away from the barnyard! And yes, I am riding in my thermal coveralls. Until somebody invents winter riding gear that doesn't look like I'm off to a hunter-jumper show, I'll be wearing coveralls from November to April.
See - proof that I did get on and ride in the snow! I don't know what's going on with my hand on the reins there. That don't look proper. Maybe my fingers were too frozen to hold them with any kind of effectiveness. Ah heck who cares. It was minus-freezing-degrees celsius and I was on a horse - yay me regardless, I figure.
This is the path I dug from the house to the lane.
This is the trench I dug from the lane to the barn.
This is the trench I dug around the snowdrifts so the horses could get to the hay feeder.
And finally, the trench I dug to the manure pile. Sigh.
But y'know, these guys seemed okay. I am not one for pampering my horses. I believe in taking care of them and keeping them from becoming stressed. But they will choose to stand out there in the wet snow. Everything runs down their hides and ends in little icicles dripping off their bellies, and they look pretty okay with the whole set up. They've got hay, they've got shelter, they've got a water source that doesn't freeze thanks to modern technology.
It's just us humans who have the problem!
These pictures were taken by my friend Leslie, my former neighbour, who came with her younger son (aka Cute Stuff) to visit the farm during March Break. She's pretty tough too. Every morning she takes a 120 lb dog for a loooong walk so she gets the concept of good outerwear. She took these pictures through the dining room window.
Dig me in my fashionable thermal coveralls. That's western, people. Quit screwing around and get to work.
So yeah, my rider and I are pretty tough and all.... but our actual ride was about twenty minutes.
It'll get better. I mean, it'll get worse first, now that everything that was frozen is melting, and my mares have decided to hate each other because there's a gelding involved, and I'll need more hay before the pasture comes back. My riders are coming back to me despite the cold and lingering snowbanks. We're going to be okay. Repeat after me: WE'RE GOING TO BE OKAY.