Yesterday morning, the sun peeking out from behind a light cloud cover, and the tree limbs were coated in a soft white down of winter. The snow was pristine white, the kind that hurts your eyes to look at. It was… picturesque.
So I bundled up in layers, grabbed my stuff for the clinic, and headed off to the barn. The moment I reached the main road (my road is rarely plowed), I knew the clinic was a no-go. A layer of snow still covered the main roads, the two tracks of tires on either side had exposed the ice beneath the snow. Traffic on the 55mph road was creeping along at a stately 35mph.
As I was driving to the barn, my trainer called to say it was a no-go. She wasn’t sure she could even get the trailer out from behind the piles of snow that had been pushed in front of it. I’m half-way to the barn and I’m trying to find a safe place to turn around at. I was white-knuckling it already, and I just wanted to go home. So I turn down a lesser used road to find a spot to turn around at. Of course, a jerk is snugged up tight to my bumper as I’m sliding around the corner. I start creeping down this twisty, hilly road, and Mr. Jerk can’t back off. I told myself it was okay.. there’s a church up the road a bit, and I’ll pull in there to turn around. I get closer but can’t see their driveway. Closer still, no driveway. No driveway. There’s NO DRIVEWAY! There’s so much snow I have no idea what’s a driveway and what’s lawn. It’s alright, I’ll just turn around at the next driveway… same deal. Does NO ONE shovel driveways anymore?!?
At this point, I am half way to the barn. So I figure, screw it. We’re pushing on!! Past the three crosses that mark where other people have died on this road. The fresh cross they put up a month ago when a lady slammed into a tree. Mr. Jerk was still stuck to my bumper.
Anyway… I made it to the barn safely and since the arena ground is still frozen in uneven lumps, I decided we’d go for a trail ride instead. 🙂 And what a perfect day for a trail ride. It was gorgeous! Everything was a perfect fluffy white of untouched snow. The sun was peeking out behind light clouds. It was beautiful.
I tacked up Ava and we headed out behind the barn. I couldn’t even see the two track path that ran the length of the gelding pasture. We stuck close to the fence line where I knew there weren’t any holes to step in. The geldings came wandering over to watch as we walked past. Ava started to hesitate as we passed the geldings, and I let her stop for a bit and look around a bit. At that point, Ava decided we were going home, that this was just a crazy endeavor and she was sure I was just mistaken in asking her to do this. I pulled her back around and nudged her forward again. Ava veered around like a drunken sailor for a few yards, stopped, and I swear you could hear her thinking, “Nope, that’s it, we’re going home!”. And she grabbed the bit, swung her body around and started sedately walking back to the barn. Nothing fast about any of this, just very clearly stating that there was hay back at the barn and that’s where she was going.
So I swung her back away from the barn, nudged again, and gave her her head. She plodded on for another couple of yards, stopped abruptly, stood there a moment, and then tried to turn back toward the barn again. I nudged again, and she gave me this “Seriously Lady?” look and lurchingly continued down the path in the direction I wanted.
We passed the horse eating dark brown pile of old hay they tossed out behind the pastures with Ava giving it the hairy eyeball and snorting at it. She was calmly walking down the path, staring at the frozen marsh next to us when she spotted the HORSE EATING WEED! She looked right at it, jumped straight up, landed in exactly the same spot, and then just kept walking like nothing had happened. Ha!
Anyway, it was a wonderful trail ride. Ava seemed to really enjoy it after we were passed the gelding pasture. Her little ears were up and forward, and she was looking around at everything like it was the coolest thing in the whole world. She didn’t shy, or spoke, at anything after the weed incident… well, she did look at the rusty 5 gallon drum pretty hard, but she didn’t spoke at it. And considering she hasn’t been ridden in a week, I thought that was pretty good!
So I’m a little sad we didn’t get to ride in the clinic, but I had a blast yesterday. The only problem was my feet were blocks of ice by the time we got back to the barn. Other than that though, I love trail riding in the snow! I especially love when your horse is all fluffy with winter coat. There’s nothing better in the whole world!
I love my horse!