Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Flashback Fun - January, 2001 - Winter

Flashback Friday - January, 2001


It’s been a long winter for us. We currently keep our horses at a small barn by the park. The care is excellent and we have a small indoor arena to ride in at night or when the weather crummy. The trail that leads into the park is right outside the back of the property. There is only one problem with our lovely barn. The trail leads down a hill and crosses the river only 5 minutes away. Every now and then, the river is too high to safely cross, and that isn’t too bad because it will be low in a day or two. The real problem is in the wintertime when the water freezes. There is no way that we will dare cross the ice. I suppose when horses were the main source of travel in this country, people would cross ice because they had no other choice, but it just isn’t worth the risk to us. We just ride up and down the hill a few times to add variety to our arena rides.

This winter has been very tough. Typically, the river doesn’t freeze until around Christmas. This year, it froze Thanksgiving weekend. There were 2 times between then and now that it thawed out and we managed to get across, but it quickly froze right back up. Each week we watch the weather forecast with our breaths held—hoping that the river would be melted by the weekend.  

Last week, we had a lot of rain, and it broke up the ice making the river possible to cross. Unfortunately, the rain turned the snow on the hill into a sheet of ice, and now it isn’t safe to ride down to the river. The trails in the park look pretty icy in spots for the same reason. We opted to play it safe and rode once again in the arena. Our horses are getting just as bored of it as we are. They were so good back in December when we started with the arena-riding marathon. Now they have taken to playing little games to make it more fun for themselves. Their favorite is “spook.” You never know when it will happen, and it caused my sister to fall off of Ranger last week. This weekend, I was the next victim. Mingo, who seldom spooks, was in a feisty mood and did one of those spin spooks. I bit the dust, unhurt. I’m getting awfully tired of the game and did the only thing I could think of to stop the silliness. I rode him 5 minutes at a canter without stopping. It worked. It definitely took the edge off of his silliness and made him concentrate on working.

The real problem is the horses are just bored. During the summer, we ride them nearly all the time on the trail. When the days are short, they still get on the trail on the weekends. They seem to really like the trail riding. Both Mingo and Cruiser have tried to avoid going back to the barn on several occasions and Mingo never rushes home, even when we are very close to the barn. Maybe next weekend. They are predicting milder weather for later in the week, but if it rains too much, the river will be high…

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