The good, the bad and the ugly – that about sums up this past New Year’s Weekend. Good: because I had Friday off work as a holiday, so I got to see Buckshot! And Saturday, we even got to ride on the trail through the woods! The bad was the weather: most of the weekend was a weird blend of warm temperatures mixed with a coolness that caused me to alternately sweat or be chilled, no matter how many layers I had on or took off! On Sunday the weatherman through in lots of rain and nonstop mist (clearly he doesn’t have a horse!). And the ugly was the mud – lots and lots of thick, gooey, deep mud that at times trapped my boots by suction until I learned to walk in it by twisting my feet with every step to prevent the suction trapping! Thank goodness for muck boots, which kept me dry and which kept about half of the mud off my jeans.
On Friday the worst weather hadn’t yet arrived, but the arena was still trapped by ice and snow, so Buckshot and I did our groundwork games and exercises in his pasture. Then we did hand grazing on surrounding land so he could find some wonderful grass morsels to nibble. Then it was off to the main barn so I could properly groom and brush and spoil him, and then back to his pasture, hand grazing the whole way! It gave us a lot of chatting time and was a nice day, despite not being able to ride. The BO and BOH missed being able to ride as much as I did, so we contemplated a trail ride on Saturday, conditions permitting. We walked through the wooded trail to determine the footing conditions. Surprisingly, the footing in the woods was very nice, with a soft padding of leaves and little snow. Except the bridge. The bridge was covered with a menacing blanket of snow, so we plotted routes that would allow us to avoid the bridge. We planned to have a New Year’s Day trail ride through the woods!
The next day, Saturday, New Year’s Day, the weather was in the fifties but felt colder , and the sky was totally gray. After I got to the barn and went out to see Buckshot, I walked down the trail to see the condition of the bridge. Most of the snow had melted and I scraped some remaining patches of it to the side with my boots. It looked passable now, even for a nervous horse, but I would let the BO know its condition before we started riding. Our trail ride consisted of six riders and horses. We mounted up and we took off into the woods. Hooray, we’re riding! LOL! We had a lovely, peaceful ride through the woods, over the bridge without incident and onto various trail routes that wander through the property. Overall a wonderful start to the new year! With wonderful horses (especially Buckshot!) and lovely scenery!
Saturday night I baked brownies for the farrier. I wanted to have a Christmas gift ready on his next scheduled visit (which is January 3rd) to thank him for his good work on Buckshot all year. I baked a batch of my best brownies and put them in a holiday box. I always want the vet and farrier to think favorably of Buckshot and me (LOL) plus they both give us such great service all year, I want them to know of my appreciation, so both got homemade brownies this Christmas.
Sunday was the worst day – the weather was miserable: rainy, misty, depressing gray clouds rolling in and changing into dark gray clouds. I knew I couldn’t ride Buckshot but I hoped to do some groundwork with him. However, when I got my gear (my bucket filled with a few brushes, the tiny plastic cones I use in the pasture, and my dressage whip) and walked to his pasture, the dark gray clouds looked like the skies would pour cats and dogs any minute, and I lost my motivation. Buckshot and his pasturemate, Lucky, were resting together in a stall in their run-in barn, looking cozy and comfortable, and I just couldn’t bear to drag him out just to do some of our exercises. I turned around and headed back to the main barn. To kill time, I cleaned some tack, picked out the stalls and swept the main aisles.
Later, before feeding time, I went back to his pasture and found him standing out in the drizzle, eating hay. To get to him, I had to wade through the thick, sticky mud and that required my new anti-quicksand, mud dance thing (LOL!) where I step into thick mud, twist my foot, pull it out, and repeat, with my arms dancing rapidly around my sides to keep my balance (oh, what a picture that is! LOL!) but it was worth it. He’s a sweet horse and to me, as precious as gold. So I love to be with him. And it being Sunday, which is right before Monday – a work day - I was sad that I had to go back to work and wouldn’t see him again for several days.
So, the weekend was filled with yucky weather, killer mud, relentless rain, and gloomy clouds. But I got to see and spend time with Buckshot, and we even got to ride once, so it was a good weekend! Hope you had a good start to your new year also!