Today as I got the horses ready to ride, my fingers were frozen and my nose was a bit chilly, but I looked around and couldn't help but to notice how beautiful all the white, snow covered trees were. The quiet of snowfall that I haven't heard in such a long time... It is a different kind of still. Different from the still of night or a quiet morning. It's hard to describe, but I didn't realize before today that I really enjoy that kind of silence...
I walked Abby and Mochi to the arena up the hill as snow began to sit on my jacket and their blankets. I managed to carry my riding boots, training stick, and lead two horses with my long Clinton Anderson lead ropes and was still able to put my hands in my jacket pockets to keep them warm. The horses were perfect angels staying at my side, neither pulling or draging. Perhaps they were enjoying the stillness of the winter day too. Or they were just confused as to why we were out on such a cold day! Both of these are possibilities that make me smile a bit, but more realistically I think that they both are just wonderful horses and their training has finally set in. When we got to the gate, both horses stopped, waited patiently while I opened the gate. They walked through, pivoted in turn and we closed the gate, pivoting yet again to continue down the driveway. We executed this with such ease and grace, it even amazed me. It may not sound like much of a feat, but for those of you who have ever tried to lead two horses at one time, know that it can actually be pretty difficult even when no gate is involved!
For a moment during my walk, I almost thought, "Wow, seems like I'm back in Montana with this weather." But then I reminded myself that if I were in Montana, there would be more snow, more wind and the temperature would probably be close to zero or lower! The really strange thing about Montana if you've never experienced it, is that you can be in the middle of a snowstorm and it'll still be sunny. That is another kind of beauty.
Thinking about Montana Winters, I starting giggling. I remember coming back from snowboarding with a friend (yes, sometimes I participate in activities that don't involve horses!!!) It was dark and blizzarding. My friend was driving her little Honda, and I was "enjoying" the ride. The snow was coming down so hard that we could hardly see the road. The windshield wipers were getting chunks of snow and ice frozen to them and were more problematic than anything. Being a problem solver, I put my snowboarding gear back on and bundled up, boarding goggles and all, I hung out the passenger window with a snowscraper and had to scrape away the snow while she drove!!! We could see the faint blinking of a snowplow way in the distance. We just aimed toward that and were relieved to have some tail lights to lead the way!
During college at Montana State University, I boarded Breeze one Winter at a place with no indoor arena. In Montana, your horse will get big balls of snow packed into his hooves. Needless to say, when it's like that- walking is about all you can do. To entertain myself I'd write Breeze's name in cursive in the snow. It worked on our leg cues, backing, turning, side passing, etc. What fun!!!
Enjoy the snow everyone!!!