Dec 072018
 

By Patty Wilber

We have had a week of wintery weather, with more on the way. This is good news for our drought stricken state of affairs, which, surprising to me, is actually quite a bit worse right now, as compared to a year ago

All this cold and snow, however, is not so great for outdoor horse training, especially since it had been in the 40’s and 50’s up to now.

I am quite happy to be outside for hours if it is 25 F and sunny, but 15 F? at 9 am?  I just need another cup of coffee.

Monday 12/3/18. There is a ridge to the east of us, so the sun hasn’t quite made it to us yet. It was  15F. Looking west.

Later on Monday. Getting better, but by the time it reached 25 F, it was after 11 am, so not really enough time to get anything done before I had to head to town to teach one of my last microbio labs of the term.

I did ride the rest of the week, but I didn’t get started Tuesday or Wednesday until after 10 am–when the 25 F threshold was reached.  This limited the number of horses worked to two each day.

Durango and I had a nice ride on Wednesday. The roads were a bit icy with packed snow, but the trail was very pleasant!

Durango says: do u see me rolling my eyes at her? this is not just because i am an Appaloosa.

Apparently this snow was relatively dry because both the round pen and the arena are in good shape.

Atti worked on her Ranch Riding skills in the arena.  We are building a faster walk, a faster and bigger trot, and faster loping. Wait! I sense a pattern here!  Atti, nowadays, is usually pretty relaxed!

Val, on the other hand is a new,  8-year-old re-start (she had 10 rides at one point in her life….) that heretofore apparently led a very dull and predictable life. She is still getting to know me and used to the fact that things are busy around our barn (if the trainer can finish her coffee, put on some extra layers, and will the mercury to rise out of the teens!)

By Wednesday, the sunny spots were free of snow. Val did really well with saddling–a week ago she couldn’t stand still long enough to get one up on her. And while she is still skittish, she does not seem to be a bucker. Yay, because I hope to be riding her in a week or so.

Thursday was warmer: 35 all day.

More snow is predicted for the weekend, but hopefully not enough to interfere with our Back County Horsemen Holiday party and annual white elephant gift exchange tonight or our PRIME RIB year end Appaloosa Banquet at the Jackson Ranch Steak House in Socorro on Saturday!

And starting next week, I am on winter break for five weeks, so I can update lectures for spring term in the cold mornings and wait until the warm part of the day to ride!