By Patty Wilber
It had been a mild fall and winter, it is February now, and it is light until nearly 6 pm, so shouldn’t it be warm(ish–like highs in the 40’s or something?) during the day?
It snowed all day last Wednesday and was cold (several nights at or below zero) and icy enough that school got cancelled last Thursday (because, you know, we are not Upstate New York).
The snow was only about eight inches deep, but it didn’t feel like melting much, so geez, I had to skip a couple days of riding and work at getting the arena in shape.
I disked first and then dragged the arena last Friday to churn the sand up onto the snow to help the snow melt. It got to 35F and sunny Saturday so it worked–the snow all melted, which turned the arena into a swamp (and I can ride in a swamp because the footing is fine under the water).
I had to quit riding when the sun got low and the arena became shadowed because it started to refreeze.
Of course, that night, with a low of 14F, it froze hard.
I was looking forward to more swamp work on Sunday, but the high was 32F, no sun, and it spit some more snow, so the arena stayed in the realm of “froze up”.
This week was warm (yes, mid 40’s) and sunny. I got to ride every day and by Wednesday the puddles were drying up (except the big one at the back, and because I did not disk or drag the round pen, it is still a mess and probably will be until mid next week!).
By Thursday, I was even able to ride out on the dirt road (but my trails are still snowy and very muddy). I could sort of pretend that spring is just around the corner.
(Of course, we always need more precipitation, so, if more snow wants to come our way, we will welcome the moisture. And whine a little on the side about lost riding days!)