Remember how I said I’d post “tomorrow?” Tomorrow apparently means next week on Sarah time. Other things I keep saying “tomorrow” about? Remembering to go by the lawyer’s office and pick up the deed to MY farm (well, my and Jason’s, but you know what I mean). Yes, I now officially own my own little chunk of southwest Virginia, complete with groundhog tenants and all. 🙂
So that means I’ve been more eager than ever to get out and make improvements to the farm. The weather isn’t cooperating of course (though it should soon, according to the mystic groundhog of Pennsylvania) so I’ve been making a list of things:
- Three (or so) bonfires!
- Groundhog holes need to be filled (there’s one major groundhog colony and I found another hole further out when hiking around this weekend). Groundhogs need to leave and not come back.
- Removal of fencing panels/old gates/old fence from the bush piles once they’re burnt.
- Adding new fence to separate the massive field into smaller areas. I think the new field is around twenty acres of rolling hills. Luckily my horses come when called? Did I just jinx myself?
The horses are doing well. Eating bunches of hay as usual. Copper is holding his weight that he put on over Christmas break, so that’s nice. I’m really hoping he gets legitimately fat once the grass hits.
We got a hefty amount of snow a week or so back. I never actually measured, but it was up to my knees when I walked up the driveway to the barn. It was too deep to even get 4×4 trucks up there, so I did a fair amount of uphill walking. Jason used the tractor to scrape the top several inches of snow off, which made the walk infinitely easier. I’m grateful to have a job that closes when the roads aren’t safe, so I mainly hid in the house during the snow. I did make an effort to go check on the horses as often as road conditions allowed, plus they were given LOTS of hay and heated water to keep them alive without me on the days that we couldn’t make it.
On one of the days that we did make it to the barn, we were planning on doing chores as quickly as possible because work was scheduled to open at noon and I needed to get home in time to shower before going in. (Equestrian adulting=showering before work, but after hiking up the driveway to throw hay, just fyi.) So, of course, I scurried through giving everyone hay and checking their water and “doo doo doo” the text message noise on my and Jason’s phones went off. They closed for the day. After I got up early (early being not early…we’ll call it “snow day early”) to make sure I got everything done.
So naturally I smiled at Jason and said “since we aren’t in a hurry…” I can’t remember ever riding in snow, though it is highly likely that I rode Logan in snow once upon a time. So I went out and grabbed Paige, who hasn’t been ridden since…well, I don’t know. Maybe October? I caught her, bridled her, and tried to crawl on bareback. I used my mounting block, but with my coveralls on, there was no way I could get my leg up over her hip. Since I was determined, I asked Jason to hold her (I think he more so stared at her) and flopped on my belly on her back and squirmed my way into place. Thankfully there is no media of this endeavor, however #7 here is pretty much on point. I didn’t fall off the other side though. Such good Paige.
Once I was on, I felt great. I’ve missed riding Paige. Since I still don’t have footing in the barn, I haven’t been doing anything with her in there, and the fields have either been too muddy or it has been too cold to ride outside. We went outside and walked away from the barn, where there were NO hoof prints. Apparently we gave them so much hay that they didn’t stray from the hay bales at all during the storm. Paige was willing despite the snow and wanted to trot the whole time…which I found weird since she’s typically lazy. I went along with it (though I generally don’t allow my horses to pick what speed they’d like us to go) and made her do lots of turning and bending. Asking for her to go in frame seemed like a big request as out of shape
as she is we both are, plus the fact that we were riding in snow on hills. So we just toodled around walking and trotting through the snow. She got a little speedy around turns, but my balance was oddly excellent. I give the credit to all the layers. I think I was molded in place by my clothes. Jason was initially worried that I’d fall off, which made me laugh since I typically don’t have a giant snow cushion to fall onto. I don’t think he’s seen me ride without a saddle before?
Jason took pictures of us for a while. If you ever want to feel good about your equitation, I don’t recommend that you remove your saddle and add lots of clothes. My free swinging feet crack me up. I do feel pretty good about the fact that I’m not looking at her neck/the back of her head though. That’s an improvement. I think I got in that habit because I previously have mainly ridden horses who generally aren’t on their best behavior (Lil Man…Robin…Copper…). I only rode for a few minutes since Jason wanted to scrape the driveway with the tractor and needed me to open the gates for him. He also had to work that night, so we needed to get home to allow him more time to rest.
I see front shoes in Paige’s future so that we can start working towards some possible western dressage shows. Of course, I picked one out to aim for (a dressage schooling show that I’m hoping will have western classes…no class list posted yet) and now someone is coming to look at my trailer on Thursday, so who knows if I’ll have a trailer to get to shows this year. I’m honestly fine with whatever happens. If the trailer sells, I’ll shove Copper back in training as soon as G has an opening and get footing for the indoor/have my barn finished. Showing can happen when it happens. Improving our day to day operations sounds like a good use of resources until then.