Sunday, February 10, 2013

After the blizzard fun

Harley having some fun
With bright sun glittering on the fresh snow, we let the horses out to kick up their heels. Such exuberance and joy as they crow-hopped, bucked, reared, dashed around, and jumped the snow bank created by the tractor in their pasture. We needed to clear some snow just to unearth the buried water trough. Our farrier was scheduled to come today, so we wanted to be sure everyone burned off some steam so they wouldn't be all antsy for him.

As they circled around the top of the paddock, jumping the snowbank (self-schooling as John called it), I just kept clicking, taking shot after shot of their antics.

Even old Vance was feeling good and showing us some of his winning Standarbred trot as he went back and forth along the fence line, stretching his legs. This is what happens when you coop up ex-racehorses for a day and a half!
Let 'em go, stand back, and watch the show.

Ruffy and Rolex self-schooling over the snowbank.
Harley and Ruffy running with Vance, Gator having a roll and getting stuck
While everyone else was having a good workout, 32 year-old Gator decided to have a good roll, but got stuck. When this happens, it's all hands on deck to dig the poor fellow out. We finally got him back on his feet,  and up the hill to plowed area so he wouldn't have to wallow in such deep snow. 

Then it was time to give Harley his pre-farrier workout. He can be a real handful after being shut in so long with no exercise. So to make things easier for Butch, John gave him a real workout--4 gallops up the field through the snow! At first, he thought he'd go bareback. I questioned the sanity in that since Harley was already sidestepping and he wasn't even mounted yet. John went back for the saddle, but stuck with the halter and lead rope. Hang on, John!

First go--Halawa Moon heads for the hills, and John has no brakes!
Thundering Harley
 Meanwhile, the girls watched from above, but didn't make any moves to join in on the fun.

Whatcha doin', Harley?

Butch arrived, with half of his corgi collection. They are cute fuzzballs that stay right in the truck, even with the doors hanging open. I think they need to be lifted down with such short legs.

Everyone got a manicure and Ruffy had her front shoes re-set. She's happy to have snow-popping pads and borium! It's the equivalent of crampons for horses, I think. The other two are staying barefoot until spring.

Then John got on Ruffy and took her for a little adventure down to Orris Falls, but no water crossing! He said she gave him some nice trots and canters and behaved herself, even when she came upon snowshoers. Rolex was next in line for a workout--another jaunt down to Orris Falls and down the power line. Little Miss Steady was actually kind of slow--dawdling along, sniffing things, eating oak leaves, enjoying the scenery. She'd had her workout earlier, leaping the snowbank!

I decided to go for a tromp on the snowshoes and see what I could see--lots of great patterns in the snow drifts, animal tracks galore, and snow doughnuts rolling down the hillside.

And here's a big belly-deep snow drift along the fence line, yet the snow was scoured away right next to it--amazing wind sculptures everywhere.

And, my favorite, a giant snow doughnut, about the size of a grapefruit, that rolled down the hill towards me, getting larger with each rotation. The snow and temperature were perfect for these to form.

I missed not getting in any riding, skiing, or skijoring. But my sternum is healing. I still get sore if I do too much, but it's making progress. I've got to be good and not rush the healing process. Snowshoeing can't compare to gliding on skis, but I can't take the risk of splatting in the snow. So I'm sitting out the best snowstorm we've had in two years--damn! I just keep telling myself to be patient, spring promises great riding, AND I just received my calendar for this year's S.M.A.R.T. rides. The first one is in May--get ready, Harley!

One more picture: the  barn entrance after the tractor made a tunnel in!


  1. GREAT photos! I think you had fun even though you had to mind yourself :-)

  2. So fun and beautiful!!!! Your three are just the happiest most gorgeous horses! That John is so gutsy! Wow! Love the helmet!!! Keep on healing - you'll be back soon!

  3. Cantering in that much deep snow looks really, really fun. Great pictures!

    1. Yup, it's a blast, and I think the horses enjoy it too!

  4. My computer got stuck, and wouldn't move...but, I was looking at that Gorgeous Harley, jumping up in the snow, at top.
    He is one fine horse, so muscled and perfectly in shape!

    Your world is certainly snowed in..wowsa. yea, don't think I have ever experienced that amount with my mare. We had 27 to 30 inches once, in 6 years...I could only get to her 3-4 times in 2 weeks time, because the roads got so bad.
    You two have a handle on things there...and though John does it all for now, you'll heal up so much faster and better by being good, like you are.I am sorry that you are missing this snow for the cool activities that come with it, but it is what it is.BLAST IT!

    JOHN!!! That photo is totally priceless, and yea, GREAT Helmet! We'd find him if he got dumped into a drift, that is forsure!

    Hey, point me to the post or make one that describes your S.M.A.R.T. rides.

    1. S.M.A.R.T. as an acronym for a local trail riding group. Here's the link for the first one last year:
      And the one we did two years ago:


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