Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What's the carrot at the end of your stick?

"Please don't slip on the black ice!"
"Please don't slip on the black ice!"
(It stands to reason that if I think it enough times, it might work.)
This past week brought a good amount of snow and then some of it melted, and then temperatures dropped and then it snowed AGAIN...and now it's 50 degrees outside.  The result?
Well, what was treacherous patches of black ice are now soggy, slushy puddles.  This winter has been great compared to last winter, or pretty much any winter season I've experienced since moving out here.  So I will not bemoan the soggy footing or slushy roads.  I will thank my lucky stars that although I witnessed each horse cavort itself virtually upside down during the past week and a half while celebrating in the snow, everyone appears unscathed.
I've been taking long walks with each horse to try and "take the edge off" since they are reduced to their smaller dry-lot turnouts until decent footing re-appears.  The shire mare is her usual happy-go-lucky self and just plods along with me, enjoying the view.  The Perch/TB mare oscillates between sulking her way uphill ("This is WAY TOO boring Mom!  Hop on and let's run!") to bouncing around me in a circle like a kangaroo.  ("See how much more fun we could be having?")  And Koda, my yearling delights in scaling great snowbanks and eating slushies.  (Yes, I did warn him about the lemon-flavored ones.)

I have also been trolling online in the evenings and trying not to live too vicariously through all the video clips of everything fun happening down in Florida right now.  Celebrity derby cross in Wellington, horse trials are already happening in Ocala, and HITS showjumping videos are out.  Like you, I have friends (and a trainer) who are lucky enough to winter in Ocala.  This November I caravanned down with them, keeping them entertained and got to check out their digs once we arrived.  (I'd never been to Ocala before.)  HEAVEN!
And so, as I chip the ice and shovel the slush and hand-walk until my socks have wear-holes in them (another new hole appeared today, this time on my right heel, as I sport the winter tall boots to trudge through the snowbanks and splash through icy puddles.) I get to envision what my colleagues might be up to down in Florid-ahh.   I look forward to their return and their camaraderie this summer as we hit the shows.  I hope they understand my unbridled whooping enthusiasm when Mel and I get that 8 in dressage and go double-clear, as that's the little carrot dangling from the end of my slush-dripping, muddy stick right now.