Wednesday, February 29, 2012

sunshine and a nice afternoon

I got to the barn during the lull between the high winds this morning and the predicted high winds tonight and it was very nice.  The sun was out, the turnout was dry enough for a little running and bucking and Nina got some exercise.
I wish I knew what had turned her into a dangerous nutcase when it comes to blankets.... until just a few weeks ago I used to be able to throw blankets on her without needing a halter.  Now I hard tie her and get the hell out of the way as she swings around.
One little glimmer of light over this behavior - at least the lessons in standing tied have not fallen out of her head.  For a horse that refused to stand tied when I got her, she slams on the brakes now at the first touch from the lead rope when she is tied.  OTOH - having to tie her to take a blanket off or put one on is ridiculous, especially since you still have to get out of her way as she spooks away from it, but hopefully she will get over whatever convinced her that blankets are scary monsters.
Blankets aside, she got to run a bit, followed me around when she got bored and got to roll on dry ground!  I tried doing some grooming but the wind picked up again and I swear it was changing direction to blow dirt and hair directly into my face.   I got tired of that quickly and Nina did not enjoy having mud pulled out of her hair either so we quit. 
It was nice to spend a little time at the barn without being miserably cold and wet.  Never happy, I now want a couple days in a row of nice weather.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

oh joy! (not)

I was hoping the sun would come out before I went to the barn.  It is SUPPOSE to be high 40s and sunny today but with high winds, 50mph+. 
Instead, what is it doing..... snowing.  And I'm sure the high winds will arrive on time. 
I am hoping to be able to have some jumping lessons outside this week........

Friday, February 24, 2012


OMG, the sun is actually shining.  Not peeking out from the clouds, but actually shining.  The wind is not blowing.  It is cold but what an improvement.  I taught a couple of lessons indoors and it was cold inside, but just walking back outside is a lift. 
Of course, the weathermen are talking about the next snow - Tuesday?  Just ignoring them for now.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

we are getting blown away

The wind here is incredible tonight.  We have had a couple of mild, windy days which has been nice because that is all it took to make a huge difference in starting to melt some snow and dry things out.
Today it was 60, but too windy to ride outside, so I taught inside. 

Tonight we are suppose to get high winds and a snow storm.   Really high winds, like 80-100mph are not unheard of along the edge of the foothills.  Boulder, Arvada, Golden are all western suburbs of Denver that get winds like that about once a year.  This year several more times than once. 
I am east of there and generally those high winds do not carry very far east, fading to just normal strong winds by the time you get to Denver.

Tonight DIA which is east of the Denver city limits, is having 90mph winds that is causing flights to be unable to land or take off, waiting for the winds to quit.
We are having winds at my house that are a little scary.  There are lots of very big mature trees in this area and they are moving around a lot!  They are not used to this kind of wind.

I am ready for the snow to start if it means the winds will stop.  Lets get this over with.  Nina should be fine, she has a nice solid shed for shelter that is built to handle these winds from this direction.
Good night to just take shelter and wait for it to blow over.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

benefit for Nina

On Sunday the barn threw a benefit show for me and Nina.  The proceeds were unbelievable and Nina's board is paid for a couple of months.  One huge piece of stress lifted.
Lots of people got involved, the show was really a series of demos of different horse sports.  It was fun to watch, there was lots of good food and everyone seemed to have a fun time.  The weather was cloudy and cool but not bad at all. 
I knew that the show was planned about a week ago but I had no idea how many people were involved or how much support there would be.  It was fun and Nina is one less stresser right now.
The picture is a Western/Dressage demo by the barn manager and the dressage instructor.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

good days are hard to find...

but I found one today.  Between the snow, ice, water etc etc, many of the horses are getting sick of limited riding in the indoor and everything being wet all the time.  They don't complain as much as the people do, but all in all everyone is running out of patience with winter. 
So today I taught a couple of lessons, had happy riders and eventually happy horses and made some progress.   Other than freezing my feet off, it was a good day. 
Need more.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

I wanted to post a nice, current picture of Nina for Valentine's Day.  Unfortunately that would be in a dirty blanket, mud up to her hocks, standing in water and with an extremely unfriendly expression on her face.  We both agreed not to immortalize this moment in history so here is a pic from a couple of years ago - please notice the GREEN.
And include your horse in your list of things that you love and are grateful for.

just had to edit to add... there is a snow storm blowing in tonight.  Nina and I are SO excited! (if you don't get sarcasm, you are reading the wrong blog)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

trying again

 The more subtle color change toward spring just didn't help at all.  Around 10am it was 8 degrees at my house, wind chill was -4.  So going a little more springlike for the background.
I am really hoping for a heatwave, it would put us nearly under water and mud but it would still be worth it.  

I am working out a very little bit and mostly exhausted.  Nina is continuing her vacation, there is no point in trying to get her conditioned when there is snow and ice everywhere.  

I am seriously considering moving before next winter.   We have never had winters like the last few here.  We always laughed at the idea that we were buried in snow all the time.  The mountains got the snow, what we got (and sometimes a lot) melted off fast and if you have ever lived at altitude, 30s or 40s under a clear sky and hot sun is perfectly comfortable.  This has been miserable.  There is still, underneath the snow from two weeks ago, snow from before Thanksgiving.  I know that is not unusual for part of the country but it is here.  Maybe Nina and I would be better off in New Mexico.  I lived there for almost 20 years and love it.   Have to consider that. 
In the meantime, hoping for spring to arrive soon so we can get to work.

Friday, February 10, 2012

attempting to salvage February

I am finally starting to feel human again so I am working out in preparation for an (EARLY!) spring and riding weather.  I am in exactly no hurry to get back on Nina in this weather.  First she needs her teeth done and I would like to be able to ride two days in a row.  
So, since I have not been fit enough to jump since before I got Nina, I have some catching up to do.  I am not going to start jumping her when I am working at keeping a good position on the flat.  It gives me something horse related to do while we survive the rest of winter. 

I taught a couple of lessons today, in the indoor.  It was 37 degrees when I arrived at the barn and 23 degrees when I left.  I wore heavy gloves and found a couple of numb fingers when I got in the car.  Have to rethink the gear, I thought I was well dressed for the cold. 
One of the lessons today was the little orange TB from Maryland, Fawkes.  He is going to be very fun, he is athletic and has a brain.  I like him.

Speaking of weather, the snow that we got a few days ago was supposed to be a light dusting and turned into 12 inches.  It is supposed to start again tonight and carry on til Saturday evening.  Another light dusting.  How does it snow for over 12 hours and end up with a light dusting?
I made sure I had enough coffee for the weekend.   I hope some of you have sunshine and dry ground.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

sliding down a black spiral .... just weather again

Yesterday we managed to find a quiet time in the indoor for a lesson and nobody froze to death.  Actually it was in the 30s - not too bad.
A 'little dusting' of snow was expected overnight, maybe an inch at early rush hour.
So at 1pm it is still snowing like crazy.  Fortunately a snow plow got lost and wandered down my street.  Seriously, they worked on the residential streets.  I think the snow didn't get too bad on the major roads because it was coming down during rush hour and getting beat down.  If the plow hadn't come past my house I could never have gotten out today. 

Nina was anxious for her beet pulp and happy to get it.
This was also one of those days that pointed out how weird it is to keep an OTTB in a primarily QH barn.  Nina and her neighbor, Fawkes, were alert, watching what was going on, a little on their toes, not crazy, just alert.  I think they were the only two horses in the barn that were not asleep. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snow report

The snow started Thursday night, as predicted.  By mid day Friday it looked like it might leave early, the sky was bright and it quit snowing for a couple of hours.  I went out and shoveled sidewalks and driveway.  But apparently this was the eye of the hurricane because Friday evening it was beating down again.  By Saturday morning you could not tell that I had shoveled anything.   It is Saturday morning now, still snowing a bit, but really just a few flakes.  We will spend a few days digging out. 
I noticed on the national news last night that one channel told the story here - everything shut down, flights cancelled, highways closed.  Another one said that Colorado had a little snow and it might be serious as it moved east.  Guess it all depends on whether you are the one being buried or not.

This is Friday morning - the black streak at the top of the pic is my neighbors car.
This is Saturday morning - the black dot across the street is my neighbors car.
A snow plow just came through and cleared a path down the center of the street without making big dams every where.  Now all I have to do is clear the driveway and halfway out into the street.  I may wait til tomorrow.  Last heavy snow I got stuck just up the street dodging some idiot in a 4x4.  It took about 15 people to push/pull me out. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

storm coming

This storm has been predicted for a while.  It was being pushed back a few hours at a time all week,
I was kind of hoping it might blow apart or change its path and miss us.
The forecasters are predicting 16" of snow.  I am firmly hoping they are all smoking crack.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Updating for (or hoping for) spring...

I enjoy playing with the blog layouts and backgrounds and I decided to try to make up for an early (and disastrous) mistake. 
Back in early November I came across that photo of the Acropolis in the snow and thought it would make a great background.  I really enjoyed it except for one thing.  It seems that it brought winter along with it.  November is usually my favorite fall month, full of sunshine and just warm enough to be comfortable.  Winter doesn't normally start here until late December and really gets going in January and February.  But I am looking at snow in my yard and on my street that fell in early November - apparently following the example of the blog background. 

So the background is gone, replaced with a neutral, hopefully springlike background.
The date is not random, February 1 is Imbolc.  For those of you not familiar with ancient Celtic celebrations....  Imbolc is halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.  It is also the start of lambing season.  And it is the holiday of Brigid.  
It is the early warning that spring is going to come soon. 

I am so sick of winter that I figured this couldn't hurt. 
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