It seemed like the universal question for the weekend. Any time something bad happened, I would try to stay positive thinking it could be worse. Usually that works just fine, but it appears that the universe took my positivity as a challenge and happily replied “I will find a way!” then hit me with further punishment.
Lets start off Thursday, when the weather first hit. Nothing really special other than a lot of snow making it a very bad idea to drive north 15 minutes to go riding. Not very pleasing because the big baby hadn’t been ridden since Sunday and I wanted to get some of the spaz out of him before our lesson Friday. Oh well, safety first! I had a glass of wine and enjoyed a night off.
Friday the snow continued the whole day. I didn’t have to go into work which may sound like a good thing, but being trapped in my apartment is no better! Lee had to go to work early in the morning to pull the fire alarm, so I was all alone… and bored. By the end of the day, it still hadn’t stopped snowing. Lee had returned home around lunchtime and spent most of his time shoveling the driveway.
There’s a shot of the stairs out front of the apartment less than an hour after being completely shoveled. I was getting a little stir crazy there! To top it off, my lesson was cancelled (with good reason, but still!) and I was soooooo bored! As night fell, the snow stopped and Lee and I HAD to get out of the house. We walked uptown to have a few beers and dinner at Shepherd’s Crook pub right in the window and enjoyed the view of old downtown lights in the snow (and watching motorists struggle to get through the deep stuff… thankful we walked!)
For Saturday and Sunday the intention was to ride on my lunch break through the deep snow. Nice long walk to mirror the one Laura and I had done last Sunday only my friend Yvonne (who rides at the property behind us and I cut through to get to the roads!) was going to join us.
To start adding to the challenges, I found out late Friday night that the boys would be riding both days: Saturday around 3. So I wouldn’t be able to do the full 2.5 hour loop on my lunch. Very sad but I will drink extra coffee and do stalls extra fast to try and get as much done as possible!
Saturday… oh boy! First, on the way into the barn the snow had drifted, mostly blocking the door (despite Jen’s best efforts to keep it clear the day before!) The door also was frozen shut and took a foot on the wall and several minutes of full body pulling to get open. My plan was to clear the path so we could get the wheelbarrow to manure truck (after feeding) and be safe for Lynn and I. When feeding the outdoor horses, I soon realized that the small hill down to the paddocks had become an optical illusion with snowdrift, and ended up well past knee deep in the snow… with an armload of hay. Hmmm… no way I can safely lead the horses through this! So my small path became a long one down to the paddocks. I didn’t even START stalls until the time I am usually finished them.
Next issue that presented itself… the pony was rearing in her stall for no apparent reason other than she was bored. She had been in all week when usually she lives outside. With the boys riding that afternoon, lunging was a necessity. Of course it took longer than usual because she flat out galloped for a very extended period of time without any encouragement. Boy was she happy to let out that steam. Also, turned out 2 of the horses and snuck a few minutes to watch them enjoy the snow and their first taste of turnout all week. Very cute! I also snuck some moments here and there to appreciate the value of a kitty snuggle here and there.
At this point, I was giving up hope that my ride would happen, and I rescheduled. But that wasnt the end of Saturday’s troubles. Nope! Lorie determined that Pretzel (the tiny tiny pony) had foundered and an emergency vet visit was required. We brought him and Grace in for the night. Grace is an old mare with one eye and bad vision in whats left, so she gets very nervous when she doesn’t have one of her ponies with her. It made for an interesting parade through the snow as she had to walk in a way that ended up with her having the nice cleared patch (from where i had walked earlier.. i didn’t shovel THAT far) and I got to trek through knee deep snow. She got ahead of me several times and the 2 turnouts didn’t help as they riled her up! But we got them in, the vet did her thing and I now had 9 inmates instead of the usual 6. Yup, cant even ride at night now because I was tooooo tired!
Lorie made her way off and I stuck around past the dinner feed to make sure Grace calmed down. She had trouble seeing Pretzel in the next stall, so we left Pretzel’s door open with a lead rope across. He wouldn’t go anywhere, hes too ouchie! Anyway, I left for A MINUTE to feed the cats, and when I returned from the hayroom, this is what I saw:
Yup, that’s Pretzel making his way to the feedroom. Naughty pony! I guess the drugs were working.
Sunday wasnt much better. To start off… it was freezing!
WIth the boys set to ride at 2pm and the circumstances of Saturday, I figured I should probably stick around and keep a close eye on what I am now going to call the infirmary wing (Irish, Grace, and Pretzel). After doing all the morning feed as usual, I checked Grace to see how she was doing on her hay. The plan was to turn her and Pretzel out when there was no food for him to sneak, so the snow could ice his hooves. But Grace wasn’t eating, grain hadn’t been touched and there was way too much hay left. Instead of coming to greet me, or sticking her head out to view Pretzel, she had her butt to the wall and face in the corner. Didn’t even respond when I called or entered the stall. She was rocking quite a bit with each breath she took and her respiration rate was high. Temperature was normal, lots of poo in the stall, but was impossible to move to get the thermometer in her. Took blanket off at Lynn’s suggestion and she did a little better. I offered a carrot at the front of the stall and she perked right up. Lorie was on her way in and at that point, she was being much more social (once carrots were on the table) Nibbled her hay a bit. We decided to turn them out, she seemed MUCH better when she had her little buddy and open space. We think she was just depressed indoors, but boy did she ever scare me! By the end of the day, she was her normal self and made it very clear to me that she wanted DINNER! Phew, what a relief.
So again, I didn’t start stalls until crazy late (plus the fact I had 30% more to do)! By the time they were done, it was almost time for the boys to ride. Was able to lunge a very lazy Raz (who needs some serious work!) and give Irish half an hour of turnout. Boy is she ever fun to watch. She leaped and bucked in the snow, digging, rolling, trotting around. What a funny girl. So 2:00 rolled around and no boys, they are usually late, not a surprise. So I don’t take the horses out until they get there anyway. I put myself to work catching up on some other things and tidying around close by. 2:30, nothing. 3:00 nothing. 3:30 nothing. 4:00 nothing. At that point I decided they weren’t coming, and went about transferring horses.
Echo went out (I felt bad for her, she was only indoors for the boys to ride, hence why she was rearing Saturday) into the big paddock. Now to get Grace there. Knowing she wouldn’t leave Pretzel behind, I had to take a lunge line and hope he followed. He did for the most part, but found the bits of hay I had lost on my various treks to feed them. So a bit of tug-o-war but not too bad. Echo was running around like a crazy lady, happy to be out, and the moment I got grace in the paddock, oh boy! They were all trotting circles around me! It was getting complicated with all the ropes. Pretzel almost got away (and to the hay) but I caught him in time. Fortunately he was a doll and followed me back to the barn despite the fact he would rather be with his friends. He was walking very well, so I was pleased with this. He was also very happy to be moved to Lynn’s barn which is much cooler than our heated barn (and easier on his furry self).
To make matters a little more interesting, the poo wagon couldn’t get up to poo mountain in order to make a deposit. So considering it was overflowing, I had to leave stalls a bit messier than usual, and wasn’t able to dump the last wheelbarrow load. I am very ashamed of the stalls Sunday night but I was running out of options. Jen if you are reading… SORRY! I did the best i could!
Sigh… all there was left to do was feed the horses and top up their water. As I fed Irish, who was literally the LAST bucket of food, she spooked and I heard a rumbling noise beyond my bucket clanking. I look to the windows at the end of the barn and its WHITE. Just white. And continued to be white for an eternity of moments. ALL the snow from the roof of the barn decided to come crashing down on my nice path, the ramp to the poo wagon, and my car. I heard from behind me Ruby said “Wow did you see that!” and I thought to myself “why couldnt this have happened 5 minutes from now”
After I shoveled.
Yeah that sounds like its the right way this weekend should end.