Those white spots are snowflakes.

At the tail end of December, Colorado finally decided to have a little winter weather. And boy was it ever winter!

On the thirtieth, we had snow, freezing wind and temperatures that dropped in a matter of hours. Weather forecasters estimated that with wind chill we were looking at fifteen to twenty below for the night.

Rick and I worried about Miss Pepper handling the cold, and late in the afternoon went out to get a warmer coat for her. We figured we’d give Pepper’s old blanket to Bud and put her in the new one.

It was growing dark, spitting snow and way colder than I expected when we pulled up to the pasture. I offered a little prayer of thanks when I saw our two old sweeties right by the gate, happily munching on their evening hay. When they saw us they immediately headed toward the gate.

Thank you!

Thank you!

I was NOT looking forward to wandering all over the pasture at twilight looking for our kids.

We’d brought a little food, because they always expect food when they see us. It wasn’t much, but enough to distract them while we put the coats on.

We hoped.

Here’s where it got interesting.

I pulled Pepper’s blanket off her and handed it to Rick who immediately began buckling it around Bud.

I tossed the new coat over Pepper and realized I hadn’t completely opened it up.

The wind whipped at my face as I retraced my steps with buckles.

Unfortunately my hands were freezing and not working as well as I needed.

I felt like I had two hands with only thumbs.

I was reminded of a baby shower some twenty years ago where we challenged the expectant father to see how quickly he could put up the port-a-crib while holding a teddy bear (baby substitute) in his arms. It was one of those “new fangled” baby showers where the dads attended. He did very well, by the way, on his time trial. And now that baby is graduating from college this year. Where did that time go?

On our late December evening, I think we found the horse corollary to the port-a-crib challenge.

How quickly can you get two horses blanketed and return them to the pasture?

In the snow.

In the cold.

In the dark.

With horses that aren’t at all sure what in the heck you’re doing.

Pepper's new coat.

When we finally let the horses back into the pasture, Pepper kicked at Bud. It’s something I’ve never seen her do.

“Stop wearing my clothes,” she said.

Bud, who looked a bit like a kid in high-water pants, replied, “It’s not my fault. They put this coat on me. Do you think I’d have chosen your coat if I had a choice?”

“Well, okay. I guess you wouldn’t. But I’m not wearing it again until they wash it.”

Bud's coat


And with that, he returned to munching hay.

“Mares!” He snorted.