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Frosty Noses Collage

Winter is beautiful, I’ll give her that.

When the temperature drops, the boarding facility where our two old sweeties live, gets quiet.

Not much action in the single digit temps.

Except of course, the two oddballs that feed their horses from the back of their car!

It was crystalline cold over the weekend. Many of the horses were blanketed and there was quite a fashion show in the pasture.

The Canada Geese hunkered in the snow in an adjoining field like little torpedoes of feather and ebony bills. Only occasionally would they venture into the leaden skies to change location.

The pasture horses were more interested than ever in getting in line for hay cubes and conversation. A frozen, snow-covered pasture is pretty boring. Nothing to do but wait for the hay truck to show up – and that’s only twice a day.

Some of the characters at the fenceline had whisker-cicles from their steamy breath hitting the freezing air.

I love these guys!

Hope you’re staying warm.

Pepper thanks you from the bottom of her sweet mare’s heart for your input about her new coat for the winter.

In the poll, the brown polka dot coat was clearly the winner.

Next was the blue plaid.

She’s pondering your suggestions with great care.

 

There has been a development however, that you need to know.

While I don’t as a rule use this blog for controversy, I must make an exception in this case and leak a set of memos between Pepper and the Chief Financial Officer for Two Old Horses and Me.

In the interest of full disclosure.

TO: Pepper

FR: CFO

RE: New winter coat

While I am sympathetic to your desire to update your wardrobe, I’m afraid I must inform you that it cannot happen this year. As you know, we are experiencing a downturn in the economy and have carefully allocated every dollar in our budget.

Our policy has always been to replace coats only when absolutely necessary. That is to say, when the old one is threadbare and no longer functional. And as you well know, your lovely blue coat is in perfect condition.

If we were to replace a coat, it would be for Bud. He’s wearing a hand-me-down from you, which isn’t even his correct size. It looks as if he’s wearing high water pants, and what self-respecting gelding wants that?

In sum, I must regretfully deny your request for a new winter coat.

 

TO: CFO

FR: Pepper

RE: New winter coat

I’ve talked with Bud and he says he doesn’t care about a new coat. We could easily transfer those resources to my coat fund.

 

TO: Pepper

FR: CFO

RE: New winter coat

Thank you for this information, however my answer is still “no.” If we don’t purchase a new coat for Bud (and that decision has not been finalized), then we will redirect those funds to purchase grain, hay cubes and other necessities for your survival through the winter.

 

TO: CFO

FR: Pepper

RE: New winter coat

#*$%!! (expletive deleted)

I hate budgets…

 

 

Note from Jean:

Thank you dear readers for allowing me to be silly with you.

There are days when it helps to step away from the stress and drama and seriousness that life sometimes brings. And what better place than here with the horses and you!

Hello heavy coat.

Hello gloves.

Hello Bogs.

Hello horse blankets.

Hello winter hats.

Hello snow.

Hello slush.

Hello biting, freezing wind.

Hello hungry horses.

This October snowstorm brought broken tree limbs, power outages and a vivid announcement that Old Man Winter is in the house.

The snow will melt and the temperature may creep up to the 50’s over the weekend, but make no mistake, the season has changed.

I’ve grumbled about it, but in truth, when I was out feeding our two old sweeties yesterday afternoon, it was quite lovely.

The snow served as insulation, giving a hushed, surreal quality to the pasture.

 

The herd was quiet, where yesterday they were wound up. Horses don’t need a weather forecast to tell them a storm is on the way.

 

Soon we’ll shift to a daytime feeding schedule and my winter routine will be in full swing.

 

It is what it is.

 

It’s all good.

Pepper in her winter coat

Winter is most decidedly upon us.

It may not be the official calendar date, which doesn’t appear until the twenty-first of December.

But in pasture and people terms, it’s winter.

Here’s how I know:

  • It’s dark by four-thirty or five each day, now that we’ve switched from Daylight Savings Time to plain old Mountain Standard Time. My feeding schedule has moved to the middle of the day to accommodate the early darkness.
  • The hay truck is making twice daily deliveries to hungry, bored horses.
  • It’s time to get out the blankets for the animals and hats, gloves, boots and winter coats for the humans.
  • The road leading to the pasture, as well as a good portion of the pasture itself, is a sea of slippery, gooshy, mucky, wet mud. My car and shoes already tell the tale.

A first experience with snow

Before you get a wrong idea that all I’m going to do is complain about the cold, I want to share with you something truly magical that happened recently.

Remember the foal that was born early in July? I first met him when he was just a couple of days old. Then later in the summer, I got to spend time with him when he had outings with his mother in the pasture that adjoins our little herd of oldsters.

On the day of the first snow, the foal was introduced to the white stuff. The horse keeper had saddled mom and was giving her a little walkabout in one of the fields. Right behind her was the foal. He didn’t need a lead rope, because he was sticking to mom like white on rice.

Mostly.

Every now and then he’d lag behind just a bit to take a good long look at his new environment. Then mom and rider would get too far away, and he’d give a healthy whinny and run to catch up.

As they made several revolutions around the field, I noticed a group of horses glued to the other side of the fence watching this little guy. I think these were some of the same mares that kept track of him earlier in the summer. It was the sweetest sight. They were ears up, fully engaged, content to watch the baby. I know the feeling!

It was yet another reminder for me to revel in the present moment. Because for that glorious span of time, all I knew was the magic of a mother and baby frolicking in newly fallen snow.

And I ask you, can life get any better than that?

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