Riding during the winter was easier when I lived up North. Pretty much every barn had an indoor arena and while some were smaller and more difficult to ride in than others, the footing remained dry and you were out of the elements. While living in WI, I would ride indoors down to -5F which allowed me to ride pretty consistently year round. Indoor arenas are almost unheard of down here though there are a smattering of covered arenas which serve to protect you from the rain in the winter and the worst of the sun in the summer.
This past weekend we got our first snow storm of the year. Since moving here in 2013, we have always had one week of nasty snowy/icy weather and then a return to sunny and mid 50s temperatures. I’m not very hopeful that this year will follow suit. It has dumped rain in huge quantities since September and there is no end in sight with another 1.5″ predicted for this Friday again. The ground is a soggy mess and my arena is currently under ice.
All this made me stop and think on Sunday about my training arrangement. The barn is an hour north where they got more snow than down here and I was nervous that perhaps dropping him off wasn’t the best use of my money. I reached out to the woman via text verifying that she does in fact have a covered space to ride in so that he would get worked the agreed upon 5 days a week. Her response was that she didn’t but I could still bring him up. I really do not see the point in paying to have him sit in her pasture/barn for a month and not get worked. He can do that for free at home. I’m glad I asked her and I am a bit miffed that she didn’t say anything first. I would have been really pissed had I taken off work, driven all the way there and then be told he wouldn’t be getting 5 days a week work.
This means no boot camp until probably after the holidays and into the new year. I’ve reached out to the local trainer only 30 minutes from my house that has the cross country course and a covered arena hoping maybe she has a spot available to take us on. It probably makes more sense to go with her anyway since she is the one I hope to transition to for lessons once we have our sea legs back under us. This way she knows him inside and out. We will see what comes of that.
There are a ton of options for trainers over in Aiken and their weather is more stable than ours two hours northwest. A lot of the top eventers in the NE winter there and the Aiken Facebook page is a constant stream of requests for temporary housing for humans and horses from now through March as people flood the area for winter training and showing opportunities. I’m not sure my timing is all that great for getting in with a trainer there plus the prices sky rocket in the winter. Plus it is 2 hour away and would be very difficult for me to find the time to head down for a lesson. It is a back up plan I hope to not have to engage.
Meanwhile I am awaiting the arrival of my beloved new sticky leather saddle. The tack shop lost power with the winter storm and will hopefully be back to normal today or tomorrow. I might be able to sneak up there after work tonight if it has come in, but if not my Friday is now free so I can make the trip in the rain then. This weather pattern of sunny and mid 50s Mon-Thursday and then 30s and pouring rain Fri-Sun has settled over the area since early October and will not go away. It is depressing and makes building a relationship with the hairy orange beast difficult. I’m also looking into the option to pay to use the indoor at the trainer’s facility and haul over there to work him a few days a week so that at the very least we are working on our hauling skills, working in a new environment and get some saddle time in as well.
Not all is lost, but 2018 sure is starting to kick my butt and I’m finding my typical resolve to always find the open window when a door closes begin to wane a bit after all that has been thrown at me this year. I still need to do my Waggy Tails update (she is generally ok, still happy, still wagging but her leg is dead and we are up in the air whether to give it more time or amputate) and Duke Energy coming to do a site visit planning to ruin our entire property with a new high voltage tower line through it which I’ve tried numerous ways to fight and am hitting road blocks every which way I try. I’ve tried to write a post about that numerous times, but each time makes me want to vomit, so I stop. Fifteen years of plotting, planning and working hard to make this dream come true and after a short 10 months of living the dream it all comes crashing down. My nerves are on edge and being completely honest, this boot camp for H’Appy was what was pulling me through the rest of this year. Now that that seems to be gone as well…well lets say I’m not a great person to be hanging around right now.
But again…all is not lost. I have some tries left with Duke, a new situation potentially in the works for H’Appy and that sticky leather luxe saddle on its way. Always look for the open window folks. I swear it is generally there.