This winter has been a tough one for equestrians. We have seen torrential rains, deep mud, unending snow, bitter winds and record lows. Words like "The Pineapple Express", "The Siberian Express", "Polar Vortex" and "El Nino" have meant less riding time and more time staring out the window at the weather. This winter has left barns devastated by collapsing roofs, trucks stranded in hub deep mud and frostbitten fingers and toes. All of this has led to our first blog hop. Thee Ashke and Wait for the Jump have teamed up to ask:
1. What has been the worst (and/or best?) of this winter so far?
2. What is the worst storm/winter you've ever experienced? Did you dig your way out of your house through feet of snow after an epic blizzard? Did you survive a tornado? Have you lived through a hurricane? Tell us!
3. What is the best winter you've ever had? What made it so special?
You don't necessarily have to talk about snow. This is a hop for equestrian bloggers to vent about the weather as much as they want, and to help those that are tired of winter to not feel alone! "Winter" is not limited to amounts of snow or cold temperatures. In the West Coast, winter involves torrential rains and green things. In the South, it means ice storms. In Florida, it is synonymous with the most
beautiful time of the year. In Australia and Argentina, winter is all about summer heat. Everyone is welcome to participate, regardless of climate!
1. What was the worst (and/or best) of this winter so far?
I think the worst was the change in Chrome's behavior with the cold weather and fat supplement I had him on which resulted in me falling off for the first time. That probably sounds melodramatic, but I feel like it has set me back a lot in the confidence department (not to mention the desire to ride department). He has calmed down a lot since I took him off of the fat supplement and I'm not terrified or anything, but I really have no desire to push myself to ride in the cold anymore. I'll wait until spring. The good part was that I did a LOT of riding in the fall and saw a lot of improvement. We accomplished a lot. We had a really mild winter all the way up to late January/February. We didn't have our first snow (or even ice really) until February. We didn't have a lot of rain until then either. It has been a fairly nice winter, especially with my new coat. That coat has made all the difference in the world. I will never buy cheap coats again! I still wear my old, cheap coat to work because I work with a two year old and I don't want her getting my new one messy. I'll go out to do chores in the new one in the morning and be completely comfortable and then a couple of hours later I'll be in my old coat just to walk out to the car and be shivering! I can't recommend LL Bean enough after this experience. Sorry for the coat tangent lol. Truly if I were to really complain about this winter it would be job related/getting bronchitis related, not weather or horse related. :D
2. What is the worst storm/winter you've ever experienced? The worst ones I can think of are a tornado and an ice storm. I don't remember the dates at all and I don't have any pictures so you'll just have to Google ice storm damage and tornado damage to see what it looks like.
The ice storm wasn't really scary.. just a major inconvenience and painful when I fell on the ice (several times, but I'm not admitting to anything hehe). We lost power for about a week if I remember it right. Heat isn't a problem because we heat our home with wood heat (we don't have central heat or air at all). The problem with no electricity is that we have no water! Our well is electric. At the time of this storm (I was a teenager I think) we didn't even have a generator. There were trees down across the road so we couldn't leave our house (I don't think we could even get up the driveway). These days if we lose power for whatever reason I sneak up to the school where hubby works and shower in the gym if the roads are safe LOL!
The tornado was terrifying. I have spent my entire life being afraid of tornadoes, but up until this one none had been all that close. I've spent every spring of my life glued to the T.V. during every storm waiting to see if we would be under a tornado warning (can't hear the sirens at my house). There have been many, many, many times I have had to hide in a closet. At my old house I hid in the hallway with me and the dogs under the futon mattress. So when this tornado hit I dashed to the closet and covered myself with blankets. I was scared, as I always am, but I didn't really think anything bad would happen. That is until I heard it! I had never in my life heard a tornado before. I can't even describe the sound. I was so scared I thought I was going to hyperventilate/pass out. Even after it had passed I was too scared to get out of the closet and just stayed under the blankets crying. It went within a quarter mile of the house. We lost power, but there was no damage to our place. I will never forget that day. It took months before I could see the path of the damage without crying. I'm so thankful that after spending my entire life being afraid of tornadoes that we finally have a tornado shelter!!
3. What is the best winter you've ever had? What made it so special?
This is a hard one to answer... I've never been a winter person. I shiver when it's below 70F. So I don't do a lot outdoors in the winter and I love being outdoors. I can think of particular days that I loved, but a whole winter? I just don't know. I think the best I can come up with is 2009 because that's the year I got Chrome. He was a weanling and a dream come true and I'd been without a horse for two years so he got me back outdoors even though it was cold. I also got to ride on Christmas day in the snow for the first time ever (we almost never have a white Christmas, snow doesn't start until Jan. or Feb. here and some years we don't get any at all) in 2012. That was totally awesome. I think the biggest highlights of winter for me is snow, especially if it's more than a couple of inches. I remember getting ten inches one time. That was SO AWESOME!!!! I know a lot of you hate snow, but I so rarely see it that it really is so magical to me. Besides snow and frozen ground is so much easier to deal with than all the mud. I hate mud. And rain. I'll dig through my pictures and see if I can find any of the big snow.
Ice storm when I was a teenager. This might have been the one that had us out of power for a week. It looks innocent, but it's not lol.
Below is 2008 I think. We got ten to twelve inches of snow. That's the most snow I have ever seen in my entire life. We had so much fun in it!
Look at Stormy! Check out how much snow is on my bike hehe.
Below were all after 2009, but I don't feel like looking up actual dates. Here are some of my favorite snow pictures. I LOVE snow!
I know it's blurry... but those ears!!
Look how deep it was! Storm was not a short dog. :)
My white(ish) Christmas ride.
Yep snow makes me happy. :D