Saturday, March 7, 2015

TA & WFTJ Blog Hop: Winter Woes

Saiph from Wait for the Jump and Karen from Thee Ashke have joined up for a fun blog hop.

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


  1. A lot of fun pictures. I love the one of Chrome chasing Storm. That tornado sounded terrifying. I used to have tornado dreams in which I was surrounded by them. Then one day I was at my daughter's softball game and looked out past the park to see several twisters spinning around in the distance. Tornadoes were almost unheard of in Nevada, so I just sat there with my mouth hanging open, wondering if I was hallucinating. I looked around at everyone in the bleachers, and they were so focused on the game that they didn't notice them. Then we heard sirens racing in that direction and people started seeing them. I was ready to jump the fence and run out into the field to try to get everyone to evacuate if they got any closer, but they eventually dissipated.

    1. Oh wow!! That would have been terrifying and fascinating at the same time!! I've never seen a tornado in person before. It's always after dark or raining too hard to see when they come through here (and I'm hiding lol). I've seen them on T.V. and I'd like to keep it that way lol.

  2. I have always had a terrible fear of tornadoes. *shudder*

    1. Me too! They are just so devastating and there is no predicting where they will go. My anxiety is always really high in the spring during thunderstorms lol.

  3. When I was 10 we were in Kansas and there was a tornado warning - we were watching it go up in severity on the corner of the TV screen (something we don't have in Seattle). I thought a train was going by, it was so loud, and we were sleeping in the car cuz there was no room in the mobile home we were visiting. I kept thinking "mobile home, how ironic" but I was terrified. I can't believe people live in places with tornadoes and don't have safe places to hide - you had to stay in a closet? That doesn't sound safe either. Then again, back home, many homes are not built earthquake-safe, and none of them are volcano safe: )

    I wanted to try again to answer some of your questions that you left on several of my posts lately, so you don't have to go searching: )

    I also am starting to reconsider using KT if we aren't in an arena doing dressage. In fact, if she gives me any trouble again, I'm going to tell her "Come back when I have an arena again, if that happens." She doesn't really seem invested in helping me - it's just a job. She also never smiles.

    Correct, obesity is not a problem in Germany. This is why it's so shocking for Germans to travel to America and witness the population. They are truly appalled. If someone is overweight here, it's likely they are also quite tall. I'm glad you agree with the concept that larger horses are already stressed by their own weight - this is a fact not many people seem to grasp.

    Thanks for your kind comments, I appreciate it. Also, last night I dreamt you and I boarded our horses together (Baasha and Chrome) and you had 2 other horses. I remember thinking, "Geez, 3 horses!?"

    1. Yeah I've always thought it was weird that places where there aren't a lot of tornadoes have more tornado shelters than places that do!! The closet is safe if it's not a direct hit. They are under the stairs, in the center of the house, right next to a thick concrete wall. At the time it was the best protection I had. I'm very happy to have a tornado shelter now though!! It can withstand a direct hit.

      I agree with everything you said about KT. She does not sound interested in getting Mara better like Mell does....

      That's really interesting about the obesity/Germany thing. I guess I never really thought about it. I wonder what the difference is? Maybe because they are so quick to ban things that are unhealthy?

      That's so funny about your dream! I would love to have been able to board Chrome and Baasha together so we could go riding and hang out!! I wonder what the two other horses meant? Maybe one was the donkey? The other maybe was Faran? How weird! Thanks for sharing it with me. :D

      By the way I always check the box for replies to be sent to my email so if you respond on your blog I will see them without having to go search for them. I don't mind you answering here either though, so whichever you prefer to do. :D

    2. The tornado story is terrifying. I have always had a deep-rooted fear of both tornadoes and volcanoes, probably because you can't really predict either one. But it's bad enough that I have a hard time watching tornado movies.

      I was born in Oklahoma on a military base. We only lived there for 3 months after I came into the world so of course I don't remember anything, but my mom tells the story of how she was chased by a tornado once while driving back to the house. She was fine and so was our house but it was too close for comfort. I'm glad my dad got relocated to Louisiana after that!

      I have seen a tornado once. On my blog in the story of "Charles and Me" tab, I tell about how we got stranded on a deserted island. We ended up stranded when we had 7 storms roll in overnight and the Coast Guard couldn't come back to pick us up. The first sign of the impending storms were the 2 tornadoes we saw out at sea from the island mesa's caverns. They were far, far away and they stayed far, far away thankfully, but it was an impressive sight all the same. I should go digging in my photo albums...I have photos of those tornadoes somewhere!

      I'm glad you and your house were okay, but I can only begin to imagine how afraid you were. *hug*

      The snow photos are so so beautiful! Storm looked like a wolf among that snow. And it never ceases to amaze me how dark Chrome was as a baby. I know this in my head and have watched him graying out through the course of reading your blog, but it's still shocking when looking at his baby pics! :) Glad I'm not the only one who thinks snow is beautiful! ;)

      Thank you for participating in the hop! :D

    3. Oh wow that is insane!! I hope you can find those pictures. I bet they must be pretty amazing. I'll have to go back to your "Charles and Me" tab and read the story again. :D

      Storm was totally in her element when it snowed. It may have been her love of snow that makes me love it so much. :) I see Chrome every day and I'm the same way looking at his baby pictures hehe. I'm so thankful for digital photography so I can always remember him as a baby.

      Thanks for hosting the hop! I didn't think I would have much to write, but once I got started.. well you see how it went hehe. I had fun!

  4. i like a little bit of snow to look at - but then i want it gone again lol. it bothers me when it just sticks around getting in the way :)

    1. Hehe yeah after a few days it does kind of get in the way. Especially when we needed to move another bale of hay lol.

  5. Hey! So it's come to my attention that Blogger isn't updating/redirecting my old blog to my new one. I'm going around commenting on all the blogs I follow because I don't know how to contact everyone otherwise. My old blog Horses: The Process of Learning is back in action at This is some kind of blogger error. But I would love for you to come follow me over there! Thanks girl!!

    1. Oh hey I had no idea you had moved your blog! The new link you left in this comment isn't working for me though. :(

  6. I'm so grateful there are no tornados, earthquakes, volcanoes or tsunamis in Europe - natural disasters scare the living daylights out of me and keep me happy in northern Europe *nod*

    1. Can I come live with you during the spring????? :D


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