Monday 8 November 2021

Wild Weather (with a side of riding)

 The weather has been horrible this fall. Every second day we have some kind of wind/rain/storm advisory - a couple of days ago we even had waterspout/tornado warnings, which is just plain weird. The remainder of the time it seems like wet and windy is the name of the game. The lakes and streams are overflowing, the ground is saturated, and it's generally very unpleasant out there with the winter temperatures just above freezing combined with the rain and wind. I'm game to ride in the rain (you kind of have to be to live here) but what I wouldn't give for even one dry day! Add in the time change so it's dark at 5 if the sun's out, 4ish if it's cloudy, and the loss of a favorite garden tree to the wind and wet, and I'm feeling pretty dissatisfied.

Really? I thought earthquakes were our potentially catastrophic 'thing'. Now we need to add forest fires and tornados.

G and I have been looking elsewhere (NS being a top choice) and pondering a big move for a while, so we spent some time hiding inside perusing real estate this weekend. I realize there are actual winters and weather events elsewhere, but I'm kind of done with the 8 months of rain we call fall/winter/spring here. Plus, it's fun to dream of all the spare cash we'd have - prices in most parts of Canada, even in bigger centers, are maybe a third of what they are here currently, cost of living (taxes, utilities, gas, groceries, etc) is usually far less too. Nice farm with personal indoor riding arena, here I come, lol :)

Hello yes, I would love to own this lakefront hobby farm with cool house and barns, plus have a few hundred grand left over for fun things.

Don't worry, though, it's not been all sitting around complaining and dreaming of nicer days - I did do some horse blog worthy things this last week!

We had planned to ride nearly every day, but the weather got the best of us as far as hitting the trails (it's just too dangerous with the falling trees and branches in the winds) so longeing has been my go to at the barn. I trailered down to the indoor in desperation mid week, but a group had it booked last minute and it was already dark out, plus the outdoor is flooded anyway, so no ride. On the plus side, Sophie trailered super well all on her own and was entirely sensible given how noisy it was in there with the wind and rain pummeling us. She was so good we stopped and did some grocery shopping on the way home while she happily stayed cozy and ate her hay net.

Between being soaking wet and filling hay nets - this was the state of me. One day maybe G will find someone who looks civilized to hang out with. Until that day, he gets to go grocery shopping with half a bale of hay and a trail of mud following him.

The following day, inspired by Emma, I cleaned up the trailer and all my tack/gear. The trailer right now currently serves as my tack room and daily hay/feed storage so it gets messy pretty quickly. I want to get a battery installed in the trailer to run the lights without having the truck hooked up, but for now I put in some LED light strings to tide me over and they're great - I'm going to leave them as a fun alternate light source even after the 'real' lights are hooked up permanently.

Tack room, it's just a USB powered light string running off a power bank at the tack room light switch. I got all 'fancy' in the horse side, their lights have a remote and sync to music and change colors if you like. No real purpose to that, mostly just thought it might be funny for camping ;)

FINALLY, I got out for a ride on the weekend. The weather was again horrible, but this time the indoor was there invitingly empty, so off I went in there.

And, umm, at 3:45pm it was this dark given the gross weather. The lights ARE older in there - but to be fair it seemed dim and shadowy but not this dark IRL.

I had A LOT of pony. I hadn't ridden in a week, she'd been cooped up in her pen for most of it, and it had been months since she'd been in the indoor (and I don't think she'd ever been in there alone). Last year I would have just longed or at a minimum been very anxious about getting on. I was so fed up with not being able to ride, though, that I just crossed my fingers and hopped on, and guess what? It was FINE. There were some minor antics and silly spooking, but I put her into a big trot right away and she happily got to work. I had no real brakes for a while, but neither did I overly feel like I was been run off with - she just wanted a nice forward, expressive trot and didn't really deviate from that if I left her alone. Honestly, it probably would have scored quite well in a dressage test and since she's often a little disinclined to be really forward (and I have a history of not being brave enough to really allow it when offered), I just let it be rather than fussing with making her come back when she got too flat or rushy here and there. Let the exercise (serpentines, circles, and spirals in this case) do the work for you and all that.

Quite brave, really, in this dark indoor with the wind blowing through the open bits.

So, that was a fun experiment and a real positive out of all the struggles with weather. I CAN hop on with minimal prep and some time off. She's probably not going to mess around being super silly anymore - just give her a job and we'll be fine. I feel like we're turning the corner as far as partnership goes. She's not so much of a baby anymore and there are enough buttons installed that I can give her a variety of jobs to do. I trust her more to make good decisions, plus she's slowed down mentally a bit and thinks before acting. She checks in and trusts me to take care of anything she's concerned about. That's not necessarily measurable progress, but I think it's the most important thing we can have going for us and a great building block for all the more quantitative things.

This post is super long already, but G came along and watched us and brought up an interesting point. "Bridget would have tossed you if she was that excited, but Sophie just looked like she wanted you to make her work" I could only agree. He carried on: "Bridget always does the same move, it's like the most efficient way of making you fall off and it looks intentional.  I know you don't always trust her but Sophie always looks like she's trying to do what you want. Even when she's being extra dramatic I'm never worried for you." True story. Despite her silly, mare-ish exterior, she's never once been anything less than 100% honest and ready to work when we get right down to it. Sometimes the husband has great horsey insights.

B is the cutest and can do all the things, but when she's in a 'mood' and says no, all bets are off and she can be VERY naughty.

Also why my go-to with an excitable horse is not normally to just hop on - Bridget has trained me well in the darker side of ponies, it seems ;)



  1. Ugh, your weather sounds atrocious!! Buy I'm glad G was able to accompany you to the indoor and provide you with some insight about Sophie! ☺️

    1. Husbands are great for observing stuff that's probably simple to see if you're not as absorbed in it as I am :D The weather has just been unbelievable. A friend and I were having a serious discussion last night about sending our horses south with someone so they can be ridden outdoors and have pasture time more regularly.

  2. Nova Scotia? That would be wonderful to have you move to my province. Be careful though- some of those beautiful farms are kind of far away from things and may not have good internet (or any). Feel free to send me any listings and I can put it in context for you. :) (if you like, no need to do that).

    1. Good point! We'd ideally like to be within an hour or so of Halifax, but I imagine there are still plenty of properties in that radius that could be a little too isolated - I do need some internet to work! I won't bother you because at this point we're still researching and dreaming. We're looking at 1-2 years out when G retires and some of our obligations here settle down :)

  3. Your weather sounds awful. It's al tradeoffs though, as I'm sure you know, and yes other places you will get so much more for your $.

    You husband sounds very perceptive about the ponies. Mine is the same. Not a horse person but always is on the money about behavior and emotions. Odd for someone who doesn't talk much!

  4. The weather HAS been utter shit. Wettest October of the last three.

  5. buy the hobby farm so I can live vicariously through you lol