We’re waist-deep into February and with it third winter, which looks a lot like first winter, only with some of second winter thrown in, and only appears in some years, most notably (and inconveniently) those in which you are trying to complete a horsemanship challenge.
Yesterday I spent the morning snowshoeing through someone’s private property (he lives in California, I was assured) looking for a missing Shetland sheepdog that had spent the past two nights out in the snow and wind and frigid temperatures. It’s not looking good for this dog, I thought, as I schlepped a couple miles following nothing but coyote and rabbit tracks.
Nor is it looking good for my horsemanship challenge, for which I did not log one hour last week. Some days snow management takes precedent, or pottery class, or working late at my desk to catch up for all the time I spent watching Elisa Wallace videos on YouTube. (Facepalm.) Other days it’s 18 degrees and I just nope the nope right out of the idea of doing anything involving a horse more than the need to feed.
Sunday I did go out and squat in the paddock for a half hour, scratching and rubbing and throwing a blanket over the mule’s head. This is the kind of horsemanship I like to practice in this weather. Leaning on the animals and offering them the pleasure of my fingernails run across their hides. Some of the horsemen I follow call this the real work; finding relaxation and implementing “ten-year-old girl training.”
Sure, whatever fitness we’d accumulated in January is slipping away. Yes, this is not going to get us any closer to those 40 hours promised. No, I didn’t ride. I’m just over here, buried in snow, having a covered arena, sure, but not really wanting to use it on a regular basis. The path up there is currently marked only by snowshoes.
Call it a third winter slump.
In more positive news, I did complete my January yoga challenge, and am so far 12/12 in my February challenge to write at least 750 words each day of the month.