A Warm Winter Sunday

The only time I am thankful for New England’s crazy weather is when 50 degree weather is dropped on us in the dead of winter. Two weeks ago I was piling on the the heavy weight blankets so the Prince wouldn’t freeze with hairy horse buns off, while last week I was ready to strip him naked and let the pony fuzz fly! So strip he did. This weekend it was FINALLY warm enough to take off all of Ax’s blankets and let him be a wild naked horse in the snow.

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Like someone in too tight clothes and an uncomfortable sweater, Ax was beyond excited to go run around with his clothes off. After quadruple checking that there was no cookies left in my pockets, he took off like a rocket. For a horse that trips on a flat ground, galloping through almost knee-deep snow is quite an accomplishment. Fifteen minutes later and a lot of flared nostrils and snorting while running around like a nut, Ax finally decided that the effort to lift his legs that high was too much.

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Then came the itchies. Finally free of his wool sweater of a blanket, the snow became a perfect place to roll the itch away. Down and over he went, leaving behind his horsey snow angel of flattened snow, hair, and dirt. Unlike most horses who take off like a bat out of hell after rolling, Ax just stands there and stares at me as if none of his craziness ever happened.

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There is something about getting out of the cramped indoor ring and riding in the snow that is so satisfying. Since it is staying light out longer (YAY!) and it wasn’t cold enough to freeze my horse’s legs off, the outdoor ring full of untouched snow was tempting. With a little persuasion to Ax that he could walk in the deep stuff, into the ring we went. Normally Ax has a classic warmblood trot, big and lofty, but apparently the snow attached springs to his feet. My long-strided beast turned into a hopping saddlebred who had to lift his knees up to his muzzle in .02 seconds. Along with his knees, up went his tail and his head; he was clearly going for the full effect. And if you think trotting is hard, cantering is even harder. His usual smooth stride transformed into a cross between a rocking horse and a rabbit. Ax obviously thought that jumping the snow was the best idea.

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Alas, the warm weather fun cannot last forever. Good ‘ol New England is getting another large helping of 20 degree and below temperatures this week. Bring back the heavy weight blankets…

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