Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked…or Equestrians
Winter came in with a bang this month in the mid-Atlantic. Our “winter” here in northern Virginia had consisted mostly of sunny, mild days. Suddenly, Mother Nature remembered what season it was and said, “Oops, here’s all the snow and cold you’ve been missing.” Snowstorm Jonas began rolling in about midday Friday. I got off of work early from my barn manager job and went to play in the fast-accumulating snow with my horse. We went for a ride, during which we saw a beautiful, bright red fox absolutely resplendent against the white snow. Then I tucked my horse in for the night and went home to hunker down.
When I awoke Saturday morning, I couldn’t believe my eyes—there was a wondrous amount of snow! Driving was out of the question. I shoveled our way out of the house and my mom and I walked to the barn in the midst of the blizzard.
It felt like we were on the set of The Day After Tomorrow. After 45 minutes of braving the wind and snow, we arrived to the barn.
The horses had all survived the night, but they’d have to deal with staying in, and they weren’t too happy about it. They looked longingly out of their stall windows, craving to stretch their legs and stimulate their minds. All we could do was provide them with clean stalls, hay, and water, and promise them they wouldn’t be cooped up forever.
By Sunday morning, the snow had stopped. With the help of a kind neighbor who visited the barn, I shoveled a path to the paddock closest to the barn.
The horses could finally stretch their legs after being confined to their stalls since Friday night. Most of the horses had never seen this much snow, and their expressions were priceless. They thoroughly enjoyed playing in the snow, for about 10 minutes, then they were worn out. It was quite a bit of work to wade through all that snow. I rode my horse again for a few minutes, pretending to be in Game of Thrones (bring it on, White Walkers!).
The horses had to spend the night in the barn again, but they seemed much more content. They peacefully munched their hay as I bid them farewell for the evening.
You don’t get days off when you have horses. Sometimes you even have to walk 45 minutes in a blizzard to go take care of them. But I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.
Watch a video of the horses playing in the snow!