|Nothing says springtime like a brand new foal…right?|
This has been a particularly rough winter. We haven’t had any major blizzards here in central Kentucky, nor did we have a debilitating ice storm like we did last year. No, this winter wasn’t so dramatic, but it has just sort of droned on and on and on with neverending cold weather and just enough snowfall to be inconvenient. But even though it’s been gloomy and has barely gone above freezing all week, I’m optimistic that spring is here. Here’s why.
We’re not quite to The Big Shed yet, but Snoopy has definitely decided that it’s time to let go of the winter wardrobe. As I’m sure many of you have experienced it doesn’t matter how diligent you are about having clothes for the barn and clothes for everything else. By the Law of Horse Hair Transference, your non-barn clothes will pick up a few hairs during shedding season. Maybe it’s because you go from the barn to the car, then later, in your non-barn clothes, you get back in that same car which is now full of hair and other barn debris. In any case, my horse is jet black and the horse I ride in lessons is flea-bitten gray, so no matter what color I wear, there’s horsehair in my life that will show up on it.
2. I need an archeologist’s toolkit to find my horse.
I hate ice and snow as much as the next rider, but the upside is that when the ground is frozen and/or covered in snow, there is no mud. Now that the snow has melted and the ground has started to thaw—a sure sign of spring—Snoopy is coming in from turnout every day covered in mud from nose to tail. Chiseling my horse out of the dried mud that encapsulates him has become a part of the regular pre-ride routine. I think he must actually lie down in the mud and grind his head into the ground, because he always has dirt behind his ears and in his old-horse sunken temples. These are spots that wouldn’t pick up so much mud during just a casual roll. Snoopy is truly an artist.
3. The babies are here!
A couple of weeks ago, the American Morgan Horse Association convention was held in Lexington, so I jumped on the opportunity and joined in on the farm tour. I was surprised to see that the farms already had a few brand new babies on the ground. It seemed early for foals, but I think that’s just because the local temperatures have been below what’s normal for this time of year for so long. Last week, I spotted a tiny foal out with his mom at the farm across the street from my boarding barn. And earlier this week, I passed by one of the big Thoroughbred farms and saw several mares with their new foals out in the field. So, I guess it really is foaling season, and foaling season means spring. Sort of.
4. We’re going to a show.
A while ago, I received my first horse show prize list of the season. “This is a sure sign of spring,” I thought. Then it snowed four inches later that day. But now that very show is almost upon us. It’s a low-key, fun show and fortunately it will be held indoors. But it is, indeed, the first show of the season, and Snoopy and I are planning to be there in less than two weeks! There is no horse bathing weather in the extended forecast. If this show offered a fuzziest, muddiest horse class, we’d probably win.
I’m not putting away the blankets and breaking out the fly masks just yet, but we’re getting there. Soon we’ll be complaining about bugs and dust and too-hot-to-ride temperatures. I can’t wait!
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