I don't like the cold. I frequently complain, whine, and pout when temperatures fall below 40. I am also a fair weather rider and my horses pretty much get the winter off. Last week we had sub zero temps - today is nearing 60.
The warm weather brings unwanted side effects:
1.) The "Field Road of Doom". The field road has now turned to cankle (calf-ankle)deep mud in places and I now have to walk out to the barn. Luckily I was able to get Scotty's alfalfa, grain, and shavings back there on Saturday, nearly getting my truck stuck on the way out. Luckily there is a small subdivision on the east side of the barn where I can park and trek in. Muck boots are now my primary footwear as even the pastures are soggy now.
2.) Horse hair in the mouth. Two things I cannot stand in my mouth are hair of any variety (especially when found in my food) and tiny fish bones. I nearly throw up in my mouth just thinking about it and actually start gagging and dry heaving when they wind up in there. Shedding ponies result in hair in the mouth no matter how hard you try to avoid it. I'm thinking of investing in some of those surgical masks. As far as fish bones are concerned - I thought I learned my lesson - the fish I like are the Filet O Fishies at McDonalds. Last Friday I had a walleye sandwich at a restaurant. Supposedly boneless, you can imagine my surprise when I bit into a tiny little bone. Luckily I was able to keep my composure and unnoticeably spit my mouthful into a napkin. I did not finish my sandwich. I hate that.
3.) Flooded Barn. The runoff of melting ice usually turns three of the four stalls in our barn into swimming pools. Saturday Scotty's stall began to flood. I frantically chipped at the ice around the back door creating a drainage channel into the pasture instead of into the barn. So far so good. Three of Four stalls have been saved.
4.) Spring Fever! Fresh horses usually mean unscheduled dismounts. I've been lucky with the past few years *knock on wood*... but I just realized I have a 4 year old Thoroughbred who is off the track, feeling healthy, and has recently shown me how much pent up energy he has by racing around in the pasture and throwing bucks that would make rodeo horses jealous.
5.) Stuck trailer. Refer to #1 reason. My trailer is parked at the barn and removing it from the barn requires the quarter mile journey down the "Field Road of Doom". Currently it is not driveable, barely walkable and resembles that of quicksand. It is frustrating that I have opportunities to trailer my horses different places to ride now that the weather is warmer - but can't get them out at this point. Poor planning on my part - I should know better, however my trailer doubles as Scotty's alfalfa hay storage in the winter. I'd have no place to put his hay. I'll just have to wait for it to dry out in a couple of weeks.
So there you have it... my top 5 undesirable side effects of spring and warmer weather.
Scotty is well - yesterday we played "tag" in the pasture. He'd follow me for a treat and I'd duck behind the round bale feeder and pop out the other side. He'd paw and snake his head and trot after me. We both found this quite amusing for about 5 minutes, then he got bored and walked away. Scotty also enjoyed playing in the water tank. I caught him submerging his face and splashing around. I just love his little quirks. Today the farrier (bless his heart) is hiking down the Field Road of Doom to trim. I love spring!