Snow, glorious snow!

Cross country skiing is almost as much fun as riding.

Last week it was cold. The ground was hard and their was ice everywhere. It was too cold to ride and the footing was awful. I felt like hibernating.

Last night we had 8-9 inches of gorgeous, powdery snow!

Okay, it was still too cold to ride (my cutoff is 20-degrees and this morning it was 15 degrees but felt closer to zero given the wind chill . . . but it was perfect for cross country skiing. I like cross country skiing almost as much as riding. Not quite as much but there’s something magical about skimming along through the snow listening to the hiss of the skis as they slide through the snow.

I am lucky enough to be able to ski to the barn on snowy mornings. We live on the same trail system as the barn so I am the designated “feeder” on days when people don’t want to risk life and limb on the roads.

This morning was wonderful. It was almost too deep for Kirby and Woolly, my two dogs, but they gamely followed in my tracks. I was the first person on the trails this morning and the snow was storybook perfect and absolutely pristine.

There were icicles on the horses’ whiskers. When I arrived at the barn the horses were toasty and warm under their blankets but had icicles hanging off their whiskers and forelocks. Judging by the tracks in their pasture, the snow hadn’t slowed them down one bit. Freedom’s barefoot experiment continues to go well. I’m impressed by how little chipping appeared despite last week’s frozen tundra and now that there’s snow it’s great to see how well the bare hoof handles it. This is the first time I’ve had a horse barefoot in the winter and I guess I’m still surprised by how much traction he has and pleased by the fact that I haven’t had to deal with snow balling up in the shoe (let’s face it, even with rim pads or bubble pads that sometimes happens).

I’m hoping that it warms up enough to ride. I can’t wait to see how he does when I take him out into the fields for a gallop.

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