Friday, December 19, 2008

Welcome to New Siberia

I had three, count 'em, three snow days this week, plus a half day where most of us went home early as freezing rain threatened. Ahem, I moved away from Nebraska precisely because I hate this kind of weather. The horses can't get out, and they've all been put on half rations of grain so they don't knock down their stalls. I lunged Willow Monday, Wednesday, and tonight. I guess if this weather continues (and they're saying it will) I will have to toughen up, put on the ski tights under the breeches, and ride in spite of it all. I dislike riding when my thumbs and toes are frozen and my nose is running like a faucet.

My lungeing this week has focused on spiraling Willow in and out from 20 meters to 8 meters at both trot and canter. I've also been working on very sharp transitions between trot and canter at about 12 meters. Willow has been quite agreeable -- probably just happy to get out and about for a bit.

My dogs are the only ones happy about this weather, because the snow days have kept me at home, and they do like having a human at home all day. I don't believe I've formally introduced my canine companions. Say hello to Marko the vizsla.

I got Marko as a puppy, and he's now twelve years old (a little arthritic, but doing fine otherwise). He loves to give people hugs and lean on them. He also selects and brings me a shoe every morning.

This is Sam the GSP.

Six years ago, I was managing a dressage competition in Nebraska, and Sam came barreling through, much to the displeasure of the judges. I caught him and turned him in to animal control. No one claimed him, so I took him. He was about three at the time, and now is about nine. Sam loves to have his chin and throat rubbed. Squirrels are his nemesis.

And last but not least, here's Abby, the beagle-spaniel (?) mix.

I adopted Abby from a shelter when she was about one, and she's now about eleven. She was terribly timid when I got her but has really come out of her shell. She still goes catatonic when she hears fireworks or thunder, though.

They're all good dogs!


dp said...

But don't you love the feeling of your feet shattering into a million tiny pieces when you dismount after a cold ride?

We have another week of this in store by the looks of things. Our dogs also love it, but fetch is challenging with the snow. I have been forced to rely on a frisbee, and I am the crappiest frisbee thrower around. Therefore I am living with three under exercised herding dogs which does add some frustration to the chilly routine.

Equine Body Work said...

I am going a bit stir crazy. I live in Portland and ride out near Aurora. I haven't been able to get out for over a week. Today seems the worst by far. This all feels so strange, a bit surreal. Guess it's another day of bad movies and too much coffee. The picture of Marko is adorable. I love the last pic of all 3 of them, looking cozy.

Jana said...

Yay--dog pictures!

You obviously need to just move back to NE since you can't escape the bad weather.

Kelly said...

We were getting away relatively scot-free on the weather front, till today. Seriously, 14 degrees in Maryland? I don't even remember the last time that happened.

Nice to "see" you! Your dogs are adorable, and look quite unmotivated :)

-goldentoes from HC