"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Charles's First Snow Ride

Okay Universe: so when I was a kid living on a tropical island and I said, "I HATE THE HEAT! I WANNA LIVE IN ALASKA!" I was just a kid, okay? I had no clue what 20 degrees felt like, much less a windchill of -11 (which is what we had last night.)

My part of Maryland today.
Anchorage, AK today.

Very funny, Universe. Very funny.

The good thing about this arctic weather is that the snow that we had on Wednesday is still on the ground! And it's still fluffy!

On Thursday night I texted Charles, who was also working: "DO YOU WANT TO RIDE IN THE SNOW ON FRIDAY WITH ME???!!"

His answer: "Yes. As long as I don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn!" We both worked until 3:00 am. Normally I get out at 2:00 am but we had a very unstable patient arrive close to my scheduled time to leave, and I ended up staying to help out.

What is the perk of temps in the teens with wind chills in the negatives? That it makes 34 degrees feel positively balmy. Never thought I'd say "34 degrees" and "balmy" in the same sentence...

Charles pulled the girls from the front field and set them up with a flake of hay each so they could have a snack while we helped Kathy and Zoe fill water troughs and haynets. We then tacked up and set out.

Taking a photo of me getting a photo of him.

Lily was a little looky in the beginning but not bad at all. She "pointed" at things that concerned her; I acknowledged the with a glance and simply asked her to move on. She eventually stopped worrying about rocks and trees and just enjoyed herself on the trail.
We walked a ways then picked up an easy trot/gait (for Gracie) so that we could all warm up.
The late afternoon light was so beautiful.

I had told Charles about how the river gets ice on the banks when it gets really cold, so I took him through that route so he could see it.
I point at the tree that had fallen above the trail, "That's new."

The trails were in really good condition: they had been hiked but the snow was fluffy enough to give the horses a nice grip anyway so we ended up trotting a lot more than originally expected. We cantered in a few spots but I was still very careful about cantering: only on wider paths, preferably on slight inclines going uphill, and only where I could see the footing far ahead. The trail that runs parallel to the river had a couple of icy spots but it was like crushed ice. We walked that section anyway.

We took the Hidden Pond Trail back to the meadow trail. I was hoping we could do a longer canter there if the footing looked good...and it did! We just did an easy canter down one of the long sides of the meadow. We had the option of turning back towards the barn or going all the way around the meadow. Charles asked if we could canter one more time, and so we did...and he decided to catch it on video!

After that we called it a day and headed back towards the barn, as the sun had already disappeared behind the tree line. We had been out for a full hour and neither horse had broken a sweat. They each had their dinners and were turned back out for the night.

Charles had a ton of fun and is looking forward to repeating the adventure!

Zombie says, "Hi ten?!"


  1. I think the picture of Zombie really makes this post!:) It's funny because when I was growing up in North Dakota, Puerto Rico sounded like heaven to me:)

    1. Oh totally! And I can especially understand it after reading your descriptions of ND winters! I'll still take the humidity and warmth of the island with its ocean breezes over the blistering FL heat any day. I think what has always fascinated me about seasons is the fact that each one ends: you might get tired of one season after a while, but you know it's just a matter of time before you're onto the next one.

  2. Sounds like you, Charles and the girls had a lovely ride!

    I ♡ Zombie!

    1. It was a great day!
      And Zombie loves his fans right back! ;) I swear he poses for the camera.

  3. Haha I guess it's easy to spot the Canadian when I described the sunny -5 degrees (celcius) day as gorgeous several times today

    1. Hahaha totally! Though I too think that non-windy sunny winter days where the world is covered in snow , are beautiful. :)

  4. Oh my goodness Zombie!! Cute!!!!!!!

    I'm glad you guys got to ride in the snow. It's so much fun and I have my fingers crossed we will get a little bit this years so I can ride in it too. We sometimes go all winter without snow though so we will just have to see. I love the cantering video! Also the difference in your weather and the weather in Alaska cracked me up. So funny!

    1. Right??!! I thought that was hysterical!