Tuesday, February 16, 2021

just wintery things ;)

Maryland was originally forecast to feel the polar vortex effects this past weekend, but somehow escaped the bitterly cold temperatures. Not so lucky on the precipitation front, however. 

the trees stayed beautifully frosted with snow like this for almost two days!
We've had a couple snow storms, plus a few scattered days here and there of freezing rain and sleet. Which, obvi, is kinda gross haha. Tho frankly with temperatures staying at or above freezing by and large, I'm not gonna complain too bad!

the juxtaposition with baltimore's big old gorgeous turn of the century high rises was really stunning
The weather did mean, however, that the little schooling dressage show I signed up for this past weekend was postponed. I know, I know, I can barely go a day without droning on about 'giving up on dressage', so why would I sign up for a show??

Eh... Mostly bc it's at home, it's $15, and it's something to do (and supportive of the barn), so why not? We just signed up to do a Novice test so it's basically identical to a typical ride anyway. Might as well get scored for it, right? Bc why just trot around minding your own business when you could trot around and have a judge note that you kinda suck at it???? 

LOL.... Kidding, sorta ;) We'll see how it goes if / when the show actually happens!

lol obvi there's a less glamorous aspect too --- like low tire pressures...
this EP Auto portable air compressor continues to be basically the best thing ever
In the meantime, the nasty weather motivated me to get in front of any potential truck issues. I'm supposed to take two friends and their horses to a dressage clinic next weekend and don't really want any surprises when I turn the key in the ignition. (Bc, dear lord, once is enough!)** So a little proactive TLC felt appropriate haha.

(**And if you've never read that brief-but-brutal saga from a mid-winter truck trip gone wrong, you should 100% click that link LOL)

horses pretty zen about the conditions
Obvi filling up all the tires was a no-brainer (esp that one tire that probably needs to be repaired or replaced...). Tho.... I gotta admit the truck didn't exactly *roar* to life when I turned the key. It was more of a sputtering guttural grunt. So... Yea that battery was probably well on its way to completely losing its charge, whoops. 

just look at all those sweet fuzzy ears! <3
So I ran the compressor off my Mazda's battery while the truck idled and I chatted with friends for like.... 30min lol. Then took the whole rig for a little joyride around the neighborhood for another 30min. Hopefully that'll be enough to keep the battery charged up through the week....

obvi we need obligatory photo spam of snowy trail rides!
Bc let's be real, everything else around here is kinda just in a holding pattern. We were lucky enough to get out for a short trail ride during some balmy daylight hours this week (in between freezing rain showers...).

the bright background makes bird spotting even easier
Bc other than that, it's been all indoors, all the time. That is --- if I even bother to ride. 

Really, my most important function lately has been trying to stay on top of Charlie's outfit changes. The poor horse has a very mismatched assortment of layers and liners that all get mixed together esp during very wet conditions. 

also fun to muse about all the various critter tracks left in the snow
Like his neck hood, for instance. He only really wears the hood when it's going to be icy wet -- but the hood only connects to one of his hand-me-down sheets, not his medium blanket. 

So then it becomes this ridiculous song and dance between liners, the sheet that connects to the hood, and then a final waterproof layer on top of that since literally only one single sheet in Charlie's wardrobe is properly waterproof. 

just so freakin pretty <3
Plus, considering the sheer distance between my home and the barn, in acute period of actual icy weather events --- I don't even make it to the barn. So it's actually happened twice already this year that Charlie ends up wearing the same outfit for three days straight before I can get out there. Bc - again - blanket services are simply not offered at this boarding facility. 

Other boarders and I will often help each other out with staying on top of blanket changes etc, but when it's really gross out we're kinda all stuck in the same boat. 

was best to stick to the graveled areas rather than the slippery icy mud tho
I swear, I get myself so twisted out of shape obsessing over what Charlie should wear, and how long he's going to be wearing it. Painstakingly checking every single weather app, counting the hours at the relative daily lows and highs, calculating how much precipitation is likely to happen when he's inside or out....

God forbid poor ponykins suffers for literally one nanosecond because he's too cold. And may the devil take your soul if you dare miss an opportunity to let him out in lighter attire when conditions are nicer! 

crossing the bridge back home again
Meanwhile, lol, as far I ask can tell based on what this horse looks like when I see him (or, ya know, what he actually does right in front of my friggin eyes when I turn him out after all this mental anguish), the horse actually literally seeks out nice big sloppy wet mud and snow puddles for his rolls. 

Ugh, gross Charlie. You're a pig! 

my poor sweet beautiful boy in his janky mismatched multi-layered freezing rain outfit
So ya know. Maybe all his layers don't really matter as much as I think they do. So long as he's happy and comfortable, I guess! Considering most of his stuff is a few years old at this point, I might be looking into replacing the entire wardrobe next year anyway. We'll see.... 

I'd especially like something that's a little more universally adaptable while also sturdy enough to not need replaced every year or two. Not sure if that's realistic tho haha, but we'll see. 

"i'm calling peta, this outfit is horse abuze" - charlie, probably
In the meantime, I've continued to use the Coat Defense powder liberally in grooming sessions -- especially during the periods where he's wearing the same blanket for a few days straight. 

My hope is it'll prevent any funky mustiness from happening.... And so far so good. 

sweet fluffy Mikey still obviously the best barn cat ever <3
Because there's still plenty more precipitation coming this week too, bleh. Don't get me wrong --- I'm super grateful that we have the indoor space for riding right now. And also kinda secretly grateful that the blanket changes are a useful cattle prod to get me out to the barn on otherwise-gloomy days. 

Plus, let's be real, it's nice to have dinky little adventures on the calendar like an at-home schooling dressage show too. Bc.... otherwise lol the motivation to do much in these conditions is pretty low lol. 

But, eh, that's what February is for! I'm officially deeming this "re-charge" month (specifically, uh, for the truck --- but also for me too!) before looking into March when we might reasonably get excited for spring. And until then, I may or may not be browsing various outlets to see what sort of fancy new blanketing systems have been developed in the last couple years haha. 


  1. That first pic reminds me of New Brunswick/Rutgers in winter :) While I am all warm in my dorm room watching America's Next Top Model.

    1. lol yeppp it's kinda the quintessential "east coast in snow" look! it's nice for little bits at a time, and luckily in maryland that's just about all we get!

  2. February is a month to be endured. Seriously. I hate February. The weather sucks, spring is far away and ice abounds.

    I'm sorry your show was cancelled. I am not ready for you to give up on dressage. :)

    We're half-way to March so that's good.

    1. lol thanks! and the show wasn't totally cancelled (yet), just postponed. so as far as i know, it's still ahead of us! we'll do our dinky little test for as long as there are dinky little tests to do ;)

  3. Hmmm the blanket calculations sound like something I can make in python.. hmm..hmm..hmmmm

    1. lol the permutations get real complicated real fast.... esp bc in maryland you can have a 45*F day that feels legit warm and pleasant. or, 45* can be downright bone-chilling miserable, even without rain...

  4. Yup. Coastal temps are a whole different ball of wax.

    It can be in the 30's with no wind and I'm removing layers (human), or in the 40's with wet + wind and it feels deathly cold.

    We're having one of those weird blanketing dilemmas at the moment. I elected to put a sheet on yesterday when it was about to rain (again...) but in the 50's, anticipating constant rain but a drop to freezing overnight tonight. Wanted to preserve the dry so I could throw a medium on for big wind chills. Super happy not to have TX's probs but still...

    I must have missed the memo on Coat Defense. Will that help with my fear of the funk that 30 days of mostly rain must be brewing?!

    1. so the Coat Defense thing --- i don't know many people who use it, but the people who DO use it seem to swear by it. it's apparently useful for keeping funk at bay, and i use the powder often as basically a dry shampoo. esp if the horse is maybe a little bit damp after a ride but needs to be blanketed, or if he's wearing the same blanket for multiple days in a row. idk if it's the silver bullet some people say it is, but it's easy and pleasant enough to use that i keep working with it. right now i'm thinking i'd probably buy it again too, which is basically as high as my praise ever gets LOL.

      i've also heard of people mixing the powder with a little water to make a paste for treating leg funk. i'm generally pretty big into MTG personally for that application, but i know not all people (or horses) like mtg, so maybe this is an alternative? esp in cases where you want things drier?


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