Friday, February 27, 2015

Almost There...

February is almost over. March is almost here. SPRING WILL COME EVENTUALLY. We're almost there, guys.

Think Spring!

I am very happy to report that we did NOT have a monstrous snow storm at any point this past week, though there were a few flurries and slight coatings here and there. The snow is still up to Maggie's belly in her paddock and there are still mounds of icy, dirty snow lining the streets everywhere. I don't expect the snow all to magically melt on Sunday as the clock strikes midnight (though that would be great and I certainly wouldn't mind if it did!) but the turn of the calendar page means time is moving on and we'll get there.

Soon...

I've already noticed a few promising signs this week. For one, I actually had a normal, on-time commute yesterday morning AND evening. That's pretty big. What's even bigger in my mind though, is that it's actually light out both when I leave my house in the morning (6:15 AM) and when I get off the train and home from work (5:15 PM). That means it's light out when I get to the barn and see Maggie-face! The fact that there's more daylight just does wonders for my mental state.

I promise not to complain about mud season this year - in fact, I look forward to it! JUST MELT THE SNOW! 

What March 1st also means is that my dry spell should end and I will ride my horse again. That'll do wonders for my mental state as well!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How Eventers Are Surviving the Boston Snowpocalypse - EN Post

Late last week I got an email from the folks at Eventing Nation asking me to write a post about how the horse community here around Boston has been dealing with all of the crazy snow. I was ecstatic to hear from them again and so I drummed a little something!

My post went live last night and you can read it HERE. It's a little more of a humorous/personal peice because they did a more serious piece last week which can read here - cameo by Billy and Zipper!



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

3 Winter Items I Wear From Work to the Barn

I've got to start this post out with a little disclaimer: I am not and never will be a fashionista. This is not and never will be a fashion blog. When I decide what to wear or what to buy I base my choice upon two simple criteria: 1.) Practicality and 2.) Not looking stupid - it's a bonus if I actually look good.

Speaking of practicality, I really like crossover items that can go from work to the barn with minimal concern of damaging them or getting them too horsey. For me, I go straight to the barn from work and I rarely bring a full change of clothes with me. Plus in the winter with no heated tack room (or even a bathroom for that matter) in our barn there isn't really a good place to change. So without further ado, here are three items that I've been obsessively wearing both to work and to the barn this winter. From head to toe:

1. Carhartt Women's Winterfield Hat


I got this hat at the beginning of the winter season to replace a hat that was getting so worn and frayed that it was starting to look stupid (see criterion number two). I think I paid $20 for it at my local Tractor Supply, but you can get it for $15.99 on Amazon. At first I  was trying to roll it up a little bit at the bottom because I wasn't a fan of how far down it sat on my head, but as the winter has progressed, the temperature has dropped, and the wind has picked up, I've discovered that I actually really like the fact that I can practically pull it down over my eyes. It doesn't have any sort of lining but it's a nice thick knit, so I haven't had any problems keeping my ears warm! I do have to make an effort to remember to through it in the wash about once a week though, because it does like to absorb that characteristic barn fragrance.

2. Ariat Ashley Vest



I bought this vest shortly after Christmas from the brick and mortar Dover Saddlery store near me. At the time, this was a splurge item for me because I actually spent full price ($69.99) on it. Granted, it was money I was gifted from my Grandparents for Christmas, but still, I am generally much more frugal than that. Especially when it comes to spending money on clothes. I kind of hate spending money on clothes. However, this vest was the last one in the store and I grabbed it on a whim because I really liked the color. When I tried it on and looked in the mirror I was actually quite impressed by how sharp it looked! Even though you can now find it on sale for about half the price I paid, I don't regret paying full price for this item for once because of how much I really like it.

This vest is thin enough that it doesn't make me look like a big marshmallow (which has always been a fear of mine with puffy-type coats) and it fits under other jackets. I like to wear it under my coat to work on extra cold mornings and I can keep it on throughout the day because I think it looks nice enough paired with a long-sleeve shirt or thin sweater. Granted I do have a very casual work place - most people wear jeans to the office everyday. I also like that the neck comes up high enough when zipped to keep me nice and warm if I forget my scarf. The outside of the vest is also very smooth and doesn't collect horse hair or absorb horse smell at all that I have found!

3. Ariat Barnsley Boots


I asked for and got these for Christmas two or so years ago because I was looking for something warm enough to wear outside in the winter and decent looking enough to wear to work - plus I was already a fan of Ariats in general. My feet are happy in them. The foot of these boots are water resistant while the ankle is quilted and has fleece on the inside - very warm!

The third time I wore them, however, I stubbed my toe a little while stepping up on a curb and caught the shoe just in the right place to separate the rubber sole from the toe. I was really disappointed by this because I have had nothing but good experiences with Ariat craftsmanship before. I think I wore them a couple times after that incident, but then I sidelined them for a season for fear my toes would get wet. Not one to let an expensive pair of shoes go that easily, they stayed in my closet for a quite a while and I've rediscovered them this winter.

I don't wear them through deep snow (I give up and just wear my Muck Boots for that) but for regular walking to and from the train station and around work they're great. Even in slush and snow my feet have stayed dry despite the still separating toe and sole. I tried Shoe Goo and Gorilla Glue the sole back in place earlier in the season, but it just separated again after a while. I'll continue to wear these until they completely come apart though, because I like them so much!

Do you wear any of the same things at work and then to the barn?

Friday, February 20, 2015

There's No "T" in Horse Ownership

Imagine a city that can't function in the climate in which is it situated. Disaster strikes and suddenly over half a million people are stranded. Everything comes to a standstill.

Sounds like some new sci-fi drama/ thriller coming to Fox in the summer doesn't it? It's not. It's where I am right now. That city is Boston.

The Boston skyline - my view from my office.

This is my fifth winter commuting in and out of the Boston for work, and while the city's public transit system, commonly known as "the T", generally has a reputation for being late and rickety, it's never been quite like this before. I've always been able to get to work in a relatively timely manner. 

But this year the T has completely shut down service for 3 days - two weekdays and one Sunday - leaving residents and commuters like myself unable to get to work. I could drive...except for a statewide gubernatorial driving ban on those storm days. In the time that I've been commuting to Boston, the entire public transit system has only once ever shut down before - and that was due to a  city-wide manhunt for a terrorist suspect. Now it's shut down three times within 2 weeks. Fortunately I'm a salaried employee, but I have several friends who have now lost out on around a week of pay either because they can't get to work or because their employers have had to shut down for snow days.

This week they're running a special "Recovery Schedule" for most commuter rails lines, which essentially means that they've cancelled a bunch of trains ahead of time. The General Manager of the MBTA said earlier this week that as long as there are no more significant snowfalls it should take around 30 days for the T to resume normal service.

There are supposed to be two sets of tracks between me and that other train.

It both is and isn't the city and the MBTA's (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) fault at the same time. Are these extraordinary circumstances? Absolutely, yes. But should the public transit system be in better repair and better able to handle these circumstances to some degree? Also, yes. 

Boston's subway and commuter rail system is the oldest public transit system in America and the fourth largest in the nation. For a city that is inherently proud - proud of our sports teams, our colleges, our history and heritage - we're not proud of our public transit right now. 

Do I know why the T is in such disrepair right now? Not really. I'm no historian, economist, politician, or city planner. I'm sure it has something to do with funding and politics. Do I know how to fix it? Nope. Does anyone? I'm not sure.


What I do know right now is that I haven't had a normal commute in weeks. This Wednesday I left work at 4:30 pm and didn't get home until nearly 8:00 pm. I haven't been to the barn after work like usual and I haven't been to the gym either this week. I've just called it quits after getting off my commuter train and gone straight home to have a late dinner and a glass of wine. Having it take 3 hours just to get from work to home really puts a cramp in do-it-yourself horse ownership. I'm very lucky to be a part of a group of friends that work together in a cooperative situation.

For the sake of the city and all of it's residents - and for my (and my horse's) sanity - let's hope that now we're over halfway through February things start getting better!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Because Goat.

I know this is supposed to be a horse blog and all, but I'm pretty sure I own the most ridiculously photogenic goat. 

Exhibit A.
And perhaps the one of the most meme-able ones too. It all started with this, courtesy of my sister:


And then I made this:


And now, perhaps my favorite:


I just can't even with him.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week Four of Snow

Thank you to everyone who left comments on my February Thoughts post. I texted my trainer on Friday and asked her to hold my check until March. She said that's not a problem at all and "Let's hope we all survive 'til March!" Seriously. I do already feel a little less stressed without the pressure I had been putting on myself about riding. Unfortunately though, even snow rides might be out of the question now considering we just got our 4th snow storm Saturday night through Sunday morning which dumped another 22 inches on the town that our barn is in - that's the most in the whole county for this storm. Yaaaay. (Not.)  I'm not sure about our town specifically, but Boston now has a record snow total of 58.5 inches for February.

I think this pic is actually from last weekend, but whatevs.

So once again I spent my weekend in snow removal mode. On Saturday I raked the roof some more to make room for the upcoming blizzard that night and then did a little (a lot, actually) shoveling outside Maggie's door (special thanks to a certain friend for helping with that!) On the plus side we recently got a new tool that makes raking the roof SO much easier and faster. I took a video of it in action last week:


I mentioned in this previous post that our barn owner has kind of been slacking on plowing - during the storm 2 weeks ago he said he wasn't going to plow until the snow stopped. Which I think is ridiculous because ti makes it quite difficult to get into the barn to take care of our horses. This was the case again this Sunday, only the snow stopped around 10 am, but the barn driveway didn't get plowed until around 5 pm. When I went by to check on the horses and toss them their lunch hay around noon I had to park at the church down the street a little ways and then trudge on foot up the unplowed driveway. Quite the workout.

There is supposed to be a driveway to the right of that telephone pole.

View of the barn from the middle of the driveway. If you look close you can see Maggie peeking out of her stall.
Compare the above picture from Sunday (yesterday) to this picture below from Tuesday:

Photo taken Tuesday 2/10/15
The barn is going to be slowly buried...I'm convinced.

I chipped away at the area of Maggie's paddock just outside her stall which my barnmates and I fondly refer to as the "patio" and this is as far as I got:


There's a packed down layer of snow roughly 2 feet high beyond this area that I chiseled out.

"Here, let me help!"
The temps have been low enough lately that I actually decided to throw a blanket on Maggie as of Friday night. I've kind of taken pride in the fact that I've never blanket my horses, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that sometimes may be necessary to do so. I don't have anything against blanketing, it's just never been necessary for me before! Zipper, my mini, is still not blanketed because, well, she's a mini and she's got enough hair on her tiny body to cover a Clydesdale in the winter. Maggie is pretty fuzzy, but not enough that I feel comfortable leaving her unblanketed when the temps aren't even getting out of single digits during the day (as was the case Friday and will be the case again today.) So I borrowed my friend's old blanket again which is a size too big for Maggie but get's the job done and I have a blanket on order from Smartpak which should arrive today hopefully!

"I have no idea how this happened..."
 Also, the unplowed driveway made it quite tough to get a wheelbarrow out to the manure pile:


My husband and I have been helping out at my parent's house as well and when I'm there I also take care of Bill and Zipper. They currently have kind of a figure-eight track shoveled in their paddock for them and they're getting dwarfed by the snowbanks:


That's all for now, but I hear there's more snow forecasted for this coming Tuesday...WHEN WILL IT END?!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Maggie Memoirs on Eventing Nation!

On Friday afternoon, Amanda from Bel Joeor left a comment on my post about the (potential) Boston 2024 Olympics suggesting that I send it in to Eventing Nation. So, an hour or so later I did...and they published it on the site yesterday morning! Quite the quick turnaround!

I'm kind of a bit of a fangirl of EN, so I was stupid proud to see my post up there :) I may have taken a screen shot:


Click here to go see my post on EN and give it a little love! And thanks again for the tip Amanda!!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day to my Horse Husband

Horse Husbands are a rare breed, I think. In dealing with us Horse Girls I'm pretty sure they are the most patient humans on the planet. I think they probably give us a lot more than we give them. And yet, they seem to understand.

Here's to Horse Husbands/Boyfriends/Fiances, and for me in particular: here's to my Dan. He's kind of the best.











Love.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February Thoughts

Well, we're already a quarter of the way through February, but I feel a little stuck. I haven't ridden Maggie in a little over a week at this point and even then it's only been trotting around in the snow bareback and in a halter. Not exactly hardcore training.

"Ermagherd Snerr!!!"

I haven't exactly kept it a secret that the weather has been getting me down lately. We have now had three large snowstorms - large enough to disrupt the city's transit and everyone's work schedule - in the past three weeks and there's more on the way. Just when you think you've got the horses all shoveled out, the barn roof raked, and the stalls nice and tidy again...BOOM...more snow. It's a little disheartening.

What happens when I try to get a pic of her standing next to the snow banks.


I still haven't shoveled myself a path over to the indoor arena and I keep making excuses not to - it's just going to snow again later...I have a headache...it's too cold to do much anyway...I have too much else to do today. The list goes on.

It's not even that far away...it's just...snow...

Yes, I want to get an early start to prepping for the show season, but I've been doing a decent job so far - certainly better than previous years. I had been riding pretty consistently throughout January and December and I probably still would be if the weather wasn't beating me down. Even though I haven't been consistently riding this month though I haven't completely thrown in the towel on everything. I've still been hitting the gym 3-4 times a week and in case you haven't noticed I've still been posting consistently!

Snowbanks at the barn

I'm feeling kind of down on myself for not being motivated enough to put the work into getting me and Maggie over to the indoor to do some actually riding. At the same time though, if I'm really not that into it right now then why bother? In the immortal words of the ice cream masters,  Ben and Jerry:

About every third car in Vermont has this bumper sticker.

I already paid for the indoor for the month of February, but the barn owner/dressage instructor texted me to say she's not going to cash it until she snow blows me a path over to the indoor (which hasn't happened yet.) I can't really blame her for not getting to it yet - it's not like she doesn't have an entire farm to make sure is functional. So I'm thinking about texting her and telling her to hold my check until March and I'll just sit out on riding in the indoor this month. I still feel like doing that makes me a quitter though, and I HATE being a quitter.

Pano of the barn driveway - click for bigger

But it's not like I'm calling it quits on the whoe season or anything. I'm going to pick it back up next month. Hopefully by then I'll have a path to get to the indoor - either snow blown or shoveled myself. And for the rest of February I can try to stop stressing about not riding Maggie - she'll be fine. It's not like she's going to unlearn everything we've ever worked on. Perhaps I'll even ride her around in the snow a few more times before the month is up. Still, I feel kind of bad about it...

Just hanging out, eating lunch...on top of 2 ft of snow...

So what do you all think? Do I try and push through the 'blahs' or do I take a little break for the rest of the month?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Boston 2024 - Franklin Park as the Equestrian Venue

Photo from the cover of Number 4: Sports + Venues2024Boston.org

A little while ago the "Bid Book" that was presented to the United States Olympic Committee that Boston put together to ultimately win the US's bid was released to the public. Today I want to explore what the venues for the equestrian events for the 2024 Olympics - should Boston ultimately win the bid from the International Olympic Committee - be like.

(Click any of the images to make them bigger!)

City of Boston and outlying areas.
Screenshot from Number 1: Overall Games Concept, 2024Boston.org

Franklin Park, which is public land that lies roughly 5 miles south of Boston, would be the home of the Equestrian Events and the Modern Pentathlon.

Screenshot from Google Earth
White Stadium is in the top center of the image, while the William J. Devine Golf Course is in the center lower portion.
White Stadium in Franklin Park is listed as an existing venue capable of hosting the equestrian events and the modern pentathlon. No venue option #2 is listed. It is suggested that the current capacity of 10,000 would be doubled to hold 20,000 total by the time the games are held. White Stadium is a permanent structure that is currently home to football and track and field for the Boston Public schools and it is already staled to undergo renovations and improvements over the next 2 years. After accommodating the the dressage and jumping competitions I presume it would most likely return to an athletic field for the school system after the Games.

Potential layout of the White Stadium area for the dressage and jumping events.
Screenshot from Number 4: Sports + Venues, 2024Boston.org

According to Bid Book Number 1: Overall Games Concept, the cross-country portion of the eventing competition would be laid out on the existing land of the William J. Devine Golf Course, which is the second oldest public golf course in the country. The golf course has varied terrain, water, and viewing areas already established. While I'm sure golf fanatics are positively cringing at the thought of horses galloping across and digging up their nicely manicured greens, the bid book actually lists the cross-country course as a temporary venue. Describing the course as "currently in need of reinvestment," the book states that the golf course will be established after the Olympics have concluded.

Potential layout for the cross-country course on the William J. Devine golf course.
Screenshot from Number 4: Sports + Venues, 2024Boston.org

Initially, the thought of the equine event venues being disbanded after the Games are over was disappointing to me. As a local, I would LOVE to have world-class equestrian facilities so close to me. I envy those in other states such as Kentucky, Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina that have established horse parks that routinely host awesome events. In fact, the Georgia International Horse Park is actually a result of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. However, I understand that the Boston 2024 Olympic bid places a lot of emphasis on land preservation as well as accessibility to all the events.

I've come to realize that restoring the park and golf course to their original states after the Olympics would be the right thing to do, given that it is the city's largest park at 485 acres. I don't live in the city myself - I live about 35 miles north and commute down for work - but the reason that I commute so far is that I've honestly never been a city person and don't have the desire to be (it's hard to be a city person AND a horse person.) I love open spaces and trees and I really see the value of bringing green space to cities. While it would be neat to have equestrian facilities so close to the city and so close to me, I think it's important to give this space back when the Olympics are over so that the local population can enjoy the land for themselves instead of keeping for the use of equestrians, who comprise a comparatively small percentage of population. White Stadium is also the home to a free summer sports camp for kids ages 7 to 14. Taking that away from the community and leaving a permanent equestrian stadium would practically be a crime.
White Stadium, Franklin Park. Photo from Panoramio.com
Placing the equestrian portion of the Games in Franklin Park keeps these events within 5 miles of the city proper and less than a mile walk from the Forest Hills Station (Orange Line) subway stop. I was initially disappointed (and still am a bit) to learned that the equestrian events would not be held up near me, somewhere such as Groton House Farm or Bradley Palmer State Park. Groton House Farm is privately owned land and until 2009 they were the closest Area I event to Boston to host Intermediate and Advanced divisions (they only go through Preliminary now. Sadness.) They even hosted the Olympic Trials for the USET prior to the 1996 Atlanta Games. The farm certainly has the land for a world-class cross-country course, however, the open space for a Grand Prix capacity stadium would be tough to find. The same space constraints for a stadium would be applicable to Bradley Palmer as it is a primarily wooded area.

At 30 miles north of Boston, both Groton House Farm and Bradley Palmer State Park are too far away to be considered easily accessible. The sole mode of public transit that goes up that way is the same commuter rail line that I take to work everyday. Plus, the roads actually leading to these places are classic New England - narrow and winding. A 2013 article in a local Hamilton-Wenham town newpaper actually quotes Ann Getchell, the owner of the Groton House facilities as saying, "I think it would be impossible to do something like [the Olympics] in a community like Hamilton."

Having the equestrian events north of the city would not have been keeping with Boston 2024's vision of a walkable Olympics. Keeping them close to the city in Franklin Park stays true to the City's mission of keeping the Games accessible, plus it would bring equestrian sports closer to the city than they have probably ever been before, thereby exposing these sports to an audience of people who may never get the opportunity to witness them. I think that is a very valuable thing.

So (as if it matters to anyone on the Boston 2024 committee) I approve of the location for equestrian events. It took me a while to come to that conclusion because I wanted to do a bit of research about it on my own first before I judged it, but I think I understand their reasoning pretty well for picking this location. Frankly, as long as I can get tickets or volunteer or something, I'll be a happy camper! That is, assuming this actually becomes a reality! We've got a long way to go yet.  

Friday, February 6, 2015

Snow Maiden

I had every intention of giving you a nice update about my latest rides on Maggie, really I did. But you see, there have not been any rides thanks to - you guessed it - snow. At least that's what I'm going to blame it on, though there's certainly a little inkling of laziness with a pinch of grumpiness tossed in there.

So let me give you an idea of what the past two weeks have been like. And yes, I would like some cheese with this whine.

Last Tuesday was the epic blizzard of all blizzards which gave me the day off work because the governor shut down the city's public transit system. Wednesday I was out of luck too and waited at the train station for two hours for a no-show train, before I got a message from my boss telling me to just go home (which I happily did. I actually went to the barn and trotted around bareback for a bit first though.)

Thursday and Friday I went to work as normal, and then I think I went to the gym both days in the evening...or maybe just Friday. Whatever. No riding because I wasn't ambitious enough to shovel out the path to the indoor arena on Wednesday or after work on Thursday or Friday. 

On Saturday I grocery shopped at like 9:30 am which was a little weird, but 1.) we were out of coffee, and 2.) It was Super Bowl weekend so everyone and their mother would be out shopping later. When I got home I plopped myself in a chair and watched both the stadium jumping and XC phases of the Wellington Eventing Showcase and dreamed about riding under palm trees instead of snow-laden pines.

The view out my window as I watched the Welly Eventing live stream.
I had to go back to reality at some point and get outside and take care of my own pony, though. So I went to the barn Saturday afternoon and I wore breeches just in case I decided to ride (spoiler alert: didn't happen.) Instead, I had to do the worst of all winter chores.

I alluded to said terrible chore by posting this picture on Wednesday:


Some of you knew what it was and commiserated with me, but for those of you that didn't know: it's a roof rake. When there is a large accumulation of snow on roofs there's a danger of it getting too heavy and collapsing the roof. In 2011 we had a big storm that was all heavy wet snow and we did actually have a beam crack under the pressure, which we replaced with the help of one of the particularly handy horse husbands associated with our barn group. In that same storm part of the roof of the elementary school in a neighboring town collapsed - fortunately, no kids were inside because school had been cancelled already. Very scary nonetheless. So that's why you see fewer flat roofs in the north, kids. Because snow.

To avoid having your roof collapse, you rake off the snow using a very long pole with essentially a hoe on the end. Let me tell you, roof raking is the most delightful of winter chores. ESPECIALLY, on a windy day. (That was a lie.) Saturday I spent about an hour raking the portion of the roof above Maggie's stall and honestly, I did kind of a half-assed job of it but I got a good amount off. Adding insult to injury, when you're done raking the roof you then have to shovel again. I did not end up riding on Saturday. 

On Sunday, I told myself that I HAD to ride my poor horse. But I was still to lazy to shovel the path to the indoor...such problems. Sigh. So I rode bareback and with a halter again. And by riding I mean I just kind of sat on my horse and we walked around the snowy grass paddock. I was in kind of a crabby mood Sunday so I asked Maggie for just one little canter around the paddock, which she obliged to, and that made me smile. Seriously, there's nothing like cantering bareback. One of the best feelings ever. But then Maggie was all like, "Mom, this so boring. Can't I just go eat my lunch hay?" And I was like, "Oh, fine."

"I eat boot. Nom"
I then went to take care of Zipper and Billy and then after that I watched the Super Bowl with my husband and I believe that was the first time I have ever watched a football game from start to finish. I REALLY don't care about football. I mean, I'm from Boston and the Patriots won and I'm still all 'meh.' Give me my soccer and hockey and get off my commuter rail train, you rowdy football fans. Srsly.

I knew it was forecasted to snow again on Monday, but after last Tuesday I thought, "Eh, at least it won't be that bad." Wrong. It turned out to be an additional foot and half of snow. Boston had now had a record 40" fall in less than 10 days. And this time MIT (where I work) stayed open and the MBTA (public transit) stayed running (or at least was mildly functional at best). For once they underestimated a storm instead of hyping it up like crazy - who would have thought? So I went to work, had an ok day, and then a crappy commute. But the slow/ delayed train was the least of my worries when I finally got off and discovered that my truck had been plowed in.


I have a GMC Sierra - which isn't the biggest truck out there, but it's certainly not a tiny car - and the snow was up past the front bumper. Maybe I could have gunned it out, but I really didn't feel like taking the chance and getting stuck. However, I had given the little shovel that usually lives in the bed of my truck to my husband last week. I was lamenting this to some friends via text, and one of them reminded me that I also keep a pitchfork in the bed of my truck for when I'm trailering the horses. And thus, I dug out my truck with a pitchfork. Took me about 20 minutes but worked surprisingly well.

Boom. Owned.
Then it was off to the barn to check on the horses, who were surely snowed in again. I found out ahead of time through my friends that the barn owner hadn't plowed all day and when she called him and asked him to please plow he said he wasn't going to until after the snow stopped. Bull. Shit. That made me completely lived. One of our other barn members had dug out her car and driven to the barn only to have to turn around because she couldn't get into the driveway (and there was no room to park on the side of he road thanks to the snow banks.) So it was up to me and a different barn member to make it there to shovel each horse a path out to their water again plus muck stalls and feed.

I'm really frustrated with this barn owner right now...in addition to not plowing during Monday's storm (and he did a fine job the week prior) he's messed up two feedings within the past couple weeks (one of which was during Maggie's colic episode and he FED HER when I had told him not to) because he can't follow simple directions. Very frustrating. So yeah, Monday was an absolute joy.

Tuesday the trains were still all kinds of messed up and I didn't feel like going to the barn. Did not ride, went to the gym instead.

Wednesday I actually had a relatively normal commute on the way home, but I still did not feel like going to the barn or riding. I went to the gym instead.

Thursday I had to go to the barn for my chore night, so I got that done and then went to the gym. Sensing a pattern here?

The owner of the barn and indoor next door did text me though to say that she hasn't forgotten about me and she has asked a friend with a snowblower to come and clear a path for me, so that's really nice. I had also already given her a check for the month of February for the indoor rental, but she said she won't cash it until she clears me a path.

This pic was taken by a barn friend/fellow boarder yesterday. That is the top rail of the 3-rail split-rail fence.
Hopefully this weekend I might actually work my horse, though I don't think she's been complaining about having the week off. She seems to be enjoy plowing around in her paddock (walking through snow is kind fo like working?) And just to kick all of us Bostonians while we're down, there's another big storm forecasted for Saturday evening through Tuesday morning. Yeah, two whole days of snow. Just dandy.

Also, earlier this week I stopped at the liqour store on my way home from the gym to get some "supplies" and I happened across some sake. My husband lived in Japan for four years and likes it, and I thought would be nice to get him some, so I got this:


I thought the name was appropriate.