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'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'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?


  1. Mother Nature says take a break and don't feel bad about it! You're going to be better off with a few less rides and less stressed mental game than you are when you're unable to ride and beating yourself up about it. We had a similar winter last year, you just have to take what comes your way.

  2. There's absolutely no shame in taking some time off. I feel like every few years we have a winter where I end up saying "ahh.... forget it" and taking a month or so off. It really isn't worth it if your heart isn't into it, and Maggie will probably be even better for it when you pick things up again. Chances are it'll only take her a few rides to get things back in gear, but a month long mental vacay is sometimes just what they need. And you too :)

  3. I would say just take a break until you feel ready to get back into it with enthusiasm. Maggie will not forget anything she has learned. She'll probably pick right back up close to where you left off (fitness permitting). Don't beat yourself up. If it makes you feel any better, I'm in the same boat!

  4. I wouldn't beat yourself up about this. That's a LOT of snow. If you want to take a break until march... take a break!

  5. My advise would be to take the rest of the month off. February is so short anyhow, we are almost halfway through! Maybe take the money you would have spent on renting the indoor and go on a wintery weekend getaway with Dan. I don't think Maggie will fall drastically out of shape this month or be too upset to have some time off. Be thankful to have a healthy, happy horse and the finances to rent the indoor. I haven't ridden in a saddle (as you know) for over 2 months and it's killing me knowing I have to wait a few more months for the snow to melt completely. I'm sure a lot of us horse people are stuck in the same situation. New England winters are harsh, but they don't last forever! :)

  6. The winter SUCKS for riding -- and snow makes everything so much more difficult. But March is only a few weeks away!!

  7. Literally going through the same thing and I've decided to take a break. As fellow bloggers have said, no shame in it! Winter blows.

  8. ehh - i would probably cut my losses on february too in the same situation, then come back in march with renewed vigor. that kind of snow is exhausting on so many levels!!! you two have been doing so well all season, you might be surprised at how easy it'll be to snap back into the swing of things :)