Last night I was complaining about the long winter, and how the chores of feeding, cleaning, and watering horses continue, day after day even when there are sometimes weeks and months when I don't ride. I miss riding. This fall, I was just getting my old horse, Buddy, back into shape and he was turning into a darn good trail mount. And then two things happened: Hunting Season, which tends to keep my out of the woods, and then Winter.
Our weather here in the Pacific Northwest doesn't look so bad as I watch the news this morning and see a blizzard barreling down on the East Coast. Still, I spent all last week bundling up like the abominable snowman just to go outside and do chores in our single digit weather. (And thank God for electric stock tank heaters).
Today, the temperature in our barn read 44 degrees. Relatively balmy, all things considered. I could almost get the old horse out and ride him, but Christmas is exactly one week away and I have so much yet to do. So instead, I clean the barn, watch old Buddy lick every last morsel from his grain pan, scratch my donkey inside her ears, and give my horse one last hug for the day.
The sun is making a brief appearance through the low clouds. Did you know that birds sometimes sing, even in the winter, if the sun comes out? And I realize that these peaceful moments with my livestock, outside in the fresh (and sometimes brisk) air are what center me in life. They are my moments of peace and of oneness with nature.
So as I gear up for a day of traffic and crowded stores and last minute shopping, and then to my computer and banging out words in my manuscript, these moments with my horse nickering softly to me, of listening to the sounds of birds waking up to their day ahead, are what give me the strength to get through life.
Riding is one of the enjoyments of owning a horse. But oh, there are so many more.