Before Snowfall

P2900941 Horsey post alert!

As I type this a rather blustery snowstorm is happening in earnest just outside. Every now and then the beep-beep-beep-scrape of a snowplow passes by, and our little tiny Christmas trees flanking the front door on our porch are frosted with pristine snowflakes. The wind knocked over our new pre-lit Christmas lawn dinosaur (a brontosaurus apatosaurus to go with the psychotic T-Rex), so we'll have to fix that tomorrow.

I was out there all day in the early stages of the storm, stringing up outside lights, hanging ornaments for the front porch, magnolia and weeping cherry blossom trees, and putting the dinos and their sparkly Christmas presents out. (Next year, hand to god, I will do it RIGHT after Thanksgiving. Ideally when it's still 50 magical degrees out.)

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Anyway, we'll wake up to at least six or so inches of the powdery stuff, which will have covered up the scant patches and icy spots left by last week's mess. That threw a major wrench in my riding routine - I haven't been out in a week!

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I'm tempted to go out tomorrow! (Update: It definitely looks like I won't be out today at all - there was a flash freeze after some sleet last night, after I wrote this, and now everything is back to being an icy, slushy mess! BAH HUMBUG.)

These photos were taken at the barn two weeks ago, when the ground was frozen but I could still ride on it safely. The icy patches last week were a bit too dodgy for my taste! Never mind the fact that we went from pleasantly chilly to bitter cold and I haven't yet got my hands on a pair of fleece-lined breeches to ride in, and I'll definitely need to stock up on toe warmers. Winter riding in New England is NOT for the faint of heart.

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Now that it's nice and fresh snow and everyone's got their winter shoes on, I can take a little hack out into the woods or the field (taking great care, of course), and the ring will be just fine. The water tubs have got their de-icers in and everyone's getting a bit more hay than normal to help keep warm, but the boys have their cozy barn and winter coats, they'll be fine.

I, however, will be tested, but I refuse to be a fair weather horsewoman!

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Check out my epic Katniss braid!

As it is a few of the others who exercise these guys drop off during the winter, more or less. They really need to stay in shape, and I'm the only one who rides 'em every week without fail now. I just lunged and then hopped on the green horse at the barn last weekend, and that went wonderfully in that he didn't buck me off or scoot like a maniac, not even when something sent everyone else in the barn flying out in the middle of a nice trot. I think I'll wait until the spring to give him anything beyond a cursory go; this weather hasn't exactly got me feeling supple and I'm sure he feels the same way.

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(Spring! Oh man, so far away.) In the meantime, I'll stick to this guy and the alpha appy, and not wuss out unless there are truly valid safety reasons for doing so. I'll remind myself it's always worth it, and how I'm never not deliriously glad I went out for a ride. When my couch is luring me with its siren lullabies of warmth and coziness, I'll just have to tell it who's boss.

Besides, the tack room has a space heater, and that's something. 

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During a recent J. Crew sale I scooped up a ton of painter boatneck long-sleeved tees and they are so awesome for layering and I love them for riding. This one's a beautiful indigo, and I was plenty warm in the low 30s with a pair of basic breeches from Dover Saddlery, some thick knee socks under my Ariat paddock boots and half-chaps, and a super soft lambswool Polo scarf borrowed from M.

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Jack is M's favorite. Well, after Bumblebee, the miniature donkey.

That's it for now! I'll post some behind-the-scenes shots that didn't make it into the recent Autostraddle holiday post, and give you the rundown on the pieces I wore for it soon. Excited for the family edition, which will be out this week. (And after that, NYE! Skwee!) Hope everyone is staying warm and dry and safe out there.

XOXO, FFAF