Ask my sister her vision of hell and she'll describe the same tortuous scenario as most of the horsey folk in this area: "Hell is all wind, all the time." Since Thanksgiving we've alternated between chilly cold winds (non-stop for days) and then blasts of hot winds (non-stop for days). The only horses we dare ride during these wind storms are the Extremely Good Citizens that aren't unnerved by airborne debris, or the veteran show horses that've "been there, done that" in all kinds of weather. The green or sensitive horses? Forget it. Everything in the environment is swaying and the air smells of unfamiliar scents. It's like trying to ride a kettle on the verge of boiling over. But regardless of temperament or training, I don't think any horse enjoys the wind. Like us, they simply find ways to endure it. The only thing that interrupted my self-pity party was the email I got from my old high school pal, Wendy Ward. She now lives in Idaho, and every winter she sends me a photo of her ranch, just so I can keep my weather-related rants in perspective:
Hmmm... What can we do on a wintry day? How about we shovel snow off the roof of the barn! Then we can gaze wistfully below at the round pen and pasture, and envision what it'll be like when we can actually see dirt.
So while I moan and complain about the winds, I have to remember that we each have our version of hell during the winter months. And about all we can do to endure is to dream of spring.