If last year was one of the coldest Texas winters I can remember, this year is definitely turning out to be the wettest. I feel like it started raining in September and basically hasn’t stopped. The lakes are overflowing, the ground is completely saturated, and there’s so much standing water in my backyard (which is sloped downhill) that our shed is an island. The barn has not fared any better. It was already soggy to a point I’ve never seen before, and adding 3″ of rain in the past two days has not helped matters.
At this point I haven’t jumped Henry since Pine Hill, and in the past month I’ve missed or had to shorten/modify 5 conditioning rides. We’ve cancelled two jump lessons and one XC school. He was so wild for dressage the other day that I had to just abort the mission and let him gallop. I’m cold and I’m wet and I am becoming very grumpy.
It finally did stop raining for a few days there, and luckily my barn drains a lot better than most. The area of the big field at the very top of the hill usually only needs a day or two before it’s at least good enough for trot sets, and since the arena is course sand, it’s never slippery even when its under water. Still though, do you know how hard it is to try to keep a Prelim horse from being insane but also still keep his fitness while only using one very small square arena and one long narrow strip of field? He’s going stir crazy inside his own skin, and we’re both going stir crazy inside our own minds.
It briefly stopped raining on New Years, so we tacked up and took the horses out for a long marching walk. It was cold and windy, but hey, at least it wasn’t raining. I can live with the cold, hell I can even live without the sun at this point, but I just need it to stop freaking raining.
I know that most of the country is feeling my pain right now, with the east coast in particular having crazy rainfall too. It’s extra frustrating to me because this is supposed to be our best time of year for riding, when it’s actually not 110 degrees and the ground isn’t concrete. Watching each day pass, feeling like we’re losing ground, or that any progress we may have made in the fall is now completely stagnant… it’s exasperating.
My life involves a lot of mud, layers, snorting, spooking, and yelling “HEY, KNOCK IT OFF” at the moment, and very little else.
At this point I have no idea when it will stop raining, if it will ever dry up, if the weather will ever cooperate for Presto to get gelded (not doing that in this mud fest), or if we’ll be ready for the January 20th show. Or a Feb show. Or a March show. The forecast does not look particularly promising. The only saving grace is that Henry retains everything really well and doesn’t need a lot of constant drilling to stay on form. Today I think I’ll set up some more poles in the arena and at least do some “jumping” exercises. And there is one set of standards in there so I suppose I could make one jump, which is all there’s really room for in there anyway.
That is the level of desperation we’re at right now.
I went out yesterday at lunch in the middle of this last solid 36 hours of rain. The “feels like” temp was 28, and I was greeted with water like I’ve never seen out there before.
The ground is just so saturated, there’s nowhere left for it to go. Once all the standing water finally drains off I guess we’ll have mud, but we aren’t even to that point yet. This just… doesn’t happen here.
I suppose I should be thankful that this barn handles water this well at least, because most people I know have not been able to ride at all lately and their horses haven’t been able to get turned out. Our arena is tiny, but it’s always rideable. The turnouts are definitely muddy, but they’re sandy enough to be safe, at least when it’s not actively pouring. The worst part about it is the driveway, which is so trashed at this point that I’m parking at the end of the road and walking in. I can live with that though.
This type of weather makes me nervous about colic too, when it swings wildly from 30 to 70 and then back again. Especially when they aren’t able to be turned out as much because of the constant pouring rain. I keep shoving as much hay as possible in front of both horses and just hoping it lets up at some point. Neither of the boys seem to mind THAT part so much. They’re having a pretty good time at the buffet.
It looks like we might get a few days here without rain at least, so maybe things will at least have a chance to drain before we get hit again.
I hope everyone else’s winter is looking a little more productive than mine! Are we having fun yet?