The last weekend before Christmas is coming up. Am I ready? No, of course not. But we did have a great Christmas party last weekend, so the Christmas spirit is up and dancing. The weather of course was appalling. Our annual bash, expecting 60 people in minus 20 and a snowstorm….sigh. Only around 15 of the farthest flung didn’t make it, horse people trudge out in any weather.
Santa arrived at the barn around 6:30. He had originally planned to meet and greet in the arena, however, at minus 20 he decided to set up his chair and his festive hangings in the aisle. I must say, there were 25 very entertained horses that evening. The horses were super sports and all maneuvered themselves in between Santa’s chair and Rocky’s stall to have their photos taken with the Big Guy. Rocky forbore from nibbling on anyone and managed to get his nose into some extra shots. Colombo was a big favourite and he had a queue of people who wanted their photo with himself and Selena. Donations were given to Santa who was kind enough to turn them over to Selena’s Rolex Fund. Way to go Santa!
The weather has put a serious spoke in the pre-Florida training schedule. We are always careful not to get our horses too fit around this time of the year as unscheduled days off are forced by low temps. We have had two days already that were below my cut off point of minus 18. At that point I really don’t think the horse or the rider are having a good time and the inhalation of the frigid air is not doing anyone’s lungs any favours. We do shorter turnouts to avoid dehydration (no, we don’t have heated troughs) and try to keep the air in the barn hovering above zero. I am not a fan of heating barns but this winter might change that!
Selena had hoped to take some dressage lessons before she left but the weather has not lent itself to that either. In addition, Selena had the bright idea of polishing the stairs….you can probably guess the rest. She landed right on her seat bones and couldn’t ride for ages. She is back in the saddle now and everyone is getting fit and ready for the trip down south. Selena will be in Florida until some time in April, from there she will go to Bruce Davidson’s Pennsylvania farm to train on the hills for a couple of weeks before Rolex. Florida is great but the gentle slopes don’t get you ready for Lexington, Kentucky. Ulp, are we really thinking and organising around Kentucky already?
Christmas next week. Selena and I usually do Christmas Day in the barn so that everyone else can go home. It’s been a family tradition for many years now and we have our own routine. Stockings – Chores – Presents – Chores – Food – Chores – Dinner Mmmmmmnnnn There is usually time for a little afternoon nap in there too.
Merry Christmas everyone, thank you for following the tales and travels of O’Hanlon Eventing as we work, claw and force our way to, through and past our goals. Next year is WEG…. BRING IT ON!