Christmas is definitely approaching, because I seem to have less and less time to write my blog! Otherwise it doesn't seem like December, at least if you look at the weather. We did get snow this past week, which was exciting - as long as it lasted. Friday afternoon a snowstorm hit the coast of Finland, bringing not only snow, but high winds as well. We took the horses inside fairly early, to avoid any accidents with the fences and trees and whatever else was going to fall over in the blizzard. By the time I went to bed in the evening, we had two solid inches and I fell asleep dreaming of the foot deep snow that would be awaiting Little Love and me in the morning when we went for a trail ride with Vicky and her owner. Right. I woke up at 4 am to the sound of rain hitting our house. Rain, rain and rain. So much for the snow. Most of it was gone by morning, only the roads are left icy and slick with the water that has been coming down ever since.
The new boots that were working well from the beginning are now working even better after I managed to find some "slip guards" to attach to the bottom. And boy have we needed them! I have to thank my husband for putting them on the boots with his screwdriver. To give you an idea of what i'm talking about, here are two pictures of the boots and the eight little metal "spikes" my husband was able to drill into each boot.
Despite having a pair of non-slip boots, walking down the big hill from the barn to the main road has been treacherous. It hasn't a walk in the park with the stormy and rainy weather either. The paddock is a complete mess and since the horses are moving in the mud very little, Melissa and I have made an extra effort to get Little Love out for a walk every day, despite the cats and dogs that have been raining down. And Little Love seems to be happy to go with us even if it means just walking back and forth on the road.
Today the weather took another turn and we woke up the the morning to find the ground frozen again. Going back and forth between below freezing and slightly above is starting to get really, really old. What happens in the muddy paddock is that the top layer freezes, but when the horses walk on it, it breaks and they sink in. The rough edges of the ice scrapes their legs and can even cause bleeding. Little Love usually down right refuses to go into the paddock on such mornings and this has encouraged the barn owner to come up with other solutions. She has fenced some other areas around the barn, areas that get used only on days like today when going into the usual paddock is out of the question. this way we can keep these "emergency paddocks" intact for the frozen days. Here is a picture of Little Love and Vicky in our make-shift arena where they spent the day while Manta and Kira hung out in another similar area on the other side of the small pikadero (they were so happy to go in there this morning that they kicked up their heels and tore around for the first 30 seconds).