Monday, March 2, 2015

Four Wheel Drive and a Covered Arena

It's no mystery that much of the past two weeks has been a wintery mess for a lot of people. Here in the foothills of South Carolina we definitely got our fair share of a very snowy (for us) two weeks. Riding has basically been impossible because all the outdoor rings are frozen, flooded, and snowed over. My riding "area" (since I don't have an arena) has been soaked and the trails are most definitely closed. Plus on some of the really cold days it was all I could do to feed ponies, make sure they were warm enough, break ice in their buckets/water trough, and give them extra hay. 

My barn in the snow

Even though I do love snow there does come a point where enough is enough. Shows are starting up soon and if the ponies are going to be ready I had to figure a way to ride despite the less than desirable conditions. Even with the temperatures rising into the upper 30's and melting the snow I couldn't ride in my usual spots because the ground was saturated with melting snow. The trails were closed, I didn't want to tear up my front pasture, nor did I want my horses to slip while I was riding them. The only way to even potentially ride would be under a covered arena. Luckily, a local barn "rents" out their beautifully manicured covered large dressage arena for a mere $5 a ride- and oh is it sooooo worth the $5 to trailer over there and get some work done! They take immaculate care of the footing, it is consistently watered and dragged so the footing stays soft and perfect- plus there is a roof over your head so you don't have to worry about rain or melting snow! All you have to do to ride there is call and make sure the arena is free and no lessons are going on. Super easy! 

psh- we don't need to work!

Even with the wonderful covered arena only a short 15/20 minute drive away I still had to get out of my driveway. Unfortunately I have to park my truck and trailer next to the fence in the grass in order to have room to turn around. This poses a problem whenever we have wet weather because everything turns to muck and my truck and trailer sink into the ground. But there is a lovely invention in my truck called 4 wheel drive that makes life just a whole heck of a lot easier. There is no way in hell that I would be able to move my truck and trailer if I didn't have 4 wheel drive. I can't even tell you how many times I have had to turn the knob to put my truck in 4 wheel drive to get out of my parking spot. It is the single most important feature of my truck and a requirement for any tow vehicle I ever purchase! Some people can get away without having 4 wheel drive but I most definitely can't!!

So much mud and slush under those tires... I would never move without 4  wheel drive

So with $5 in my pocket and 4 wheel drive I successfully rode a couple of days this past week. I'm still hoping for better weather because arena riding get so dull after a while and I much prefer working Chimi (or whoever) out in a field or on the trails than in the confined space of a ring. Cheers to everyone surviving winter wherever you are and fingers crossed some nice weather heads everyone's way soon!!! First show of the season will be here before you know it!!!!!!

Peek-a-boo! Chimi is hiding!