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Category: Life with horses

Remembering Wild Critters and Warmer Times

Remembering Wild Critters and Warmer Times

Complaining about the weather is a favourite Canadian pastime, but it’s starting to grow stale. Cold. Warm. Rain. Really cold. Snow. Ice. I want to think about cheerier things. With their chirping and fluttering, the flock of sparrows that live inside Larry’s barn remind me of warmer days and the wild critters I’ve run across while spending time with my horses. There have always been wild critters to see while hacking. I’ve watched red-tailed hawks sizing me up from their…

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On Being a Fraidy-Cat Rider

On Being a Fraidy-Cat Rider

The picture above shows me riding my old warmblood Gandalf on a brisk autumn day. I’d had some fraidy-cat rider moments on him, but when this picture was taken, they were long past. Recently, though, my fraidy-cat rider moments resurfaced – because of the weather. As you may recall, a week ago, I was complaining because it was -20°C and too cold to ride. After several days, the temperature suddenly shot up to +4°C. All the riders came back to…

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Winter Riding

Winter Riding

I’ve never been a fan of the cold. Today it’s -20°C, too cold even for a winter riding enthusiast, which I’m not. That doesn’t mean I don’t ride in winter. The picture above shows me and one of my earlier horses, Tristan, on a cold winter day. (Notice the box of Kleenex on the shelf, strategically located to deal with drippy noses). But when it gets really cold, it would be easy to stay home. That’s when I remind myself…

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Larry, Me, and the Cold Snap

Larry, Me, and the Cold Snap

The first real cold snap of winter is here. The thermometer reads a steady -14°C (7°F), never budging throughout the short January day. The sky is white and flat, a featureless backdrop for the pine trees and bare-branched maples. Snow sifts down in a fine white powder that builds across the top of Larry’s heavy turnout blanket, and squeaks under my boots. It’s hibernation weather; instinct urges me to find a toasty corner, hunker down with a mug of hot…

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Horse Lover vs. the Weather

Horse Lover vs. the Weather

Part of the ‘Horse Lover’ job description is a willingness to pit oneself against the weather. The familiar saying, “Neither rain nor sleet nor gloom of night…” should finish with the words, “will keep a rider from reaching her horse.” Horse lovers drive through all kinds of weather to get to the barn. In the battle of Horse Lover vs. Weather, Horse Lover rarely gives in. Take the other day, for instance. Two days before, it had snowed and temperatures had…

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Living in Horse Country

Living in Horse Country

Through sheer dumb luck, I’ve ended up living in the middle of horse country. I call it ‘horse country’ because everywhere around me, there are horses. According to the Headwaters Horse Country site, this happens to be part of the region where 78% of Ontario’s horse population resides. In horse country, there are the backyard horses. My neighbour across the road has three draft horses, a couple of riding horses, and a miniature horse. I assume all these horses are retired,…

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Life with Horses

Life with Horses

Hello world! I’m starting this blog to talk about my life with horses. Horses have been part of my life since I was old enough to pay for riding lessons. Since then, they’ve been my companions, teachers, and inspiration through all of life’s ups and downs. They’ve made me part of the horse community, and I’ve met all kinds of weird and wonderful people who share my addiction. With singular patience and generosity, they’ve carried me through years of riding…

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