Thanks to the snowplowing efforts of my husband, I got my round pen back today. The last time I used it, Lily really had to use her Fell Pony action to move, and walking was all we could manage. We were working on eighteen inches of pack in six inches of fresh. That was about two months ago, and I gave up after that day. Normally I try to keep my round pen plowed out, but we had run out of places to put snow this winter, so my round pen stayed snowed in.
Earlier this week, my husband brought the bulldozer home and after taking down the round pen panels, he broke the pack up. Then we got a foot of fresh snow, so today he plowed again. After a few hours of sunshine, Lily and I were able to return to our work area, and I didn’t complain about the mud at all. Better mud than no round pen at all! Lily resumed right where we left off, except her favorite maneuver, a side pass, was much easier for her than it had been in snow!
My first four years living here in Gould, I looked forward to winter as it’s when I got most of my training done. The past few years, I haven’t gotten much training done at all in the winter, and I was starting to really criticize myself for my inactivity. Then I saw some statistics from our local utility, and I forgave myself. Three of the past four winters have been the coldest of the last eight, and this past winter has been the snowiest that the old-timers here can recall. Unfortunately the statistics only covered the last eight years, so there isn’t enough data to indicate a trend for future planning. At the moment, I know it’s April, and the snow will melt and the temperatures will warm up. Then I’ll have a few months to ponder how to train next winter.
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy having my round pen back. The thing I found most amazing after Don got it plowed out was the size of the pile of snow that resulted. At the beginning of the month, we were 30% ahead of normal for snowfall. Last year we were 70% of normal, so we have nearly twice the snow now that we did a year ago, and it really shows. In the photo, a muddy Lily stands in the mid-ground with the pile of snow beyond her. I don’t think the picture does justice to the size of that pile!
(c) Jenifer Morrissey 2011