Hello Winter

Snowy Fell Ponies at Willowtrail Farm

I’m sure glad I worked six ponies yesterday because today the weather dictated something different.  Prior to this week, we were at 67% of normal for snowfall and 50% of last year.  For us that means two feet instead of four, and we haven’t been complaining since last year we felt like there was nothing to do but plow snow, shovel snow, or rest from doing one or the other.  This year I’ve been enjoying having more time and good weather for ponies.  Today, though, I had to say hello to winter.

We got somewhere between seven and nine inches; it’s hard to say because it came in with so much wind that in places there was no new snow at all.  Earlier this week, we got five inches, so we’ve definitely made up for lost time, which is probably a good thing since hay prices tend to be affected by snow pack.  These have been the biggest storms we’ve had since November, which just demonstrates how mild this winter has been.

Sleddale Rose Beauty hiding in the shed

I kept thinking that the storm would blow out, and I would be able to work a pony this afternoon.  But when another wind gust hit the house full of snow at 2pm, I resigned myself to the task before me that I was avoiding:  house cleaning.  When I finished my time running the vacuum cleaner, the sun came out and I was able to snap some photographs of snowy ponies.  But by the time I put the camera away and went back out for my reward, snow had begun to fall again.  Nonetheless, I jumped on Mya the Wonder Pony and rode down the driveway.  She was very patient with the snow pelting us in the face.

I’ve probably lost my round pen.  It had just gotten good footing again; we plowed it two weeks ago, and that made it very slick.  About four inches of snow is perfect for footing, and I had that for about four days.  But with this week’s foot, we’ll be back to slogging or slickness of we plow.  No worries; I hear we’re due another storm Saturday night, so footing will return.

Willowtrail Liberty

The ponies, of course, have been quite opinionated all day.  My stallions have been very busy running about, and my appearance with hay has been met with enthusiasm by all my hooved friends.  As is unfortunately usual, the storm did finally move out at sundown.  The skies have cleared, and it has dropped below zero, so the ponies will be happy to see me in a few minutes when I go out for bedtime feeding.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day, so I’ll look forward as I go to bed to working several ponies, after I shovel a little more snow.

© Jenifer Morrissey, 2012


About workponies

Breeder of Fell Ponies, teamster of work ponies, and author of Feather Notes, Fell Pony News, and A Humbling Experience: My First Few Years with Fell Ponies. Distributor of Dynamite Specialty Products for the health of our planet and the beings I share it with.
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