Still waiting for it to warm up to tolerable levels. I am at the point where I dread going outdoors, not that I can't dress warmly enough, but rather that it's just so depressing.
Tucker has been standing in and around the emergency manure pile by the barn. Chance was there the other day. I am guessing that they have discovered the heat from the composting manure. It's probably a nice break from the snow/icy stuff outside. If I'm right about that, it just goes to prove one more time that horses are clever about making do in tough situations.
I used to ride in this kind of weather. Perhaps not quite this cold, but certainly in the snow. At that time, I usually had snow shoes/pads and borium on my horse's shoes. As I've noted, I didn't do that this year. Chance was barefoot from the start and might have been OK to ride, but the first snow was so deep and it hasn't let up much since then. I worry that when my horse is not really fit that trying to carry me through the deep snow would be too much to handle. And, the other day, when I tried to lunge Chance a bit, he made it clear he didn't even like negotiating the snow on his own.
Tucker and Toby are just now barefoot, and we already know Tucker is not a candidate for much work without shoes. I do have boots for him to wear in and emergency, but they'd not be good for turnout. Last year I made a good effort and transitioning him to barefoot, but he had some long term lameness as a result, so I won't risk it again. Toby may be another story. If he can go barefoot, that would be great.
The temperatures look to be moderating over the next day or so, creeping up above freezing and eventually into the 40's. I am a bit surprised that even today, with temperatures in the 20's that there is still some melting going on out there. The sun has gotten stronger as the season wanes, and it's having an effect. If it really does go above 40 and stay that way for a week or so, maybe the snow will finally melt. My path to the barn is about 80% clear down to the lawn and nearly all the icy stuff is gone from the driveway--except for a couple patches by the house.
But winter has its wicked ways. I am not quite leaping into spring mode yet.