Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How the Weather Rules the Day

Suffice to say I am a morning person. Approximately 4am you can find me in my chair, enjoying my first cup of coffee, and contemplating the days events for the farm. First check the weather. Will the crew and horses face winds and cold this morning, or will the day be a mild one for chores with "tons" of horses worked in the afternoon. Will the ground stay frozen just enough so the horses keep a grip, or will it soften and be slippery on top? Did little puddles of snow thawed by yesterdays sun refreeze over night causing icy spots? Can we use all the pastures and paddocks? Where will the weanlings go today?

Temperatures in the high 20's, sunshine, and no wind are glorious days here in Maine for working drafts in the winter. There is no wind to chill the sweat against a horses skin, the sunshine warms just enough to dry the hairs. The air doesn't hurt for either horse or driver as we breathe, and the ground is the right consistency of grip for both hooves and boots. A few twitches of fire wood come in to the yard near the wood furnace. And the girls get to ride. 

If I could custom design the winter days here on the farm the vast majority would be just like that. No hay blowing out of the pastures, no wondering if the young or older horses are comfortable with the windy chill. I'm often told I worry too much, that the horses are fine. But I know the difference between a horse basking in the glow of warm sunshine, and bracing their back to the winds. The picture is the same, its the emotion that the are sending that tell me; the weather rules.