Brianna's Blog Post # 9: Suffering in the Sand Box


At some point, every year, I have to accept that winter has returned. Every year I slowly start adding more and more layers of clothes until the process of getting ready to gleefully skip to the barn through the winter wonderland, is no less that 20 minutes and 10 layers deep. This is life here in Ohio for at least four months. This year I am struggling with accepting this depressing scenario because it has come early...a whole entire MONTH early.

This is all sorts of wrong in so many ways. While everyone else gets to be all jolly about the snow and the Christmas and blah blah blah, I condemn myself to a 60’ X 60’ arena desperately reminding myself that my sport is worth the misery. I affectionately call my sorry excuse for an indoor arena the sandbox (reminds me of summer).

Now don’t get me wrong I am thankful for the ability to ride in the winter...I think....but you have to get dreadfully creative with a space barely big enough to canter in. Plus the same four walls for four months really does a number on one's mental stability. And jumping, well if you really want to jump you must set up one jump on one wall and jump it eight times to qualify as course work. I have yet to honestly accept the inevitable but my clothe layering is nearing maximum capacity so it shouldn't be too long now.

So maybe you lucked out and have a bigger space than my self or maybe you live in one of those neat places that never snows but I am certain you can sympathises with me on the fact that winter just isn't for equestrians. We simply can not thrive in such dire circumstances. We are a special breed of being and we do not belong in sub zero temperatures freezing off our fingers and shattering our toes just to do a zillion circles in the confines of four walls but every year we do.

So in honor of those brave souls who drag in the cavallettis and accept that it will be them, their horse, and four poles all winter long, and who dare to let their nose turn into an unstoppable faucet and their armpits into personal bit warmers and who ultimately accept the challenge of not being driven completely mad playing in the sandbox... I commend you and remind you you are not alone. I wish you the best of luck in your battle against mother nature in the name of equestrianism and may we all make it to the other side as sane people and strong riders!

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