|January 15, 2016||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
Yes, I KNOW California has been in a drought. I KNOW we need the rain. I come from a family of farmers, a father who is some sort of water civil engineer, and I’ve been steeped in a culture of canals, water rights, wells, the Delta, snow pack, levees, and yes – sometimes that 100 year flood happens in your lifetime – since before I can remember.
You guys. It has rained here forever and ever and ever this winter.
Which is good.
Not for riding.
“Just ride anyways”, you say.
Except. This is California’s central valley, and our soil (and trails) don’t handle large amounts of rainfall well. If your definition of “well” = “recreational use”.
I can’t even run on the trails post storm, much less ride. The clay soil we have in this area is slick and it takes about a week of dry weather combined with a brisk wind to make the trails useable again. Something we haven’t gotten in about 2 months.
From my limited experience of what I’ve seen other places in the country that get rainfall throughout the year, it seems like their soil and/or trail engineering is more accommodating of wet weather.
Seems like the smart thing to do is to accept that for a paltry 2 months out of the year where we get ALL our rain it’s time to engage in alternative activities.
I’ve engaged in “alternative” activities for A YEAR. I WANNA GO RIDING.
I’m writing this post to admit defeat.
December was a wash. January is quite likely to be a wash too.
It’s not just the weather’s fault. Moving, packing, and buying gets a fair share of the credit.
Which means February isn’t looking too good either – if all goes well we are closing on a house mid month and then madly doing a ton of work to update the interior prior to moving in.
But here’s the good news….if I can just make it until early March there is one of the most glorious things ever, DAYLIGHT SAVINGS.
So instead of making resolutions and declarations and promises I can’t keep, and staring at the ceiling awake at 1:30am unable to go back to sleep (how do you think this post got written?) because once again another week has passed without me doing something significant with the ponies, I’m going to make a deal with myself.
Early March. Daylight Savings. Post moving, post buying a home. That’s when ponies get to be on the official schedule again. Until then their feet get trimmed every 3-4 weeks and the tack room gets checked often for leaks. No pressure, no guilt, no tears of frustration.
Time until Daylight Savings: 57 days 17 hours 58 min 30 seconds
hahahaha. Yeah. I was just marveling how the hoofprints in pasture are all actually standing puddles.
I’ll join the countdown with you. There are long hoof skidmarks, just from walking my horse up the hill to his pasture. I am lucky that the trails near the lake are decomposed granite, and dry pretty quickly, so I was able to do a 10-mile walk, little trot ride just to get out. I’m not going out anywhere else, it will just destroy the trails! Major is a pent-up beast, daily walks aren’t cutting it, and even he isn’t stupid enough to run around the slippery-as-snot pasture!
I made some of the same agreements with myself. I don’t need to train until March, so if I can get in even a tiny ride it’s just mental health. But looking at the weather calendar is hard, knowing there is no time in there for the trails to dry out. But this weekend I already have hiking planned, hopefully that will satisfy a bit!
Same! I’m hoping that keeping up on my running and getting in a good hike once or twice a month keeps me motivated and from feeling too stagnant this is not the end of the world…it just feels like it 😉
you with rain = me with sn*w….and I’m lucky, we’ve had very little white stuff here this year. And you’re lucky ,because rain. BUT I TOTALLY FEEL YOUR PAIN.
Soon it will be Spring. And more light!!!
I also have a countdown going for daylight savings, but oh man 57 days sounds like a long, long time. I’m with you on the rain. I know we need rain and drought is bad, but the drought was honestly really enjoyable. I got to ride all winter last year. It was lovely.
We’re fortunate that some of our logging roads don’t get too waterlogged – but after this morning’s stream crossing nearly-pony-swimming adventure they might not even be open long. Just think how amazing it will be when you can get back in the saddle!
We have that same kind of slick clay here from late October to early April: through the winter months we get rain, ice, snow or a combination. When there isn’t precipitation of some sort, we have overnight freezes and daytime thaws: even when it’s sunny, there is still mud. And we don’t have the benefit of grass to hold the ground together: all the grass dies after the first few freezes and doesn’t return until April. The fields are literally oceans of clay. The horses get used to it and are surprisingly surefooted in this type of footing. I didn’t have issues with Lily slipping when we first moved here: she came from living in sand in FL to this type of clay in her pasture. We just take it slow: only walking and trotting when it feels safe. It can be done. 🙂
I’m also counting the days for daylight savings!!
I’m liking this plan, I’m up to my ankles in mud trying to feed right now.
And here… 54 days until the end – probably – of the heat! I’m working Mac up for his first ride at the end of March but when it’s 102 degrees by 10 a.m…