I am a cold weather wimp. There is a good reason I live in Houston. Apart from the fact I was born and grew up here, and after college my job brought me back here – I live here because there’s generally no real ‘winter.’ No ice. No snow. No unbearably long stretches of cold weather. Yes, the summers are hot. To me, hot weather is inconvenient, sometimes miserable. But hot weather is not PAINFUL like cold weather is. So, I (and about 4 million others) endure the summers because the tradeoff is no miserable, long, cold winters.
Until this year.
I don’t think it got over 60 the entire month of December. A rarity. I can remember Christmas Days when some people swam in their pools. Now every time I go out to the barn I have to put on three layers of clothing and end up looking like the Michelan wo(Man). And need I say with the horses in the ‘backyard,’ I go in and out a LOT? Not only that, dressing to ride is problematic. I do dress in layers – but when I start riding, I start sweating and before I realize it and peel off my outer layer, I’m hot, but then cold from sweating. If I were an Arctic explorer, I would have died already from this. 😉 And my hair is generally wet. Yuk.
So, I am tired of dressing myself. I am also tired of dressing my horses. Yes, I know, horses have endured millions of years with no clothing to speak of, yada yada yada. But horses millions of years ago did not have human ‘mothers’ to worry and fret over them. Not to mention that, as a 50-something woman, dressing the horses is somewhat akin to dressing Barbies. The inner child and all that.
I live for the weather report these days and then have to choose, from among my horses’ vast wardrobe, what attire to dress them in while they are in the barn overnight, and then what attire they might need when they’re out the next day. Unfortunately I have to change their ‘clothes’ at 5 a.m. when it’s still 30 degrees, even tho it’s going to get to a high of 50. These are the days I wish I could be a stay at home ‘horse mom.’ I feel really really awful ripping their warm blankets off them when it’s still 30 outside. The compromise the last few nights was that I removed their hoods at 5 a.m. (yes, they have hoods! – infrequently used, but glad I have them now!) and then my husband takes their blankets off of them at 7 when he gets up and turns them out. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best ‘parenting’ I can manage with my ‘leave at 6 a.m. and drive an hour to work’ schedule.
I have devised one clever horse dressing trick. Did you know you can change blankets without having horsie get cold in between? I undo all the straps of the current horsie attire, then throw new article of attire on top and do up the chest buckles. Then, like a deft magician and the tablecloth/tableware trick, I can yank the underneath blanket off. Hint: this does not make horsie happy if it’s really dry and there’s static electricity. Trust me on this.
This weekend it’s supposed to get to below freezing and stay there for more than 48 hours. The last time this happened was 1989. All I can say is, I hope it doesn’t happen again until 2039!