Happy white horse. photo by Holly

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the event barn, he horses were munching hay and eating their straw bedding. The heater left on in the tack room was running up the electric bill, my smartphone went stupid, and there were more bills in the mailbox than checks.

Bah humbug, I thought, who cares about Christmas. Kids whining about the cold, ponies dirty from laying in the mud, ripped blankets, icy water buckets to chop, frozen arena, cold hands all day.

Why do we do this, I wondered out loud. What happened to “loving horses”?

So much work, in the dark and cold… I was seriously bummed.

Longing for warmer temperatures, I got on the computer and started to search rentals in Aiken, as if I had the money to go south. Slowly, the computer lulled me to sleep. I got to dreaming about warmth and clean horses.

Riding in the warm sunshine, on soft footing, on perfectly behaved horses who bent to my every signal. Dreaming of blue ribbons, lined up so many on the string above the tack room that they were overlapped.

Jumping horses that never twisted, or stopped, or ran out. Dressage horses that never resisted, or flopped on the forehand, and always halted square. Event horses that always made the time, instantly read every question, never pulled rails in stadium. Ah, the stuff of dreams!

When I awoke, my computer had up on the screen, my calendar for the past year. I saw that in January 2011, I noted that even though we had 8 inches of snow, turning the horses out and watching them play in it was so much fun.

Mac Ron died at age 27 in March of 2011. He was kind soul and loved to his last breath.

And in February, we had a fabulous days hunting on a cold and crisp Sunday, and one hunting friend remarked that he felt good hunting was almost “better than sex!”

And in March, the trainers returned home from the south and my first lesson back after the winter off, was excellent. My dear Mac Ron died in my arms at age 27.

In April, jump judging at a local horse trial, I saw many good horses and riders.

In May, I read the terrible news of a fellow horseman’s barn fire, and thanked my lucky stars mine were OK, and then sent a check to help out.

In June, had a warm night to ride in the moonlight.

In July, I had an event with a great finish.

In August, kept on trying.

In September, looked forward to fun.

Looking forward to foxhunting with friends

In October, had fun and couldn’t wait for November and hunting.

In November, had some great hunting while waiting for the holidays and enjoying time with friends.

And so, here in December, I have learned about my year, that’s it is not just today that is important.

It is tomorrow and the next day, and the next year.

There is a cycle.

For good and for bad, the icy water buckets are made up for by the moonlit trail rides, and the rare blue ribbon in exchange for the ripped blanket. It’s a good trade, overall.

Merry Christmas for this year and all the coming years.

Holly

Winter Hacking video – by Buzzterbrown