In which we describe how horse people can survive the Swamp in Winter
After asking in my last post what types of things y'all want to read, I learned that the "how-to" and "list" posts are good and useful. So, here's one of those. It's written for horse-people, but a lot of the suggestions will work for normal humans also.
(If you want a different kind of post, or want to "ditto" what others have said, you can leave comments on FB or in the comment box HERE)
|Keeping a horse--and a horse person--happy and healthy during a Swampland Winter|
is a unique challenge.
It's not just the rain.
|This photo was taken around noon in December|
It's the rain + mud + clammy air + grey skies + lack of natural color + short days and longs nights + a million other things.
This doesn't mean the Swamp is a terrible place to be in Winter.
I admit that it's a lot nicer to be here in Spring, Summer and Fall. But still, Winter doesn't have to completely suck.
Let me offer some helpful advice for friends and family who are coming here from Sunnier Climes.
- PLAN AHEAD
|We put in 3-4 cords of firewood each fall, and usually have a bit left over in spring|
Horse people: it seems obvious (to me) that hay should be purchased each summer to last the entire winter. But maybe it's not obvious, so I guess I'll say it:
Buy your hay in July/August, get it stacked and stored and covered before the rains start. Hay absolutely does not get cheaper or easier to find in February.
|If you are lucky, you will have a strong young friend like Henry |
to buck the hay into your barn for you.
Make sure you have bedding pellets or straw or whatever you use in stalls also. Not because these things are difficult to find in December, but because nobody wants to move that stuff around in the pouring rain!
Planning ahead for winter in the Swamp means making sure you've got what you need, too.
Know that there will be days when you will look out the window and cancel all your plans.
Make yourself a stack of pre-planned happiness: a few books to look forward to reading (or re-reading), a packet of tea that's a fancier than your daily brew, a set of paint brushes or knitting needles, or baking ingredients or whatever makes your eyes sparkle.
If you live with other people, make sure they have stuff too. They might not choose to use their happiness cache on the same day as you, which is fine.
- GO OUTSIDE EVERY DAY
- DO SOMETHING RESTFUL AND FUN EVERY WEEK
- DO SOMETHING ACTIVE AND FUN EVERY WEEK
- TRY THE LOCAL CUISINE
|The wintertime version of the Backyard Scramble includes jam made from our own berries,|
and a much larger cup of tea.
- TAKE YOUR VITAMINS
- MAKE GOOD CLOTHING CHOICES
- HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE YOU LIKE
- INVEST IN GRAVEL
- GO AWAY FOR A WHILE