In many ways, winter has let us know it has arrived in Atlanta. First, there was the bitter cold few days (no, really, it was in the 20’s) and there’s the extremely short days (I come in and leave the office in the dark some days). Of course, my equine friends have let us know it’s winter by eating every piece of edible thing they can get their mouths on and turning into marshmallow men with fuzzy coats that make winter blankets obsolete.
Smokey is a hot mess right now. I haven’t ever seen a horse gain that much weight in preparation for winter. His winter coat is an unimaginable puffy coat that can insulate him for pretty much any temperature, I’m sure. His hair is so thick on his face that it feels like he has a helmet on. He is ready to do this winter thing!
Imagine Smokey is George in this scenario.
One minor problem is that the weather in Atlanta never stays that cold for long. So in the past couple of weeks, Smokey has had to suffer through several days of 65+ degree weather during the days. The poor guy will end up sweating just standing around at the barn. It clearly hasn’t stopped him from eating, though. He is grumpy and slow while we’re working now, that is WHEN we get to work, which is usually for a short time on the weekends only. Trying to beat the light up to the barn after work is just not in the cards for a while.
That being said, we have still made some progress. I’m not comfortable saddling him up and hopping on him in a saddle (my little brown one is my saddle of choice as it fits him well and isn’t too bad to sit in). We still haven’t gone for the trot again, but I’m sure it will happen soon. I’m crossing my fingers for 100% less bucking and shoulder injuries.
This winter will be a big change for us (as if we ever stop changing). We’re moving to a new barn at the end of this week. While we have both come to love the Pamelot family, a new adventure awaits us a few miles up the road. Smokey will have his own stall and some new friends who are (coincidentally) reiners – one of which graced the cover of Horse and Rider, I believe. I’ll have to find out more on that.
I’m excited to see how he handles being stalled. He will be out except for inclement weather – which has been my fear leading up to winter. I know he won’t freeze to death, but it sure does get cold out… We’ll also get to see how well he hops up into a trailer after his experience being squeezed into it the last time. I don’t anticipate too many kafuffles with this whole move, but I am hoping that it all goes smoothly. He should be all moved in and getting to know the other horses by Saturday morning. I’m also pretty hopeful that I’ll get to know the owner’s son who is a professional reining trainer in Cumming. I look forward to possibly taking some lessons and getting back in fighting shape to get Smokey’s training rocking again.
Remember when I let him out in the pasture for the first time and was a total wreck about the whole thing? Well, that’s how I feel about this move. While I’m happy to be moving him to a place where he will have indoor access, I’m worried about the trailering, the new horses, the new facility…. It’s like taking my kid to a new school. I hope he fits in!
We sure will miss the Pamelot family as they gave us the opportunity to become mother and horse in the first place and have given us tons of encouragement and support throughout this whole shenenigan. I fully expect to see some of them at the local shows next year when we’re finally able to get out and do things. best of luck to them all and I’m sure we’ll see you around soon!