Dog, Birds, Bunnies + Mara

Everyone has been challenged by the extreme cold we’re experiencing including our special animals. Our pup Lindy B has required having my homemade booties on to go outside (and it takes a while to get those on and off!) I’m also feeding the birds multiple times a day.

I’m lucky to report that I have a fun caregiver gig for some bunnies and chickens this next week. Today I received my care instructions and todo list.

With the polar vortex still hanging on this was day three for Mara to be in her stall 24/7. All the stall horses are handling it well but I decided Mara B needed to go outside for a while today. My mind can go low, plus I’m very claustrophobic and I was thinking, I have such a strong need to be “out” to breathe fresh air, to physically move and to see the sun, that I felt I had to give Mara the same.

It worked out well, she rolled in the snow, trotted freely around and had a different view for thirty minutes or so. At least it made me feel better, this ‘shutdown’ has reinforced my own understanding of how much I need nature, plus my animal connections to cope when I feel closed in. Hoping you managed to find your own healthy way through the polar vortex of 2019.

Tomorrow we get to turn the calendar to February and a new month together. ☀️💛 ✌️

Polar (vortex) & (pony) Pearl

Yes, it’s dangerously cold here today. Yes, I visited Mara B late this morning, the drive to the stable was fine, the car thermometer was negative 22.

The fabulous morning chore crew (Pat, Maddi and Mitch) were still working hard when I arrived. All chores were completed with horses in their stalls, keeping doors closed as much as possible no tractor in and out to haul the manure, it was all removed by carrying muck buckets to the door. No tractor was used to bring in the fresh stall bedding, it was hauled in with muscle. Thank you wonderful chore crew team! Mara B and her pal Spice had arena time, I had grooming/bonding time with Mara and she warmed up my heart.

But enough about the polar vortex and the ‘stay inside’ instructions. Please let me introduce you to a Mara Moments follower instead of continuing to discuss the weather. (I’m hoping it’s a little more fun) Here is faithful blog follower and special friend given by nature, my niece Laura. Laura was lucky to have backyard horses when she was growing up! Pony, Pearl was a real cutie and I remember Pearl too.

Yes, Laura trimmed Pearl’s forelock and mane, and you guessed it, her tail too! That’s what little girls do sometimes. Laura and her daughters no longer have a ‘real’ horse of their own, but they enjoy riding along with Mara B and me. Thanks for riding with us!

I hope you are tucked in, and in a warm place ☀️ spring arrives soon I’ve heard.

Staying In

Mara B and the stall horses stayed in all day today, due to extremely cold temperatures. Mara B. is a real outside kind of horse so this is no treat for her.

I let her have ‘free’ time in the indoor arena this morning and she was wild. Mara really needed to move.

The Icelandic horses also had arena ‘free’ time.

Very fun to watch our horses play indoors where it was warm and safe on a day the weather outside got the best of us. (just for documentation purposes, it is -15 as I post this and the polar vortex descends on the region tonight.)

Hardy horses, hardy women and special horse love on display today, and that warms us all up!

Gates are Open

As of midday today the paddock gates are open because the stall horses had been tucked back in to their stalls (they were outside all morning) to help keep the barn temperature above freezing for the next 24 hours.

Our weekend was cold but the arctic blast arrives tonight. Here are a few highlights from our weekend visits with Mara B. Jay had some good horse time both Saturday and Sunday!

I just sat around while Jay groomed and cleaned up Mara B.

Today when I arrived heaters had been on in the barn, Sandi was around and Mara B and I had a little free time together in the indoor arena

Leaving Mara B in her stall when I departed was an oddity for both of us. Everyone reading this post please stay warm and stay safe tonight whatever your weather. Luckily the horses at the barn all seemed to be handling this weather just fine.

Plenty of Hay & Lights On

Brrrr, frigid, or freezing however you say it, it’s cold. This afternoon it was around zero when I arrived and all the stable horses had plenty of hay to munch on which helps to keep them warm.

My three, four legged friends and I had arena play time together before I groomed and cleaned Mara.

Wanting to have a little ‘ride’ time I sat bareback on Mara B and that was good bonding, chatting time for us.

All of the lights on in the barn help some to keep the temps up, but you can see from this inside door that the bitter temperatures are tough to deal with.

Of course Mara B warmed my heart and she’s so hardy, that she didn’t complain at all about the cold today. It was a pleasant visit for me.

Some Saddle Time

It felt mild at 19 degrees today, the wind was still and we had peaks of sunshine. Weather is an ongoing topic for me because it is a factor of horseback riding.

Mara B and I saddled up for a ride in the indoor arena. It felt good to have walk trot moves together after the days of no riding lately.

We enjoyed CJ and Abe who were also working in the indoor, so I even had a willing photographer.

Thanks CJ, Abe, Brutus and Bo for making our ride time warm and friendly.

My activities with Mara were refreshing and satisfying this afternoon, she was wonderful and seemed to be happy for the riding as well.

Looking forward to our time together tomorrow.

Snow Bath & Trim

Light snow had dusted Mara when I arrived this afternoon and it was actually very helpful for cleaning her up a bit.

Mara B had her “snow bath” however I guess some other horse used the wash stall for a clean up!

With our very cold temperatures using the wash stall was not the best idea….. Mara also had a very friendly (with Brutus and Bo) farrier appointment with Brian for a trim today.

Small accomplishments for us on another cold winter day.

Warm Pup Cold Drink

Mara B and I are in a deep freeze in Western Wisconsin, so our activities have been limited. Today we enjoyed the warmth of pup Bo hanging out with us.

Mara enjoyed some run around time in the indoor arena, and Bo played along too but was distracted when finding road apples to chew on.

JAC the cat (aka Socks) and Bo and I chatted while Mara nibbled on some hay. When she returned to her paddock she took a long icy cold drink.

Dog, cat and horse we’re my wonderful ‘warm’ companions on this bitter cold day.

Hello Again & a Powerhorse

Wonderful to see Mara B this afternoon! I believe she was pleased to have me back too!she certainly was in need of some grooming and clean up.

First thing I let her do was to have her ‘powerhorse’ time moving freely in the indoor arena. She had a wonderful time racing around, bucking and releasing built up energy. Icy conditions are still with us, so we need the indoor arena for the horses to safely exercise.

We all need regular exercise no matter what the weather is!

According to a Yiddish Proverb: “The wagon rests in winter, the sleigh in summer, the horse never.”

Creative Retreat

Mara B is home munching and happy to be on her own retreat.

My creative retreat away has included reading, walking and relaxing. I’m sharing the following book title and highlights from it that have inspired and motivated me for the new year ahead. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration as well.

How to share equine therapy seemed open to my own interpretations. I have enjoyed blogging about ‘equine therapy ‘ however don’t consider myself a true expert, it was just my way of sharing my healing path.

I have learned a lot by blogging and enjoy the creativity it provides me.

Mara and I are simply out on a walk together most days, simply observing nature and taking some photographs.

I have enjoyed show n tell since my grade school days at Hawthorne Elementary, and feel that Mara Moments is another form of show n tell.

Thank for joining me in my creative expressions through my blog. I appreciate you. Helen