As a resident of Atlantic Canada I am normally prepared for the worst that winter can throw at us. We regularly have temperatures around -20 down to -30, snow, wind, rain… You get the picture. We are lucky enough to have a large indoor arena so riding in the winter is possible, just not enjoyable. This winter started late. We were able to ride outside until the end of December although lessons moved indoor around the first of November. We were hopeful. Maybe this winter wouldn’t be bad? It started snowing the first week of January and it didn’t stop until…. Well is basically just stopped. I’m exaggerating slightly but not much. My city broke the record for snowfall for the year with 549 cm of snow. Yep you read that right. No need to adjust your monitors. We also had very cold temps so the snow just didn’t melt. Normally we are able to start using at least part of our outdoor arenas by mid-April. This year it was mid-May. It was a long 6 months indoors. We were having snow storms every. freakin.week so lessons were cancelled and I often couldn’t make it to the barn on weekends either. The roads were horrible and there was so much snow that some roads had only one lane open.
Yep, bit of snow. Pic on the right is my barn’s road.
Through it all we definitely made some progress. We started schooling over bigger jumps more consistently and really got our flat-work to a better place. My anxiety is higher in the indoor for some reason. RB can be spooky in there and snow and ice falling off the roof can spook even the most saintly schoolie (ask me how I know). I had 2 or 3 really bad rides in a row and my confidence was shot. In April we had a jumping clinic and I was terrified. I didn’t feel like I could even ride let alone jump but it actually went pretty well. We started off with tiny cross-rails and gradually worked up to 2’3ish. The clinic was 2 days and the second day was one of the best rides I have had. Overall I’m proud of what we accomplished over the winter and very grateful that we are able to ride at all. My fear/anxiety was much less than the previous winter and we had way more positive rides than scary ones. Yay us! I believe I averaged about 3 rides a week from January to April which is not bad.
Check out the death snow. Pics from the jumping clinic. Photo cred to Tara Stewart.