Know what this is? This is my farm's sign. Know why it's special? Because there is no ice on it! Not one cicle. Not a flake of snow or a hint of sleet.
This is, dear friend, a harbinger of Spring!
Every horse person knows that every change of season brings with it nuances of the passage of time and special moments which we share with our equines. In the Great Northeast, spring is particularly important as it gives us time to defrost before summer, with its bugs and burns (and bikinis, if you've stocked up on fake tan lotion for those horse-person-white legs), hits full force. Full-frontal summer is not for the faint-hearted. There is much to be done to prepare. So let us get on with our Spring To-Do List:
1. Under all that brown and grey stuff in the corner or hanging in front of the stalls are winter blankets. You know they're there, but like the midges that will soon arrive, you can't see 'em. My personal approach involves a long-handled siding brush with which I can beat the brown stuff off before I cover myself with plastic and attempt to move the mess outside. Eventually the pressure washer will take care of the dirt. Probaby just in time for next winter, which should arrive around August if our current weather pattern continues.
2. The horses aren't the only ones in need of a bit of exercise. Time to shape up before tight-pants season! I bought four new exercise videos and TiVo'd eight segments of high-stress yoga. So far I've managed 22 minutes of Pilates warm-up exercises. I'm resting comfortably.
3. There's tack in that-there tackroom! I've peeled off the layers of saddle pads and satisfied my curiosity. I really do own more saddles than I thought possible. Your turn. Bet you'll find at least one item of tack you didn't know you (still) had.
4. Time to rid the barn of freeloaders! No, I'm don't mean the horses. I mean the rodents. Mice. Rats, even. Squirrels if you've got 'em. And let's not forget the raccoon who's been nesting in your loft all winter. For what it's worth, there's a nifty battery-operated killing machine for the smaller critters. I got mine at Lowe's. Just smear a little bait on the back end and turn it on. In the morning, lift the lid and gently dump the corpus into the trash and reset. No muss, no thrashing death-throes, no traps dragging along behind something trying valiantly to take the cheese home for supper. Just a neatly deceased critter.
5. The last for today (overload is bad for the spirit) is windows. If the barn has any, clean them and open them up! Cleaning first is a good plan so the full effect of all that unaccustomed sunshine can be felt by everyone involved. While you're at it, you can go ahead and hang the fans. You have my blessing.
Well, that was exhausting! I, for one, am going to take advantage of the almost-warm temperature and go for a ride. The rest of the dirt will stick around till I get rid of it.