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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Winter Coat

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We might be receiving a coating of ice, sleet, and/or snow this week. The large winter storm impacting much of our country may or may not reach us. We are located in a county on the edge of all the areas lit up with alerts and warnings. Among the many uncertainties in predicting the exact path of winter storms, I am well aware of the possibility we will not escape some level of winter weather hassle.

I wasn’t aware of having thoughts about the coming weather when I paused with the horses yesterday to admire their winter coats. Swings can look so regal at times. 

She is the eldest of the herd, turning 28 in January. I’ve been told we increment the ages of the horses on January first, regardless of when they were foaled. At 28 in horse-years, her age compares to an 80-year-old human. I often view her as being the eldest mare of the bunch but there are plenty of times when she seems surprisingly youthful.

I took a close-up photo of Light’s winter coat. If it starts raining today they will appear much less fluffy. When they are dry like that, there is an urge to just bury your face against them and breath in their scent. The urge is not always acted upon since they are 1200+ pounds and might make unexpected quick maneuvers that don’t take into account the location of a person.

We are expected to move out of the way of our own accord as quickly as they do.

Funny how calming it is to stand among them even though the opportunity for instant chaos is always present. Yesterday, Mia startled me by doing a full-body flinch in response to the sudden appearance of a loudly flapping barn pigeon. One second later, complete calm returns.

These four still show minimal tolerance for hands-on affection. There have been rare instances where they linger and appear to be enjoying a brush or hand scratches but it is much more common for them to step away as soon as we show signs of being too “handy.”

I keep hoping that will continue to slowly change. When it comes time to shed those winter coats, we’d love to help them all out with some thorough brushing. That’s getting ahead of things, however. Today, we will all need some winter coats that shed moisture if the incoming precipitation slides just a little farther east than predicted.

If things become too unruly around here, I may need to consider putting horses inside the barn in the stalls. That is NOT something that will be easy to do by myself, so I’m hoping the horses will simply take advantage of the overhang and avoid getting too wet and cold.

Wish us luck.

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Written by johnwhays

December 13, 2022 at 7:00 am

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