February—the Longest Month

Most years, including this year, the calendar states that there are 28 days in February. If that is the case, why does it seem like such a long month?

Here in Northeast Ohio, we can typically ride on the trail regularly through November. Once December hits, it is touch and go—for months. Things get better in early March, and by the end of the month, we are trail riding on a regular basis.

I feel that Daylight Savings—this year on March 10th, should be a national holiday because I could now go on trail rides in the evenings after work. My life changes into one of lots of trail riding instead of occasional trail riding. Soon, I will be trail riding 5 days a week. I was one who cheered quite loudly when they moved it a few weeks early a couple years ago. I wish they would make it sooner.

Winter starts out good. I am usually all enthusiastic about working in the arena. I can concentrate on my training goals. This year, I wanted to master the canter with Cole—which I did on the left lead. We won’t talk about the right lead. I wanted to increase his duration of the “big trot” beyond a lap. I did, but I found I could only last about 3 laps top before I fell apart due to exhaustion. I fixed our sloppy turn on the haunches to the right. We solidified backing up. Our bends are becoming beautiful at a walk. The trot is tougher because of his impulsion, but I am working on it.

Ellen had her most productive winter, ever, with Ranger.

And now, it is February. Suddenly, Cole can’t trot far, again, because he needs to snort. I am losing focus and losing my seat at the same time. We get distracted with talking to people. Cole’s transitions are getting sloppy. My indoor rides are getting shorter if it is safe to ride on the driveway. I end up just walking up and down it—in the dark. Face it; we are bored in the arena. Ellen is, too.

Where is spring? We hoped it would start last weekend, and it didn’t. On Saturday, the driveway was too icy to go outside. On Sunday, the driveway was fine, but the hill leading down to the river was too icy. Will it be this weekend coming up? After all, nearly everything is melted and it is supposed to be above freezing all week—until Friday night. Then it is turning into winter, again. Alas, will consistent trail riding ever begin? I know it is close, but why does it seem so far away?

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