We here in Warsaw, IN certainly dodged a bullet with the ice storms that have plagued so much of the country. We only had one day when it was really slippery, and we never lost power at all. However, we weren't quite so lucky with this last winter storm. It was snow instead of ice - thank goodness! - but little ole Warsaw saw some of the heaviest snowfall of the entire region - some 14 inches, and that's not counting the fact that there was a lot of blowing and drifting...

Even though it wasn't bitter cold, the wind continued to howl the next day, and even Indy seemed a bit intimidated by it all. Later in the day however, I saw him venture out to the gate even though he didn't go outside the paddock. They both seemed content do stay up by the barn and munch hay.

I knew Indy couldn't contain his curiosity for long though. Sure enough, today he was venturing all the way to the cross fence - and there was Ami right behind him. Some of the drifts were knee deep even for him, and he seemed to take pleasure in galloping through them. The more practical Ami just walked.

Actually, the most difficult part was just getting to the barn the first morning. The drifts were impossible to walk through, even for Mike. He couldn't even dent them with a shovel. Finally, he had to pick his way, clearing a path around the drifts. It wasn't the most direct route to the barn, but under the circumstances we weren't complaining!

The barn cats however were complaining. There was a snow drift blocking their regular "kitty entrance" in the front door of the barn. There they were - all 28 of them - sitting right behind the door when we opened it! What a cat-tastrophe!

Even when the kitties got out of the barn, the drifts were too deep for them to maneuver - they just sank! It didn't take them long to discover our path though, and they've been frolicking up and down, to and from the barn ever since.

By now of course, Indy and Ami have their weaving trails all over the pasture. Viewed from upstairs it looks like a bunch of drunks have been wandering around out there. Horses are constitutionally incapable of walking in a straight line. It must be a prey animal thing. They have been enjoying themselves, and that's the important thing. Indy - who was born in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - says this is the first decent winter he's seen since he moved here to the southland.


Snow Day

Overnight we had our first real snowfall in this crazy winter - some three inches or so. Enough that snow lover Indy was galloping up and down the paddock, flagging and snorting. In other words, having a Total Blast. Even Ami was doing a bit of steam blowing herself.

I'd been planning to start introducing them back into the full pasture soon, and today seemed like the perfect time to start. It's been cold and cloudy for days, and they can't get nearly as much grass under a few inches of snow as they could otherwise.

After we had cleaned the stalls and given them their breakfast Mike went out and opened the gate. Since this gate hadn't been opened since we started keeping them in last spring, it took him a few moments to unfasten it through the snow and ice. Meanwhile, Mr. Indy had lost interest and besides, his hay was calling him. Then Mike got the gate to swing free.

Indy knows to follow my finger when I want to direct his attention. When I pointed he looked back over his shoulder. His ears popped forward, his eyes widened and off he went in a high stepping trot. Ami, who had stayed over nearby had already shot out into the pasture. Whoopee!

And whoopee it was. Almost every time I looked out the kitchen window, there was Indy, galloping up and down, round and round. The whole pasture was covered with their swirling trails in the snow. What utter joy it is to watch them romp and play - just acting like healthy, happy horses.

When they came up for their dinner, we closed the gate for the night. I let them stay out for most of the day, and will do the same tomorrow. If all is well after about a week, they will be completely free for the winter.

They'll have to come back to the paddock in the spring, but for now just watch 'em go!

"From my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a longing beyond words." ~ Robert Vavra