Reflections of an Archway Thanksgiving

It all began with a drastic drop in temperature, the sky turned a funny color, sounds seemed muffled and the flakes began their journey to the earth. It is hard to describe the beauty and serenity as the snow begins to stick and the earth is transformed. Once the snow had laid down its white blanket we are offered one of two options; stress about how it will be an inconvenience in our regimented lives or embrace its beauty along with its unique challenges. We eventually decided to choose the latter.

We tried to pretend the snow would not affect our activities here at the barn and although we fought it as best we could by Tuesday morning the storm had won us over. The temperature had dropped to 17 degrees and we knew we had our chores cut out for us as we began our day. Julie and Ana decided not to test the icy roads, so the residents would have to get to work. There were pipes to protect, horses to ride, paths to clear, horses to groom, warm water to be carried, horses to turnout.....ok you get the picture. As Corey, Payton, Natalie, Jenna and Krista bundled up in their cold weather gear, out they bravely went to exercise as many horses as possible before the sun and temperatures began to drop. Our arena is partially open and although we enjoy a beautiful view, the air was icy  against their faces which added  one more element in the battle to stay warm. As I managed the office I heard a lot of giggling and chatting, this seems to be part of the camaraderie that comes from a group working together in tough conditions. They went through their share of hand and toe warmers because, as you riders out there know, your feet and fingers take a beating in the boots and gloves  worn while riding!

Once the riding was done,  extra blankets were added  and we fed a sloppy, warm, salty mash; we left the barn with a cozy feeling that our horses were comfortable and grateful for our efforts that day.

Wednesday was a repeat of Tuesday, we had more help and were able to get all the horses exercised. We really appreciate how everyone pitched in and got the job done. As the day came to an end we were ready for a day of celebration, food and giving thanks!

This year Corey and I decided to have  our loyal barn staff take Thanksgiving afternoon off to spend an evening relaxing and enjoying themselves. As the three o'clock feeding time arrived Corey, Payton and I, along with two Jack Russels and a Cavalier bundled up to head down to the barn, horses were very quiet and happy as we opened the barn door.  We fed them hay, our salty mash and added warm water to their buckets, as the doors closed we  told them we would be back at 6:00 and headed to the house to add the finishing touches to our Thanksgiving meal. After Dinner it was back down to the barn for the final feed, it was a wonderful way to finish our day of Thanks and express our gratitude to these wonderful creatures who are part of our lives.

I hope that your Thanksgiving was as filling in the heart and tummy as ours was here at Archway!!