Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Name is Mud

I apologize for the lack of horse posts.  I've only ridden once in the past two months mainly because of the weather.  The ice in the paddock has finally melted and the water troughs are liquid instead of solid, but now I am battling my other nemesis:  Mud. 

I've been doing everything in my power to avoid going outside, because each time I go out, I have to put on my shoes on the cold doorstep and take off my shoes on the cold doorstep.  If I hope to wear that pair of shoes in the house or my car, I have to carry them inside and rinse them in the sink.  Shoes with treads are not my friends, because they are harder to clean.

I've been wearing my rain boots when I go out to the paddock to do anything with the horses, clean water troughs or stalls.  Those boots have a permanent home on the deck.  The horses are still slipping and falling down in the mud like they did on the ice, so I'm not interested in riding.  I probably would get more use out of a sure-footed mule during our winters.

I do see other people riding their horses in this weather, which makes me wonder why I have such difficulty doing the same.  Are these other riders just foolish and taking chances or am I overly cautious?  I realized that this cold weather seems to be affecting me worse than others.  Every day I bundle up in several layers of clothing and still all I feel is ice against my skin.  So, I pile blankets on top of myself, but still I feel incredibly cold.  In the meantime, my husband and son are walking around the house in short-sleeved T-shirts and shorts!

If I'm this cold inside the house, I certainly have no motivation to go outside the house and ride a horse.  I do go outside to clean stalls and whatnot, but I always come in with frozen fingers and toes.  I don't know why this winter is especially cold to me.  Obviously, I've survived a lot of Eastern Sierra winters, and a little rain or snow never stopped me from living my life before.  What is different?

All I can figure out is that perhaps either the prescription medications I'm now taking to lower my blood pressure are lowering it so much that my blood isn't being pumped well enough to my limbs and digits, or I'm sick in some other way that's not so obvious because of the antibiotics I've been on to clean out my lungs.  I've spent the majority of my time working on a novel on my laptop in bed, because even getting up to work on a quilt is too much for me since it means coming out from under the covers to sit at the sewing machine. I may as well dive into an ice-fishing hole.

The days are so gray and rain is forecasted for as far as I can see.  I try not to look at the weather forecasts too often, because they are constantly changing for the worse.  I'll spot a day in which we are actually supposed to get a little sun, and I'll look forward to that day, only to have the forecast change to more clouds and rain and mud and snow and ice.  It's depressing to know this is only December and we've most likely got another three to four months of this kind of weather. 

At least I've got a good book to read and review, and I'm also using this time to study the seemingly unlimited uses of Photoshop.  I find it ironic that I've looked forward to having free time for so many years, and now that I've finally got it, I can't do what I want with it, because I'm so uncomfortable in these temperatures and with this lack of light. 

If I didn't have to be so careful about money, I'd get on a plane and fly to visit some of you who are still experiencing warm weather.  I wish I could put my horses on that plane too.  I'm sure they'd appreciate getting out to experience dry ground and some sunshine too.


Sydney_bitless said...

It takes an average of 14 days for a body (horse/human etc) to acclimate to a temerature change. Some people take longer than others for various reasons. I am finding it hard right now to get warm after spending the last 3 days driving a horse, riding a horse or showing a horse in the cold. Brrrr.

Mikey said...

I so hear you on this. I am always cold. The exception being when it's 115 out... but normally, I'm comfortable when it's about 104 outside. Otherwise my hands and feet are just frozen.
I can suggest getting your own electric blanket and/or a space heater for one room, where you can be warm. I also take a lot of hot baths. I know this feeling and it really sucks.

Rising Rainbow said...

Geez, it sounds like you are describing me. I am always freezing this time of year and for some reason this year is worse. I am sick right now and I know that affects me too but I was cold before I got sick and I know I'll still be cold after I'm over being sick. I am longing for an early spring.......and a real one would be good, none of that waiting til summer for sunshine stuff like lasst year.

Vaquerogirl said...

Dont worry so much about your falling down! When the horse blow around the paddock they act a lot stupider than when you are riding. As I heard just recently -you have to make your own reality! Make your reality about riding in a focused and collected manner. It will be good for you and good for the horses. Put a hand warmer in each pocket to help keep your fingers toasty and just get on out there!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I'm wimpy about the weather now that I'm older. When I was young the weather never bothered me. Now, I tend to give my horses a few months off in the cold months. I shiver a lot and my hands are always cold. I wear layers of clothes and sleep with multiple blankets. Now, I know why older people go to Florida for the winters.

Crystal said...

brrr, i hear you, it seems like it has been way colder than before, or else I am just wimpier. I been hauling to arenas to ride cause I cant stand to not ride though.

Cheryl Ann said...

Nuzz, I'm constantly cold, too! I've dreaded driving up to visit my horses because of the weather, but, 5 layers of clothing later, off I go! Yes, it may be your meds. I take a beta-blocker myself and yes, it DOES affect my extremeties!

Ms Martyr said...

I'd check with your doctor to see if your medication could be tweaked.

Down is your friend. Down comforters, jackets and vests make cold weather tolerable. I have a flannel duvet on my comforter and flannel sheets on the bed.

I wear a long sleeved t-shirt, down vest and a quilted flannel shirt when working outside. Once I'm in the barn and tacking up I have to shed the outer shirt as I get too warm and just wear the T and vest to ride. I'm always sweating by the time my lesson is over.

Wool socks. Wear a hat to keep from losing heat through your head. Gloves - some work better than others. Mittens are better for warmth but make it hard to do a lot of things.

Anonymous said...

I was freezing all the time before I got my thyroid fixed. Now I'm one of those annoying people in a sweatshirt and vest in temps in the teens. (If you get your thyroid checked, get your tyroid antibodies, T3, and T4 checked, not just your TSH.)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Brrr! Your post made me soooo cold! And it's been very unseasonably warm, dry and sunny here this winter, so far.

You are welcome to come visit anytime. I'm sure we could set up something comfortable for your horses, too.

I'm sure you've already had your thyroid checked, but being cold, especially the extremeties, is one sign of thyroid problems.

Do you have a Snuggie? John asked me today if I'd like one for Christmas. In the commericals, everyone always looks so happy and cozy in their Snuggies.

Do you think I should take him up on it? lol!


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lisa - I had to laugh when you mentioned the Snuggie. For years I've been making fun of those commercials, but this year I actually asked for one for Christmas.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

lol! Well ok then...Snuggies it is!
I'm picturing you and I bundled up from head to toe in fleece, huge lumps on the sofa, looking like old grannies. What a sight!
But we'll be warm, right?!


achieve1dream said...

I'm with Anonymous. My Thyroid is the reason I freeze so much. And actually since I started taking an iron supplement for mild anemia I don't get as cold as I used to. I think it made a bigger difference than the Thyroid medication. I've also been taking a Vitamin D supplement because mine is really low and it's helped me a lot with winter related depression. I still don't like gray, dreary weather but I'm not as down as I used to get. Good luck staying warm!!!