One of the greatest things that owning a horse has done is get me outside. I know that sounds obvious, but it's been a long time since I've spent this much time outdoors and it's one of the things I've come to appreciate a lot.
The other morning, it was all of about 29 degree when I got to the barn - warm by some folks' standards, but pretty darn cold for a California girl. And, like every good California girl, I grumbled about it as I pulled on my hat and gloves.
Then I started thinking about how much time I spend outside and the gift that really is.
If I didn't have Lena, I would drive straight into the office every morning, warm and toasty inside my car. And while I would be warmer, I'd be insulated from the early morning air. I'd miss the way the frost makes even barren pastures look magical. I wouldn't see the mist rising as the winter sun makes every valiant attempt to warm the ground. Not to mention never seeing the way the cloud of Lena's breath swirls around her spotty head as she watches me come up to her paddock.
The horses get frisky in this kind of weather, bucking in their paddocks, racing each other in the pastures. Right after I took the picture below, the mare on the right - Gypsy - came galloping up to the fence to see what I was doing. Or maybe because she thought I had treats. Or maybe just because it's fun to kick up your heels when the air is crisp and clear.
Life is full of excuses to hide inside. Lena gives me an excuse to be out and I love it. Even when my nose gets cold.