Flying South for the Winter

Windy is enjoying the Florida sun.

Windy, right, and her BFF enjoying Florida sun.

There should have been no picture to go with this blog, or else just a black rectangle there. That’s because my latest horsey adventure was loading a huge horse van at 5 in the morning in 3-degree wind chill, which is really really cold for us in NC. There was precious little that could be seen and the situation was weird enough without camera flashes going off, even if I could have held a camera.

I have never done the Florida thing. Yes, I judge or go to forums and clinics in Florida every winter, although it’s never called to me to spend three months there. But, with Windy on the cusp of the Holy Grail — piaffe, passage, one-tempis — it also didn’t make sense to stay schooling by myself for three months in North Carolina. So the plan was for Windy to go to Florida with my trusted friend Ashley, who is working with great clinicians there, and I would come visit.

Thus, in total darkness, and temperatures well (well!) below the freezing mark, we were leading horses up the long driveway to the van where seemingly eerie lights were not exactly inviting. In 10 years, I have never seen Windy shiver or shake, but she was doing both – perhaps because she was just clipped, or because the situation was so odd or because her BFF was on the van and she wasn’t because there was one horse (there is always one) that refused to load and she was last in line.

I was really impressed with the competency and patience of the van driver and my friends to load the new horse, while Windy kept calling to her friend. They finally all set on of the 12-hour drive to Welly World in West Palm Beach and arrived just fine. I crawled away to a coffee shot – should have done that at 5 instead of 6:30.

Ashley sent me a phone photo first thing the next day with Windy and her lookalike BFF Fontyn hanging out in the sun, palm trees behind them and no blankets despite being clipped. I am looking forward to a visit soon. Hmmm, sun and sand (arena sand, not beach sand.) Sounds heavenly, and Windy seems to think so despite the rocky start.

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