(This is actually my blog from Feb. 18 — I’m just catching on to how to do this.) I’ve never before sensed there was an in between stage clogging our efforts to emerge from winter. Yes, tHere’s a point where everything turns to mud, and tHere’s also that moment somewhere around Valentine?s Day here in NY where we turn a corner and there are consistent days above freezing on the 10-day forecast. This new in between stage for me is the one where I hope the temperature will dip back well below freezing, at least at night, so that I can ride in peace and quiet. it’s the stage where tHere’s still snow on the roof on the indoor but just enough sun each day to slide only parts of it off at a time. If it gets cold enough at night, then the snow stays put during the early morning hours. This year, We’ve had snow sliding for a couple weeks, not the usual couple days. Sometimes it sounds like a war film, or at least a Bruce Willis ?Die Hard? movie. Our arena still has some of the stuff clinging to plastic skylight panels on the top, but last week the roof was mostly covered and the temperature was flirting with the low 30s. I’d come out to the barn in the morning by 9, go inside the arena to assess the level of crashes, and then get my longe line instead of my saddle. Longeing was definitely the better part of valor. Even the most bomb-proof steady eddies were unsettled. One morning a crash set off a young horse and face-planted his rider, kicking her in the head as well. Her helmet is cracked but, blessedly, not her head, and sHe’s shaken up but fine. I’ve been using ear plugs on a horse for the first time in my life, and it seems to be helping, at least with the creaks and groans in the roof that come when the sun hits it, if not with the bomb-level explosions when the ice drops off. It cracked me up when I went to the tack shop and asked for plugs and they wanted to know the color of my horse so the plugs would match. I have a black mare, but I asked for grey. I want to be able to see the plugs because I need to remember to take them out when I remove the bridle and also so that I can find them easily if they drop out. I’ve been thinking maybe ear plugs would be good for me as well. I flinch now when I hear a loud roof pop, and if I flinch then my horse does, too, of course. Good alpha mare that she is, she takes my cue and goes on alert for the source of concern. If I take a deep breath, she does also. I need to do more of that. I’m looking forward to mud and shedding. Resolution Report: Staying home for a change didn’t help matters. Didn?t gain but didn’t lose either. Rats.