Here in the Midwestern United States, talking about the weather is everyone's go-to conversation starter. The weather changes frequently and can be drastic. For example, when I got to work today at noon, it was sunny and 38 degrees (which is a heckuva lot warmer than it has been). Snow was melting, the sun felt warm on your face, and there was a blushing hope of the coming spring. Now it's 5 o'clock and snow is pouring out of the sky, it feels like winter will never end and we will all just live in The Day After Tomorrow land.
I am so tired of shoveling, it's not even funny. It's the middle of April, which is supposed to be muddy and rainy, and instead we are getting huge dumps of snow. We got several inches of snow last Thursday through Friday, which accumulated in giant drifts because of the 40 mph wind. Pleasant, right? Saturday through about 5 pm today, it was sunny and warming up outside. Now we are expected to get another 6 inches or so of snow tonight, with some rainy crap mixed in that will make roads very hazardous to travel.
Basically, this spring has not cooperated AT ALL. I wish there was someone who could be fired for mixing up the season change so badly, but there isn't. That I know of- you find someone, let me know!
All of this has made it pretty much impossible to work with Rocky. In less than a month we are supposed to do our first ACTHA ride, but I haven't been able to work with him very much at all. Things were starting to melt, so there was mud or ice floes everywhere. Now it's been snowing again like crazy, so it makes driving dangerous or the trails generally impassable.
I did get some good work done on opening and closing the arena gate last time I was able get up to the barn. After a few practices we were able to do it, not super gracefully but without smashing my knee and keeping my hand on the gate. The trick I learned was to slow Rocky down and give him a pause between each new movement. His tendency was that once the gate was open, we go through it and away! Moving slowly around it and then stopping so I could shut it was not in his game plan. Once we mastered taking it step by step, he was able to wrap his head around my request rather than rushing through everything.
Once I got frustrated because he seemed so impatient, so I loped him around the driest part of the arena for a minute. When we returned to the gate we were both thinking more calmly and were able to get the job done. Still, I feel like we are not going to be well prepared for the ride in May. I'm wondering if they will end up needing to cancel it due to the weather, but I suspect they will do it anyway.