Saturday dawned crisp (rather, FREEZING) and cloudy, with some snow predicted for the afternoon (a dusting to 2 inches), so I didn’t get my rush on in the morning quite as much as I maybe should have.
Kat’s new owner was scheduled to arrive at ten to pick her up, so Laura came out early to get her mane and tail brushed, the mud cleaned off her legs, and have her ready to go. I had the bills of sale printed with all the information I could get on there (including most of a tattoo number that was remarkably clear for being so old, except for the last digit which I now know is “3”, thanks equineline.com!). After Kat had her breakfast and a large quantity of peppermints, her new owner arrived, and off she went to her new home in Poolesville.
As she pulled out, the light flurry seemed to be abating, so we made the decision to go hook up to get to the funny farm and grab Archie, who is our next victim. Deidra, one of our volunteers, was there with her trusty truck and up we went, not really noticing how the light flurry turned into real snow by the time we got up to the trailer parking. Once up there, it was a comedy of errors – all signs were pointing to “are you people crazy?!?!?” as we attempted to extricate various trailer parts from the frozen ground. I’m just glad there is no video of this – we were like the three stooges, trying to get a pin out from the hitch that had frozen in place.
BY the time we actually got hooked up, the snow had turned thick. We drove down the driveway, and D. looked at me and said, “I dunno about this.” I was inclined to agree, and left it up to her since she was driving. We sat there looking at the road for a few indecisive moments when a voice piped up from the back seat. “Oh it’s FINE. It’s just blowing off the road, it’s not even sticking.”
Deidra and I might both be easily influenced, because at that point we shrugged our shoulders and she edged onto the road.
Thus began the quest of the three fair ladies to retrieve Sir Archibald the Bearded.
Actually, we made it over there pretty much OK. The roads were not so bad at that point, though the snow was coming down thick and fast. It wasn’t until we were actually at the R&R farm, turning down the driveway, that we again began to have second thoughts.
But we were already there. And really, at that point, what else is there to do except load the horse and go? The whole way down the driveway it sounded like the brakes were grinding or something – but no, it’s just the good crunchy kind of snow. 🙂 Seeing the actual pile of snow on top of everything, I had a brief moment of “oh nooo..” as we turned up the hill into the farm driveway. But all was well. And the ground under the snow was so frozen there was no trouble turning around either.
Sir Archibald loaded like a champ, at least after we moved the divider in the trailer over to make it look more spacious. Any hesitation he had was gone the second he saw the hay in there (and this is sort of besides the point, but this horse is SERIOUSLY food oriented. It’s like he’s obsessed with eating, and even though he spends 24 hours a day doing it, if you try to do lead him somewhere or do something with him, all he’s thinking about it when he gets to do it again. He actually can be a little impolite about it, so we’ll have to work on that :))
The drive home was much more perilous, though, than the drive out there. The roads at this point were well covered and it was no longer blowing off easily. Well trafficked areas were better, as cars had kept a path clear, but there were a couple hairy spots, and I did feel the whole rig slip a few times. By the time we were home I think we’d all been holding our breath for at least ten minutes, and at least two of us were thinking that it was an incredibly dumb decision to have gone in the first place.
Either way, Archie seemed very happy to see the new place and get a stall. Once he was safely bedded down, it was back up the hill, where we spent a fun fifteen extra minutes prying Deidra’s wheel holder thingy off the ground. It was frozen solid, and took a good bit of effort (and a pitchfork, a shovel with sharp pointy things on the end, and the heel of my foot) to get up.
Archie later got a good grooming and a blanket. He’s now out in the front field with a girlfriend, and his face buried in hay. He will be getting his mane pulled, and introduced to the indoor this week, along with front shoes and a dentist appointment.