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Winter Weigh In: Nina Fuller

Published: 2/18/2015
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Editor's Note: We asked several horse owners to share their pros and cons of this record-breaking winter - one that’s brought more snow and cold temperatures than most can remember. It’s one that brings the horse community together as we celebrate our blessings and commiserate over our challenges.

Many thanks to Robin, Kim, Nina, and Julie! We're sending you gals Darn Tough socks and Stabilicers to help you get through the season!

By Nina Fuller
Nina Fuller is an accomplished photographer and recently completed her degree in equine-assisted mental health. Visit her photography site here. Read additional guest columns by Nina here.

Waxing philosophical between the BRRRRs!

Some evenings in the winter when it is dark but shouldn’t be, and it’s colder then it should be and the water is frozen so I am outside when I shouldn’t be and it all seems fruitless and why do I live here?... I stop, lean on the fence and look up into the sky:

The stars flicker around and seem to multiply by millions as I watch. The water runs into the trough and the animals chomp on their hay. If it were not for these horses and these sheep I would be inside in front of the fire reading or binge-watching something on Netflix. But I was forced out here by the horrible weather and I am very happy to be standing there looking at the stars and counting my blessings. 

The horses love the snow and it’s a blast to watch them play in it and roll in it and bask in the sun and sometimes fun to ride in it when the footing is okay.  I remember when my daughter was home. We would go out in blizzard conditions, get on my horse, Flurry, and plow through the fields. The horses lift their legs high and it’s like riding a dancing horse when riding in the snow.

A few years ago my barn doors froze to the ground. (This was before I had the bottom two inches cut off.) It could not be closed.  A Nor’easter was in full swing and a friend and I put up a tarp to keep the snow from filling the barn. 

Deb was on the ladder reaching as high as she could with a staple gun. I was holding the ladder and the snow was whipping sideways and trying its best to knock us down. I remember it was horrible and I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to move to Arizona.  

The next morning when I let the horses out into the fresh snow, my pony jumped up in excitement and his back leg met my thigh with a force that knocked me back against the barn and into a snow bank like a rag doll. 
OK..that’s it…I’m done. Broken leg. I hate winter. 

My leg was not broken. Winter turned to spring and the lambs started being born.

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2/19/2015 Julie Kenney
I agree with you Nina. I often think "why am I outside on a frigid night with the wind whipping snow into my face like frozen needles," and then I stop, listen, and be amazed by all the stars up above. For me, it is truly God-inspiring. Then I say thank you to my horses for getting me out to enjoy nature, even in it's coldest times. THEN I quickly get back inside to thaw out! :)

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    "If the horse does not enjoy his work, his rider will have no joy." - H.H. Isenbart