Once upon a time, a long, long time ago I was called a "fair weather rider." By my own mother. I don't remember why or what prompted the comment, but it's one of those things that has stuck with me all these years because that's the last thing I ever thought I'd be.
I've never considered myself a fair weather rider. I'd get out there and ride in the rain, the snow, the fog, the cold, the middle of winter in the middle of the night under a full moon...any time, any where. If there was time to ride, the homework and chores done, I was on my horse. And I'd make fun of friends who wouldn't ride unless the skies were blue, the temperature moderate and the bugs at a minimum. Most of us were "all weather" riders, but a few, not so much.
But, I find that the older I get, the less likely I am to bundle up and ride when that thermometer drops below 20. I just don't want to. I remember how much I LOVE riding in the snow, and the crisp, brisk air smacking my cheeks, reddening my nose and start thinking about pulling on silk long underwear, breeches, a pair of sweatpants, a t-shirt, sweatshirt, coat, gloves, hat, two pairs of socks, ear muffs...and it just seems like way too much effort.
Then I remember cold thighs, wind-induced tears frozen to my cheeks, numb fingers, frozen snot and feet that feel like they are going to shatter into a million frozen shards when you hit the ground on the dismount after being in the saddle for an hour or so.
And I skip it. I look out to the pasture and see Gabe gallivanting around in the snow, so happy and full of energy and boisterousness that I really, really want to get out there and ride and laugh.
But I don't want to freeze my ass off doing it, either.
There, I said it. I'm approaching "fair weather rider" status. Yikes! I hope this doesn't become a downward slide for me and I find myself only willing to ride when the weather is perfect. I never wanted to be one of "those riders."
I like riding in the rain. I LOVE riding in the fog and mist. Even the heat is tolerable.
But the cold. I just can't justify the bitter, biting, frigid, horrible, soul-sucking cold.
Hurry up spring! I need you!