Thursday, April 5, 2018

Of Stress and Snow: A Pictorial Journey

Man, long time no write!

Life outside of horses has been absolutely topsy turvy for me lately. March marked one year since my work life got absurdly shitty. It's absolutely shocking to me that I've managed to sustain the high levels of stress from work for this amount of time. There have been a few glimpses of "the light at the end of the [current] tunnel" lately though, which has been an incredible relief. Simply though, it just is not an easy time to be a scientist for the Federal government!

While horses absolutely help my stress levels, I've been focusing on other aspects of stress relief lately, running, doing a lot of yoga, and visiting with some childhood friends I very rarely see. I knew horse time would be plentiful in coming weeks as the weather improved, so my focus has admittedly been elsewhere!

Snow riding with my filthy grey horse.
I freaking LOVE this riding skirt. I'll write a review once I've ridden it in the rain some as that's a big reason I bought it!
Jumped his first "corner". His expression speaks volumes as to how much it bothered him (not at all)
The corner and a jump that I was surprised to learn measured at 2'9" (note the "reality stick" I finally made lying askew at the base of the center standard). Apparently I've been underestimating the height of all my jumps for years. Better to underestimate than to overestimate, I suppose!
The most awkward photo of Q I've ever taken lol
The dirty feed tub (not mine) was "in her way" after she danced away from Taiga jumping out suddenly. Why walk a few steps when you could just be awkward AF?

Our classic turbulent Appalachian spring weather has been full force for the past month (which has certainly been a welcome excuse to limit time at the barn). Mud to snow and back again multiple times; I don't mind snow, but am definitely NOT a fan of mud season! My favorite local conditioning partners are either out of the country or have lame horses right now, too, so it isn't as if I can spice things up with a friend at the moment. But that's okay!

True to the norm, March was the month we received the greatest amount of snowfall with 46"! I got some fun skiing in to cap off the year and was even able to join in on one of my most favorite local ski events for 5 hours a few Sundays ago.

I love my views from home
My friend Phoebe totally rocking it as we closed the mountain after a day of powder skiing
A blurry shot of Kenai and I skiing a backcountry bowl accessible from my house. Our bowls may not be as large as western ones, but they're really sweet all the same! Getting to access them after a short ski from my front door makes it all the better!
Another shot of that evening of backcountry bowl skiing
Sunset from the same vista as the photo with the sunbeams above; I also ski past this view to access the bowl above
Dave and I at the start of our Sunday XC ski adventure
A rare selfie
Our rad leader for the day's adventure! And my buddy in the background pulling his 6 month old daughter along for the ~6 mile ski adventure
The trees were all bedecked with icicles as if they'd put on their Christmas best
The man, the myth, the legend! Chipper owns the XC ski resort we enjoy so much. You can't help but love snow when you're around this guy - his love and enthusiasm for Nordic sports is beyond contagious.
Complete magic
Red spruce dominate the highlands
Such a big group on this day!
Taking a brief moment to regroup.
Friends old and new
Passin' that white lightnin' around. It's the best way to keep warm after all!
The final Robbie's Rad crew for the season! PC: Chipper

The dogs are doing well and Taiga is steadily growing. She's really turning into a great little barn dog on the days I'm out there, hanging out close-by while I prep the horses and then running amok with unadulterated joy while I hack in the back field.

He's the happiest guy when the snow is plentiful
20180318 Sunset dogs with polarizer_7
Double DERP at sunset!
20180318 Sunset dogs with polarizer_16
I had a lot of fun with golden hour dog romps in March
Playing chase, Kenai's favorite game!
This is his ERMAGERD SNERR! face, in case you wondered
Tearin' it up
XC skiing around home with the dogs because how else do you travel in 15" of snow?!
201803 March Dog Snow Play_57
What is becoming her signature shot
And again
201803 March Dog Snow Play_27
Loving life
Enjoying the sunset <3

Blog content should be picking up to a more regular pace in coming days! I'm looking forward to getting out and about with the horses in the very near future, finally getting some product reviews up, and auditing some clinics!


  1. Lovely photos! I'm glad there is a light at the end of the work tunnel for you, and glad that the weather should start being more conducive to fun horse outings! 🙂

  2. That is a BEAUTIFUL shot of you and Griffen with the skirt - LOVE LOVE LOVE.

    So glad things at work are becoming a bit more manageable. The weather here has been the pits (it's literally trying to snow right now), so I can fully sympathize with you on Spring taking it's sweet time! Still, sounds like you've made some awesome memories despite the weather :)

  3. Beautiful pictures!! Very interested in that riding skirt. Can't wait to read your review.

  4. You always have the best photos! I'm looking forward to hearing about the skirt... It is on my want list but hasn't fit into the budget quite yet.

  5. Such great pics!! The dogs look happier about the snow than any of us are at this point, lol

  6. Such beautiful snow. I snowshoe a lot (well when I can) but haven't cross country skied. It looks like fun.

  7. You just made snow look good, lol :) Love that signature shot! Here's hoping work is less stressful this year for you

  8. love the photos, love the dogs, love all :) So gorgeous....but me I dont like all that white stuff :) I can see how it resonates with you and your dogs though the love of the white stuff ;)
    Hope your work settles a bit. Taiga is GETTING BIG! OMG

    1. She is! But still so small compared to Kenai, still less than half his weight...

  9. ooooh so much fun in the snow!! also love that corner too - way to go Grif!!

  10. Ooooo soooo pretty! Also so cold. Brrr.