I’m heading to the barn with paints and canvasses for the horses. It’s above zero and the paints should be OK at this temperature. Problem is: there are six horses in the lower barn and I have five canvasses. I’ll be taking a trip to the Dollar Store today to replenish my stock! Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be warm, too.

We had about 12” of snow Thursday. That’s a lot for us. The snow is piled HIGH. It resembles the accumulation we have in March after numerous snowfalls.

A few weeks ago Alex was riding Zeloso (this is before Bill was back in the saddle after fracturing his left hip and the week before Alex had a knee operation). Alex was at the far end of the arena and I heard him laugh. He said, “Winnie! You’ve got to stop training horses to read people’s minds!!!!” Turns out he had barely formulated a thought and Zeloso did it.

Wednesday (the day BEFORE the big snowfall) Christi was here to ride with me. I was on Zelador and she was on Zeloso. I noticed a lovely trot canter transition and congratulated her and Zeloso on it. She laughed and said, “This horse absolutely reads my mind. I was thinking about perhaps going into the canter and before a word or two was in my mind Zeloso cantered.”

The following day (the day of the big storm) I took Zelador to the arena. We’re working on CALM. He would like to work on “Let’s get this done NOW!!!” I decided I would speak to tell him when he was perfect! BUT not to speak at any other point during our ride relying on him reading my mind to determine what I wanted him to do. Often I tried to sit quietly without any aids, but time and time again Zelador did what I was thinking. One of our great challenges is for him to trot calmly after cantering. I said in my mind, “We’ll trot a half-circle, do the left lead canter the second half of the circle, trot, at the centre of the arena we’ll change direction and canter on the right lead, then trot. We haven’t done this exercise for a few years and even then we only did it once or twice. Well, wouldn’t you know, before I could summon up any aids we had done the complete exercise. Perhaps Zelador is ready to read my mind and spell words/do math like the Beautiful Jim Key!