|I dislike this very much|
I'm one of the spoiled few in the Great White North. I usually reside in one of the few parts of the country with little to no freezing temps every winter and only a rare dump of white (and that is cause for national news). So this Alberta/Saskatchewan snow-that-doesn't-go-away-for-6-months thing is something I am not accustomed to. Also...proper winter attire...snow tires...plugging in your car...not using summer grade windshield washer fluid... all things I learned the hard way lol. Not to mention horse related things like round bales, heated water buckets and not actually picking poop in the paddock all winter. (Oh, and blogging when I should apparently be out stocking up on groceries;) The leaning curve the past couple of years has been steep. And who am I kidding - I bailed out all of last winter and spent my time on the coast and in Mexico. I LOVE warm weather!
I do have to say though, while I might not like it myself, the horses here seem to thrive in this environment, much more so than on the coast. On the coast we are constantly dealing with mud, and rain scald, mud fever, and all the things that go along with wet, damp horses living in a rainforest. This means blanketing, or at least bringing them in at night to dry off. It means leaving your horse in after a ride, not because they're super sweaty, but because they're soaking wet. It also means very careful paddock management and sometimes minimal turnout. On the prairies, they are usually brought into smaller paddocks for the winter, but beyond that, life seems to continue on as normal, except the hay is more frequent and the water is heated. Most of the places I've seen don't even have a shelter in the paddock - I see windbreaks more commonly. The more regularly ridden horses certainly get clipped and blanketed and brought in at night, but your average, every day horse seems to have pretty minimal requirements out here.
Due to some 'interesting' rental developments ( house sold and they gave me exactly 25 days to move - making my move out day Nov 25th - and I'm sure I'll have no problem finding a place to rent for 3 weeks starting Nov 26 ha ha) I may be terminating the contract here sooner than expected and moving on to (literally) greener pastures, once again escaping part of 'real' winter. I expect Ginger will stay where she is until after Christmas. Unless we can find the best hauler ever who actually lives up to that reputation AND will haul to where I live, we'll be picking her up ourselves with a new trailer. YAY! :)