It snowed this past weekend in Wisconsin—our first real snowfall of the year.
No one should have been surprised we find ourselves in a winter wonderland, albeit a bit earlier than normal, but the way people acted (and drove) those few days you may have been confused this was Southern Florida!
In the midst of the falling flakes, my trusty Jack Russell sidekick and I loaded up into our rugged outdoorsy Honda Fit and made the white knuckled trek to the barn to see our ponies. Once there we found them happily frolicking in the pasture, set against a Norman Rockwell worthy backdrop.
I then proceeded to obsess about their clothing for the remainder of the time I was at the barn, changing their outfits no less than three times. You read that correctly—three different blankets before settling for each of the horses.
I’m not afraid to admit that my #OBD—Obsessive Blanketing Disorder—has not gotten any better in the past few years. As I’ve said, it is clinical.
The following morning as I got ready for work, I put approximately 3.5 nanoseconds of thought into what I would wear. I grabbed a pair of jeans that passed a “been sitting in the tack room for a few days last week” sniff test, a red long sleeve t-shirt with a stain on the torso, and an off-white sweater. I then tried to put on a pair of tall winter boots—which would not zip all the way up my right calf (potentially explaining why my horses both go much better to the right than left!) and was out the door.
Upon arriving at my office with half-zipped boots, I discovered a green slobber stain on the arm of said sweater, a remnant of the photo shoot last month with my sassy boys. I guess I’ll count my lucky stars my office is pretty darn laid back.
I am beginning to think I could use a little #OBD for myself!
My two horses own an extensive collection of overcoats, designed for all manners of weather and occasion. This wardrobe puts my own closet to shame, and definitely adds more color and flair to our lives. We can argue all day as to whether or not my horses (or any horses for that matter) NEED blankets, but I’m not interested in that debate.
I will tell you that my naughty Thoroughbred, Jorge, would likely freeze to death if he weren’t properly suited up. He’s from Virginia and reminds me all winter long in Wisconsin just how absolutely unacceptable below zero is to him. My hunch is should he ever find himself sans blanket he would be savvy enough to con his brother into giving up his coat.
On the other hand, my sturdy Paint, Reno, would be fine—he’s much more of a survivor than Jorge—but has really come to love a nice blue “snuggy” to keep out the cold. And even if they both would actually be okay without blankets, I would not.
Because #OBD is real.
Lately, my mom starts most of our daily conversations by posing the question, “How is your OBD today?” It has even spread to the dog. Bones now has a great collection of Weatherbeeta coats from the local tack shop. I mean, why shouldn’t he match his equine brothers?
And now we face our first of the single digits to below zero highs in Wisconsin later this week. Our barn owner (and my bestie) sent out an email to all boarders stating the horses would stay inside through the worst of it. She requested we don’t come out and open doors to let in the cold and to please stay home and do non-horsey things as she has it under control.
Upon receipt of this message I promptly texted her for the 99th time that day. I expressed amusement that she could never expect this would apply to me because no matter how cozy our barn is, I would be out for blanket changes, discussions with her about blankets, and endless perusals of online blanket deals during those frigid non-riding days.
She understands. She has an equally debilitating case of #OBD as well.
So, I’ll continue to make trips to the barn on inhospitable days to ensure my equine companions are toasty warm. I will further my education on who has the best deals and fastest free shipping should I require emergency blankets. And I will seek to ignore those who scoff at my neurotic behavior.
Because #OBD is real. And I’m totally obsessed.
About the Author
Jorna Taylor is your average obsessive horse owner, spending countless hours watching friends ride in circles in the dust or rushing home elated to find the new Dover catalog has arrived. She captures the more comical and interesting moments of her riding journey on her blog. Check it out at jornataylor.com.