When I was looking at colleges, the first thing that came to mind was leaving the snow. For four years, I could live anywhere and become the person I wanted to be. I chose Guilford College in Greensboro, NC over Wheaton College in chilly MA. I had no clue what I wanted to major in, nor my future occupation. Immediate goal: warmth. Long-term goal: afford horses.
10 years later, I returned to North Carolina for a second time. Marketing Coordinator by day, insatiably happy, sun-loving equestrian by late afternoon and evening.
I find both regions are wonderful areas of our country and have their own benefits, particularly during the winter months:
The Northern Tundra:
- You can use your porch for additional freezer space
- Your blood never fully thaws, so it is hard to tell the difference between 0 and -22 degrees (that is without wind chill, of course)
- You get your outdoor work done FAST! Be it fear of losing an appendage to frost bite, or yearning to feel your toes again, you do not dilly-dally
- A roaring wood-stove, cup of tea, and blustering snow storm make for the perfect evening. It also makes for the perfect Currier & Ives painting, but we New Englanders choose to live that life of romance first-hand
- Feel like a little nip? Shove a bottle of wine in the snow bank – it will chill in minutes
- Sweaters are cozy
- There is grass. Even in the dead of winter, you can find green vegetation
- It is never pitch black at 4:30pm
- Sweaters are cozy. A duplicate, I know, but unless it’s 65+ degrees, I am chilly.
- I have yet to find better Mexican food anywhere outside of North Carolina. Visions of chicken enchiladas wrapped in cheese and that delicious glow-in-the-dark sauce fill my head.
- Cook Out. ‘Nough said.
- You can ride through the winter – no worries of “Hmmm. Is 12 degrees with a wind-chill of -15 too cold for Baby G?”
- People smile more down south. Whether it is genuine or not, who’s to say. But it sets a happy mood.
- Jacket by morning, polo by afternoon. Stippin’ down baby because you get that hot!
- Pony-lovers galore! There are barns everywhere. If a home does not have a barn, word on the street is they are building one in the spring.
I will miss the Twin Ridge Farm crew. Fitty boarded at this dressage barn for one month each of the past two years to give us a head start on the event season. I met many wonderful people and made some great friends. They are a classy bunch: they never once laughed at me for doing jump exercises simulated with ground poles, or trot sets in gallop position – all in the indoor.
Perhaps the most excited part of my two months away is my proximity to my horses. Last year, I was a short 5 miles from our rental stalls, sharing a home with friends. This year, the boys will reside just steps from our rental cottage. I am looking forward to the short commute between home, the barn, and the office. For the first time since high school, I will start and end each day with a view of my handsome boys.
Murphy Eventing Facebook Page HERE