Vermont event rider Lila Gendal is ready to lose it on someone. Might as well be us.
New Englanders have a certain reputation (Ice, Ice Baby). We tend to exude pessimism, which most likely derives from the extreme weather conditions combined with the fact that many of us hibernate for six months out of the year. Evidently, freezing one’s butt off for half the year and being surrounded by either one person, nobody, or only animals for an extended period of time tends to make for interesting personality traits.
I am a native Vermonter. Proud of it, yet tired of it. This winter has been like a roller coaster. Last week we had ONE day that reached into the low 40s and boy were people rejoicing. The second our shoulders started to relax, our limbs began to regain feeling, and our angered brow returned to a normal position, we got hammered. They say that “March comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb.” Hopefully there’s an out at the end of this torturous season, because I don’t know how much more hammering we can take. Enough with the ice. Enough with the frozen buckets, enough with the record low temperatures. ENOUGH!
Here it goes… 20 reasons why I am OVER winter:
1) High blood pressure. I have literally lost sleep worrying about my horses slipping and falling on the ice outside.
2) Layers are so overrated at this point in time. C’mon…why should I be exhausted after the simple act of putting my clothing on?
3) Hat hair. It’s embarrassing, and yet I cannot take off my hat. I can’t remember when I was without a winter hat?
4) Horse layers. They are tired of it as much as I am. Constantly changing our horses’ blankets, day in and day out. Making sure they are warm, dry, and comfortable. It’s exhausting.
5) Nothing is funny right now. I like to think of myself as someone who can laugh at a joke, or say something funny. But this winter, I find nothing funny, nor do I even want to smile.
6) Facebook, how I hate you sometimes. I have actually considered cancelling my Facebook account due to all the pictures of my friends all over the country happily galloping and jumping outside. Why do I need a constant reminder of my misery?
7) ICE. How is there still ice everywhere? When will this madness melt? I can’t even take my horses out for a snowy ride because under all this beautiful (ahem…I mean disgusting) snow is a nice thick layer of life ending ice.
8) Power outages. Another lovely side effect of snow storms and gross weather. Losing power means cleaning stalls in the dark, and don’t get me started on not showering for a week.
9) CSOF. Stands for Constant State Of Frigidness. Anticipating leaving the warm house in the morning is not conducive for self-motivation.
10) Frost bite. I suppose this goes hand in hand with #9, but deserves its own shout out. People from southern CA might think this is a myth, but many of us have suffered from frostbite…and it seriously sucks.
11) Cabin fever. Spending months on end in the same dwelling can make people feel anxious and, quite literally, trapped.
12) Weight gain. What else is there to do besides eat? Some of us spend as little time as we can outdoors in the winter and are sitting and lounging around more than we normally do…which can lead to a few extra pounds.
13) Depression. No warmth, no sun, constant struggling, plus all your friends are south…need I say more?
14) Denial. Ahhh….this lovely state of mind! “What the hell am I doing in this god forsaken state?” ” What am I doing with my life” and “Why aren’t we putting a deposit down on that sweet little cabin on the beach in Hawaii?”
15) Aching to jump outside. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am having a recurring dream that revolves around me galloping and jumping large cross-country fences. Happens about 3 times a week.
16) Over-caffeinated. I admit, I am a caffeine crazed individual. Mostly coffee. In the winter I am constantly refueling for energy, warmth, and well, mostly warmth. Tea just doesn’t cut it. This makes it difficult to sleep at night.
17) Boredom. Seeing the same scenery everyday can be nauseating. Oh, you live in a winter wonderland, some random west coast person might say…HUH? WONDERLAND…how about freezeyouras$$offland?
18) Dry skin and chapped lips. Chapstick and hand lotions are being applied, oh I don’t know, 12-28 times a day.
19) Water buckets and water transportation. Just thinking about hammering out frozen buckets and carrying water from point A to point B makes me feel tired. Sometimes I think I spend the majority of my days JUST MOVING WATER.
20) Shoveling = back pain. Last but not least I am over this whole shoveling paths and entryways. I am done. That’s it. DONE!
My name is Lila Gendal and I am 27 years old. I am from Vermont and have been riding horses since I was 6 years old. I have been eventing since I was 10. I have been riding and training with Denny Emerson for the last 7 years. My goal is to compete at the upper levels someday. I currently have a 2005 Holsteiner mare, “Valonia” (Contester X Parlona), who is currently going training level, and I am riding one of Denny Emerson’s horses, a 2005 Selle Luxemburg gelding, “Beaulieu’s Cool Skybreaker” (Beaulieu’s Coolman X Une Beaute by Heartbreaker) who will be moving up to training soon! When I am not on a horse or in the barn I am likely working in my office on what I like to call Equine Media… or social media for equestrians and equestrian websites.