From Endurance to Dressage
California Barn Life: Snow?
Me and Hubby, Sunday mornng at 6,300 feet, 2 -3 inches of snow.
Winter tried to arrive in California this weekend. We woke to the glorious sound of rain on Saturday morning. A quick peek out the window revealed gray skies and wind swept tress. Finally! Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. By 9:30 a.m. the gray skies were breaking up and blue was reappearing to the west. Saturday's storm brought 0.10 of an inch of rain. Bakersfield's season total is now 1.41 inches of rain.
It had been something like 60 days with no precipitation, and as it is, we only get any measurable precipitation in the winter. Our spring, summer, and fall are typically very dry. We depend on winter’s storms for our annual supply of water. The Sierra Nevada Mountains, a long chain that lines the eastern edge of the state, hold our yearly water in the snow pack that accumulates during the winter months. The snow pack melts during the hot summer months and is captured in various lakes and reservoirs in the foothills above California’s central valley. The water is then sent to California’s towns and cities via a complex aqueduct system that is part of the California Water Project.
Our entire state depends on the winter rains and snow pack. The rain soaks our foothills which allows grass to grow for grazing beef cattle. Without the grass, our ranchers are forced to feed hay which dramatically increases the cost of raising beef cattle.
Without the melting snow pack, the Central Valley’s farmers don’t receive their water allotments from the reservoirs and must instead use pumps to daw water from underground aquifers. This forces farmers to raise the price of their crops.
Without an adequate amount of rain and snow during our wet season, the price of horse-keeping can be driven quite high. When the demand for hay increases, like when the ranchers need it because there’s no grass, the price goes up. When farmers must pay higher electrical costs for using water pumps, the price of hay, grain, and other feeds goes up.
We left town on Saturday morning for a quick visit to our cabin which is located in the southern end of the Sierra Nevada. We were greeted with cloudy skies, wind, and a smattering of snow and hail. It was great to see the white stuff, but disappointing to see so little of it. Come on, Winter! Bring us some snow.
Click photo for larger view.
So it DOES rain there! Hope the 0.1 inches of rain that the storm dumped didn't overwhelm anyone ;) I'm so excited to see snow, though. We almost never get snow (last winter's brief dusting was a once-in-100-year occurrence) and it's still a novelty for me. (Rain, not so much ...)
1/23/2012 10:41:53 am
Not overwhelming, but very exciting. Everyone is thrilled with the rain. We all know how important it is. We got quite a bit more this morning and evening. It feels so refreshing after so many dry months. I was able to ride in between rain storms and was treated to LOVELY footing. And the temperature 55 F/12.7 C - pretty mild!
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
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Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
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