December 07, 2010

Winter frozeness

November this year has been the coldest ever measured in the Oslo area.
We have had steady temperatures around -20C (-4F) which is not out of the ordinary in January, but rare in November.
It is cold, but beautiful.
I just love the winter stillness, and the crisp beauty of the frozen landscape.
But riding is cold!

I put on layers of clothes and end up like a Michelin figure, with matching ability to move.
When the cold closes in in the evenings, we often get a cold fog that burns down the chest when the breathing gets deeper.
But I am not complaining - last November it rained every day.
This is much better!

Still, it brings some inconveniences.
We use wood shavings as bedding for the horses.
When the temperature goes down to what we are having now, it freezes in the container.
You have to use an axe to get it loose. And it's dark inside the container too.
It is tough work I can tell you - and I only have one or two horses to supply - poor Helene who works at the stable has 15 horses, and a string of race horses to exercise too.
The racing season is still going on for another fortnight.
Imagine those poor jockeys, in thin racing clothes and no fat on their bodies either - riding in this cold.

This weekend my daughter and I took a trip to Örebro in the middle of Sweden.
Last year we had a weekend there right before Christmas due to a meeting.
We enjoyed it very much, and my daughter suggested that we should take a trip this year as well.
It is a 4.5 hrs drive from Oslo.
We started out Thursday evening and spent the night with my sister who lives on the way, 3hrs drive from us .

Örebro is a cute little town.
There are several pedestrian streets in the centre, and waterways surrounding the old medival castle.

Last year we were at the castle as they arranged mystery dinners there Saturday evenings before Christmas.
The play was based in local history and some of the persons had existed in real life a century ago.
It gave quite an atmosphere to be seated in the banquet hall, and we all had to participate to guess who the murder was.
My Sleuth of a daughter managed to make a correct guess too.
(can't say the same about me) 

Örebro Castle

They even have horses here!

An old part of the town is named Wadköping, and before Christmas they arrange a Christmas market with sales stalls.


There is also a shop of the old fashioned type.
Not much room, but very cute!

The old shop

They even had Christmas posters of the old type, several with horses too.
We had to buy one of course!

"Tomten" tends to the creatures on the farm.

At home, even King of Hunt stays indoors.
Then it must be cold...
I give the horses more food - I want to see some extra kilos on their bodies now in the period ahead. Fat isolates nicely in low temperatures, and the horses burn more calories just to keep warm too.
We keep the fire up in the hearth, and the horses get an extra day off in between.
Our instructors won't come due to the temperatures!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Brrrr! That's way too cold for November. Beautiful though.

Your trip to the castle sounds like fun. And it's such a beautiful town, love all the shops and waterways. Neat picture you purchased also.

allhorsestuff said...

Wow, you are really having am extreme winter.
Riding would be hard...
Your trip and all your photos-totally beautiful. My man and I would love that town, and the castle. Very cool mystery event too!
Awesome that winter has such to offer...but the axe- chipping- shavings your friend must do..woo, wear me out! Glad you only have 2!
Thanks for the tour of your ccccold....journey, and warm findings. Cute that a knome or elf?

Muddy K said...

This post was enchanting. Thank you for it. I am somewhat in love with your cat; he's just stunning. (And I think he knows it.)

HorseOfCourse said...

Thanks for your comments!

GHM - cold and beautiful sums it up nicely ;-)

KK - Tomten, or Yule-nissen is the Scandinavian Father Christmas.
He was a small figure that lived on the farm, and took care of the people and the creatures if they treated him well - which among other things included putting out a bowl of porridge on Christmas Eve. He was particulary fond of the horses.

Muddy K - Hahaha, oh yes, he knows. He is pretty much full of himself, the rascal.

trudi said...

What delightfully festive 'photos and a great trip! It's been an early winter everywhere, even we have already had snow but the temperatures have climbed again thank goodness. Keep warm by that fire!

Annette said...

I just found your blog. Love your quotes!! ...and your amazing pictures.

HorseOfCourse said...

Trudi - even snow in France in the beginning of December. Must be out of the ordinary?

Anette - thank you! and welcome!

Wiola said...

I love love love the photos! That red building with frost white trees - stunning!
The Cat is now on my santa list...

Merri said...

ah - it's so beautiful! but you are way tougher than me. i haven't been out once yet on a horse in the cold!
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Wolfie said...

Your pictures are always magical. What a beautiful part of the world you live spite of the cold!

HorseOfCourse said...

Thanks for your comments!

The beauty outside makes the cold and the darkness easier to handle, you know.
I believe we are very fortunate to have the seasonal changes - though I am happy today as the temperature has risen slightly. It makes the riding easier!

jme said...

wow, that's some serious cold! but the town is so scenic and the photos are absolutely gorgeous, so at least there's some consolation. and you are officially my hero for getting out there and riding anyway! i will have to stop complaining about the cold here (even if my automatic waterers did freeze up on me yesterday ;-) which is nothing like that! hope you stay warm and enjoy the season!

RuckusButt said...

Just lovely, thank you. Our weather is so similar, I can relate, but your photos really bring out the good side.

HorseOfCourse said...

Thanks for your comments, jme and RB!