001Depending on who you talk to, you will get a variety of responses about the holiday’s… they hate them, are indifferent to them, embrace them with gusto and all the trappings and decorations that go with them.  Spend them alone, with friends, and begrudgingly or happily with family.  I have always loved the Holiday’s.  As a young child it was a time of warmth and family, and as I got older and they started coming with a list of ‘should s’ that made them sometimes frenzied and anything but relaxing, I still loved them.  At this point in my life, my ‘should’ list is very small so there isn’t anything to not like, except that is… the time of year.  I absolutely HATE being cold.  So as long as I don’t need to go outside if the temperature drops below 40, I am happy.

This year we’ve already had quite a cold snap with temperatures dropping into the low teens.  Frozen water pipes, frozen water buckets and frozen water troughs abound, not to mention frozen feet, fingers and noses.  And while some don’t mind being out in it for an hour or two and then retreating to the warmth of their homes or cars, Nate gets up each morning and comes to take Rangercare of the horses and barn all day regardless of the weather.  As I watch Nate go about the business of mucking the paddocks, breaking the ice up in the troughs and making them ready for the horses that will occupy them for the day, I feel a little guilty being snug and warm… but not guilty enough to pull on my warmest layers and brave the cold with him.  Don’t get me wrong, when I have needed to be out there I am, but you will hear me complaining all the way to Canada.  I never hear Nate complain when it comes to caring for the horses.

So this Christmas, as I count my many blessings; our amazing family of boarders that have entrusted the care of their horses to us, our dedicated and willing horsemanship students who come each week to learn about these amazing animals, and all of the people I work and live with, I’m full of gratitude.  But I am especially thankful for Nate, who in taking such good care of our horses, is also taking good care of us.

So this one is for you Nate – the star at the top of my gratitude list!