In Virginia, winter is only occasionally a matter of snow. Most of the time it is a matter of wet – rain and mud (lots of mud). There are different kinds of rain, of course: hard rain, drizzle, light rain, soft rain, freezing rain, sleet and rain, and cold, wind-whipped rain, but frequent and copious rain. Because of the wet conditions, we go horseback riding less frequently in the winter. The temperatures are typically moderate, in the 40’s and up. But we don’t ride in the rain for enjoyment — although horse trainers and others whose livelihood depend on their riding don’t let a little rain stop them. It takes a lot of rain.
Thus, it was with more than usual enthusiasm that I set out that winter Sunday afternoon for what turned out to be an almost idyllic experience. The weather had cleared, and a drying breeze was blowing. I had promised Anya, a young woman from Germany who was visiting us that we could go on a trail ride if the weather permitted. She was very excited and very determined, since they do not have trails in Germany like we have in Virginia.