January 18, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Dashing Through the Snow

"The horses are enjoying the crisp air and the soft footings. We are surrounded by white and silence"

By Susie Morgan

Hoof Prints in Santa Fe

Susie Morgan is a lifetime lover of horses, the outdoors and lives for adventures. She lives in Las Campanas, and is reconnecting with horses after working 27 years in New York City.

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Christmas Day arrives a day after a big snowfall. The turkey is already stuffed and in the oven. With time to kill, brilliantly clear blue skies and no wind, it is an irresistible invitation to load the horses and take a ride. We meet another couple at the barn who are thinking the same thing.

The sun is warm so the streets are already dry and the dirt roads at Galisteo Basin are always impeccably maintained. We arrive at the Cowboy Shack parking lot to find a few people out walking dogs or cross-country skiing. Dressed for winter, we wear jackets, gloves, hats and strap on our chinks. We saddle up and head down the arroyo.

There is something wonderful about making first tracks in fresh snow that is about five inches deep. It’s the light, fluffy kind of snow that squeaks when the horses' hooves land. The horses are enjoying the crisp air and the soft footings. We are surrounded by white and silence.

We gallop through the arroyo on frisky horses full of energy and tossing their heads. Two hours later, we have completed our loop and stand once again in front of the trailers. It’s completely silent, but it is time for Christmas supper, so we head for home.

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