This is the first winter in a few years that I haven't been taking riding lessons, and can stay snug at home instead of slithering out to the barn in the dark and cold and dealing with a horse who cannot believe I want to drag him out of his cozy stall. And now that it's gotten horribly cold, I'm a little happy about that But... I have to admit, I miss the sense of having conquered my own wimpiness. I used to come back from riding and every part of my body was frozen straight through and my hands hurt like hell, but I was a god. I had conquered the elements. Now I huddle inside watching TV and drinking tea and it's all very nice, but so inglorious. So to all the horse people lugging water around and trying to do up girths without being able to feel your fingers - I salute you! I hope you also get those moments of staring into a clear winter sky all alone and breathing in the perfect cold air, and feeling wonderful because there's such a beautiful solitude to a winter's day or night that you don't see on your hurried route from the car to the supermarket.