Got my taste of really deep snow yesterday and gained a new appreciation for my horse.
A friend and I were out trail riding and had taken the trail onto the road. We decided to try to get off the road and spied a snow machine trail just five or so feet off the side of the road. The snow looked solid enough, and we picked a spot to get onto the trail where a snow machine had recently passed, packing down the snow. I went first, and we got all four hooves onto the middle section when suddenly my 16.1 hh TB shrunk to instant pony size. At first Nikki - surprised - struggled to get out, but after a few leaps we both realized that the snow was only getting deeper.
So I asked him to "whoa" and clambered off him, pulling the reins off his head and easily standing on the snow that had just swallowed my horse. Nikki waited oh so patiently for me to decide on the best route out and it took only a moment for us to find the shortest route to the road. It wasn't that far back to the road, and I stepped over to it. Then I asked him to follow and my boy made a gallant leap out of the snow and back onto the road.
You know, there are always things to work on when it comes to horses. I don't know about anyone else, but I have a list of things I want to accomplish with my horse... but at the same time if we stayed stuck in the moment we're in - if he never learned another skill - I wouldn't be upset. Sure my horse may not be good at cantering on a lunge line. He may not be a jumper, or a perfect dressage horse. We don't know true western pleasure, and we make fools of ourselves when we game... but truthfully all of that pales in comparison to what we have. A working relationship of understanding and trust. We're still learning, and I don't think we'll ever reach a point where I say "okay, we've learned how to do it all now" but that's the beauty of horsemanship.