The Cowboy and I are sitting at the table tonight looking at calendars. And talking. He tells me he’s got a busy week ahead and work is picking back up. He’s wearing a smile. One I haven’t seen in awhile.
“I’m sorry I’ve been kind of crabby lately,” he says to me, in rather good spirits. “I’ve got the wintertime blues.” He laughs.
I know, I tell him. I reassure him it’s not a problem and I get it. I’ve battled a slight case of it myself lately. And it has nothing to do with the weather.
Work, or lack of, has been a topic of discussion for us the past couple months. The Cowboy, because winters are just slow in the farrier business and this has been a brutal winter. When it is frigid, which it has been a lot, people cancel shoeing appointments. When it snows, which it has a lot this winter, people cancel shoeing appointments. When the roads are icy, which they were again yesterday and today, people cancel shoeing appointments. No one wants to be out in it. The Cowboy included. But given it is the majority of his livelihood, no work means no pay.
Work is also slow in the winter because .. because of a little factoid I am a bit fascinated with: horses hooves don’t grow as fast this time of year. Did you know this? You may, but I learned only recently despite having my own horses for years. Apparently I’ve not paid all that much attention to the time span between farrier visits.
“Horse hooves are like human fingernails and they just grow slower when it gets colder,” the Cowboy tells me when I ask him again to explain.
“But I’ve also been told sunlight plays a role. Kind of like when they start to shed in the spring, that has more to do with the amount of sunlight they’re getting, not necessarily because of the temperature.”
He’s still smiling as he looks at his calendar, which appears to be filling up for the first time in months. The blues, especially with Daylight Savings around the corner, appear to be waning.