When I stand on the bridge and look west -- aha! It really is a picnic table!
You can see from this next picture that it is much less wintery on the east side of the bridge: I made it out to brush the horses a few times this week. They're losing their winter fur and it's all sticking to my clothes. The birds are picking it off the ground to line their nests.
I also had an extremely frustrating afternoon of trying to get Kasper to stay in the trailer long enough for me to close the door, which he didn't do. I ended up riding him back and forth in the corral along the ten foot wide strip of bare ground instead of working him at the arena, but he was super-responsive to all my cues when I was riding him so I forgave him for frustrating me.
The next day I had a door helper so Kasper and I made it to the arena. We had a great couple of hours there where I ran through all the groundwork exercises I've been working on and then rode him bareback with the halter. He was surprisingly good at everything, which shows that all my practice in the icy-snowy driveway all winter has actually paid off! And it also shows me how much we can accomplish in a dry, cozy arena.
Kasper decides to head out into the pasture to see if the snow is still up to his armpits.
Peter the Pony and I partnered up today and went for a trail ride with the neighbours. We went to a park with the one trail that's been plowed over the winter (for forest management) so it was bare of snow. Peter was stalwart and steady as usual.