On my way to work today, I was listening to the radio (WPOC). They were having a discussion about regional winter sports, what winter activity does your community get involved in. There were lots of fun sounding things mentioned, ice sail boating, ice kites, someone created a golf course on a lake (9 holes!), tobogganing, all fun sounding stuff.
Then I thought about my winter sports, as a horse owner. I too face great physical challenges, battling the elements to accomplish my goal. So lets list the horse/barn owners winter games.
1. Ice Chop - The sport of attempting to break up and remove ice chunks from buckets and troughs without soaking your hands (or feet if you have resorted to stomping). Tools can range from hammers to pitchforks to bare hands.
2. Water challenge - This sport is more of a long term competition, with varying levels of success. The Gold would be awarded to the person who has water free flowing from unfrozen spigots with thawed hoses into troughs with heaters. Mid range would be the people hauling water in buckets from the house. Last place are people melting snow with hair dryers.
3. Hay carry - The sport of carrying a 50# bale of hay accross ice patches, through knee deep snow, through a gate while fending off 5 giant 4 legged furballs who try to maul you for the hay.
4. Blanket toss - The challenge is to get a winter blanket on a spooky, snorting horse in the middle of a blizzard with the wind flapping the blanket and dogs barking. Bonus points if a snow plow blasts by with all the lights blinking.
5. Grain chisel - Chip enough frozen grain free from the bin to feed the horses.
6. Obstacle course - The game is to get the horse from the barn to the turnout without slipping on ice, falling in snow, the blanket coming off the horse, the horse spooking and bolting free, etc. Must pass scary plow/tractor, negotiate ridges of frozen mud, ice patches, inside out blankets sunning on the fence, dogs bounding in and out of the snow, etc.