We all have memories of waking early to a blanket of snow, and the excitement of racing outside to spend the day either sledging, snow ball throwing or making snow men and angels. Now, having a young child, my excitement is entirely on her behalf, as the cold seems to outweigh my personal enjoyment. I have done many winters with a small handful of horses, but facing an oncoming snow storm with nearly 30 horses brought the term ‘hard work’ to a whole new level!
Thankfully down here in South Devon this is a rare occurrence, but we all have a new level of respect for the Charities who face this every winter, and for prolonged amounts of time.
The sheer effort of keeping water troughs filled when all the pipes have frozen, was a full time job. Lugging heavy containers over snow drifts and then having to dig out stables doors simply to be able to even open them, became a task that would be suited to one of these new survival and fitness programmes!
On top of that, getting hay and food out throughout the day, simply to keep the horses warm, whilst the temperature dropped and the snow covered everything green was a Herculean task.
The hope of getting picturesque snowy photos became an impossible dream whilst attempting to stay upright in blizzards, and every step was a struggle with the 10 layers of clothes we had to wear.
If one good thing came out of this snowy few days it was that 2018 will be the year that we get another barn!