Wow, it's not even the end of January and I'm so tired of the ice...I mean the mud...I mean the icy mud! I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about and have some version of this mess in your life. At the ranch it means pens full of snow that became puddles, then lakes, then ice rinks, then mud pits. I don't remember ever having such crazy up-and-down temperatures in winter. Our staff and volunteers have been busy just trying to manage things during the weather changes and everyone has really pitched in to make sure the horses and donkeys are as comfortable as possible. For the most part this means breaking up or covering up ice, checking blankets and replacing bedding.
It's a new experience for me to work outside during the winter. I realized that after living here for 23 years I haven't really felt winter the way I have this season. Instead of spending just 15 minutes at a time outside with my dogs and then running in the house to sit in front of the woodstove, I'm now spending hours at a time outside and running into the feed room to warm up. :-) I'd have to say that so far it's been okay. I had the foresight to get a good Carhart jacket with a hood and a really good pair of winter muck boots. Those two things, combined with down-filled gloves my mom bought me and a cowl she knitted (thanks Mom!), have made all the difference.
Laura Weise is a Wings volunteer who lives in Stevensville and will be bringing you stories of life at the barn.