After years of horse care I can attest to a thing or two. One thing would be that frozen horse poop weighs less than non-frozen horse poop. Poopsickles - as I call them - make for much quicker cleanup than poop in any other season. So, you would think that would add to my joy of winter, right?
Er, wrong. Because despite the ease of certain aspects of winter mucking provides, the rest of the process simply bites.
Frozen water buckets, dirty ponies that won't be clean until at least March, fighting with blanket straps, numb fingers as you try to work gate latches, your runny nose, windburn, layer upon layer of clothing, sliding down the bunker ramp backwards with a barrel full of those poopsickles... Winter barn life is a comical pain in the ass and everyone hates it.
Yet we do it. Why? Because we love horses. We love how their breath crystallizes and hangs in the air on a winter morning. We love hearing them munch hay in the silence of a cold night. We love feeling their warmth under their fuzzy winter coats.
In winter more than any time of year my horse is a pet. We only ride on warmer days, he gives a lesson or two per week and pretty much just gets babied otherwise. I think my horse deserves this. He is a happy guy and likes to please. He has never been required to win ribbons or plow fields. I want him to enjoy life. I feel like that is the least I can do for a creature who brings ME so much joy...
And pretty soon we'll be munching on green grass again, poo will not be frozen and neither will my fingers!