Friday, January 28, 2011

Sleigh Ride

In Search of a Toboggan

I have a little plastic toboggan I use to drag hay over to the barn across the snow.  It works pretty well in the snow, compared to the wheeled cart, of course.

My friend Stacie is suffering from the same kind of snow we have here and mentioned that a plastic sled would be a real help to her.  I was positive I'd seen some at Lowe's the other day, so this morning, I headed out to try to find one for her.

Five stores and stops later--including Toys R Us--I had absolutely no luck even seeing a hint of one. This is a bit of a shopping mecca where I was looking, so it's pretty clear plastic toboggans had been a hot item this winter and were sold out nearly everywhere.

Finally, as a last resort, I stopped at the local ski shop.  Lo and behold, for a rather stiff price--not to be mentioned here--I found a 66" long plastic toboggan made for hunters.  There was a sale price on in, and after much debate with myself, I bit the bullet and bought it.  I am making it Stacie's birthday present--two months early.  With it, she should be able to drag a bale of hay out to the pasture for her boys, and pull the manure tub to the pile when she cleans the stalls in the snow.

The trouble is that it's getting to the point around here that there is no way to properly clear the snow to make paths for manure carts or even walking.  Stacie just had the area around her barn plowed, but that was this week's storm. Now there is the threat of another huge storm coming for the middle of next week.  She and I need to get together before that so I can give the sled to her so she will be ready for the next snowy onslaught.

My driveway is just lumps and bumps of snowy icy stuff and unless it warms up with some sunshine between now and the next storm, I'm not going to get it properly cleared. I finally called Scott, my farrier, to tell him I don't think he's going to be able to get his rig in here. My thought is to simply pull Toby's and Tucker's shoes while we have the snow cover.  If he can't get his equipment in, there's no way he can put snow shoes on, and I'd rather have them barefoot than shod with regular shoes in this stuff.  Hopefully, as long as he is in the snow, Tucker will be OK and not get bruised.  I honestly don't know what else to do.

I am soaking all of Toby's feeds right now, and adding oil.  Despite all my efforts, he seems to have lost some weight this winter, and I want to try to get him fatter. He seems to like the wet feed and actually prefers it to cribbing.  His normal routine is to eat a bit of his grain, crib for a while, eat, crib, etc.  I am pretty sure the feed triggers the cribbing, but for some reason, when his feed is soaked, he tends to focus on eating it.

All three Boys get a wet feed at the "midnight" feeding anyhow.  As I've said before, it makes me feel good to know they are getting something warm in their stomachs on a cold winter night.

And from the looks of things, we are in for quite a few more cold winter nights before the first hint of Spring.


  1. That will be a great birthday gift for Stacie and I'm sure she'll get a lot of use out of it (unfortunately).

    Sounds like the boys like their warm wet feed.

  2. Anonymous7:24 PM

    Have you tried rice bran? A number of people I know have had good luck with it for weight gain.

  3. Makes you wonder how places that routinely get tons of snow, cope. I think they get to a point where the paths and less used streets are packed snow rather than completely cleared.

    Barefoot will certainly give them traction and eliminate snow balls under their feet but I found with Tetley last winter that very rough ground that was frozen gave him bruises. Snow covered ground is a different story though.

    I have heard good things about rice bran too. Do I remember that you feed beet pulp?

  4. and watch your roof. i saw a report linked on the jurga report about barn roofs caving in in connecticut, i think it was - in one place, two horses had to be PTS - and someone else's indoor arena roof collapsed...scary!