A Walk In The Snow

There’s snow on the ground. After a burst of playful cantering and head tossing, the horses settle into standing around in the cold white stuff. The routine of late winter is rather boring: eat hay outside, eat hay inside the barn. A horse is designed to walk (more than a dozen!) miles a day. Tonka isn’t moving that much in his paddock.

snow paddock

I do get to the barn daily to ride in the indoor ring. I have a phone app that tracks my mileage (amazingly it can even record distance when going in small circles) and I make sure that we do a minimum of 3 miles a day. It’s not nearly enough, but it’s something. Tonk and I miss getting out for long explores in nearby woods. Those adventures will have to wait. It’s been too icy and dangerous to take the horses anywhere.

Which is why when the temperature got up to 40 degrees last weekend, and the sun shone and the wind quieted to a murmur, we went for a walk. The trail system is only a short trailer ride away – but it’s too risky to drive a rig when there’s ice on the road. At the barn, there’s a small path in the woods behind the paddocks and the nice people who own the stone yard next door let us wander around in loops there. It was enough!

It was good to see this view between Tonk’s ears.

ears view


We weren’t the only ones desperate to get out. Trina and Cider came along, too.



Cider and Tonka have known each other for two years. They started out not liking each other much. They made go away faces at each other whenever they crossed paths. But Trina and I are friends. It’s like parents of toddlers who schedule playdates despite the fact that their children have nothing in common. Eventually Cider and Tonka figured out that there weren’t any toys (or food) that they’d have to share. They figured out that when we’re together we go on fun strolls.

It looks like the kids are actually beginning to enjoy each other’s company!



  1. Wonderful way to see the snow. Be safe and warm…:)
    Terry if you have a moment I would like your opinion on the use of Colloidal Silver as a natural antibiotic. Have or would you ever use it ? There is a lot on the web about it, but it is your information I value. Thanks.

  2. Have you ever tried the clamp on light weight boots for icy footing? I came quite late to that party but grew to love them. Made of very flexible rubber, they pull on over the entire hoof and have both a pad on the bottom to prevent bruising and very small cleats to help with traction on ice. The boots close with a flip clamp. I worried as much about what my horse was stepping on, unseen beneath snow, as I did slipping on ice and the boots really helped with both. I also used them occasionally on muddy or still frozen ground while doing cross country courses.

  3. Love that last photo of Tonka and Cider. I’ve got a soft spot for Cider – I think he’s beautiful (and, of course, Tonka too!!)

  4. Love the valentine picture of Tonka and Cider. They are beautiful animals.

  5. I too was just about to say the same as the comment above. A lovely photo of Tonker and Cider. A beautiful contrast of their colours.

  6. I like that Tonka’s paddock has a slope.. Hills are so good for their stifles.

  7. Yesterday, I saw an article about Skijoring. It is a sport where horses run full speed dragging a skier behind them on a rope. I wondered how the horses were able to run that fast in the compacted snow without totally wiping out. Does Tonka (or other horses) wear a special type of shoe in compacted snow?

    • Tonka wears winter shoes. Not only do they have studs for traction, but they have special pads that help to prevent the snow from balling up. Still, the biggest danger is that the snow packs in and it’s like walking on uneven stilts. He used to go barefoot, but he slipped on ice under the snow, and the snow balled up. I’m not sure what the skijoring horses wear.