Digging out, digging in
The winter of 2015 was a good one for skill development and creative thinking. Those of us keeping horses discovered new and not so exciting ways to solve problems and get things done. We found muscles we didn’t know we had, discovered alternative uses for tools, and perhaps expanded our vocabularies. Each time we felt thoroughly beaten by the snow on our windy farm with the long lane, so pretty in the summer, we reminded ourselves we could be on Prince Edward Island.
I usually plant a few lettuce seeds in March. It’s well into April now, and the South facing garden box is still under waist deep snow. As is the riding ring, apart from the track we plowed out of desperation to get horses legged up.
My daughter and I scrounged around and found a few things to take to Mary Jopling’s annual tack sale back in March. It was well attended, and very clear fellow horse people needed an outing more than they needed space in the tack box. The Brooklyn Fire Hall was abuzz with stories of iced in barn doors, cooped up horses, and disappearing fences lines. Still others had scarier tales to tell. Some struggled at times just to access their animals to ensure their good care. Water lines froze, getting hay to barns or fields was nearly impossible, if you could find any, and a shocking number of structures collapsed. The full extent of the damage won’t be realized until the snow goes, but it was a costly and cruel winter.
It’s great hearing from readers with story ideas. A few have grown into features in this issue, and others are being developed for future issues. Claire Milton shares easy to follow tips on photographing horses, Jana Hemphill has advice on preparing horses for inspection, and Judith Scrimger takes us to a movie set. Mary McIntosh visits with Travis Smith, and gives us the ins and outs of the MBRA. We also have a fun piece on juggling horses and real life in this issue. An interesting spin would have been “juggling horses, and real life, in the long winter of 2015.” We can only hope we won’t need those skills again, or at least not as often. As always, the provincial reports have a summary of what’s happening across Atlantic Canada.
I hope when Horse & Pony reaches you in May you will have mud on your boots, fresh in from riding in a t-shirt, on dirt! Watch for our focus on youth in the August issue. Perhaps by then we will be complaining about the heat?
Getting our facts straight:
Horse & Pony wishes to acknowledge that in the course of editing Susan Seller’s “Endearing donkeys,” featured in the February-April issue, misunderstanding led to a number of mistakes. These have been addressed in a revised iteration of the story that may be found at RuralLife.ca (follow the “Endearing donkeys” link on RuralLife.ca). Our apologies to Ms. Sellers and to our readers. Ed. Correction: In the Feb.-April issue of HP the photo on page 19 should have been credited to Amanda Coggins.