Sunday, January 22, 2017

Horses on Ice

 Horses are amazing creatures. I always thought of them as my fair weather friends until I moved into an Amish community.

It is so easy and fun to play around with horses on a fair summer day. Horses are built to live outside 365 days a year. Many people imagine how they would feel to live outside and think that horses should be brought into the living room. Not only are horses able to live comfortably outdoors, they are also able to work the whole winter through.

 My Amish neighbors depend on horses and their horses thrive in all conditions. In fact, my own horses began to have hoof troubles and my vet and my Amish neighbors concluded the same thing: "They need more exercise."

It's really tough for me to get my horses hitched up during the winter months. I work in town, delivering mail and don't get home until after dark. My Amish neighbor agreed to take my horses over the winter and keep them in healthy condition. So far no hoof problems... amazing.

 Last Monday we had a big ice storm here in Iowa. I had a tax appointment in Kalona and braved the bad conditions to get to town. I drove slowly down an ice-covered road in my big four-wheel-drive truck. As I drew close to my Amish neighbor's place, I saw their young sons heading out of their lane in an open cart, on their way to school. (I would have taken a picture but I needed both of my white-knuckle-hands on the wheel) Their horse was trotting at full speed. Amish have a special horseshoe they put on their horses in the winter with carbide pieces. Those horses can literally run on ice without slipping.
 As I came into Kalona I notice there were fewer cars than usual, but the normal amount of buggies heading into town.

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