If ranching ever has a slow time, it is a brief window between December and January. This is after shipping, preg-checking, moving cattle to winter pasture, and calving. This is such a fun time of the year for us, as we get to be creative with our down time. Too long of vacations are generally out of the question because we still have to feed the cattle. So, enter our very own form of sledding and skiijoring!
We have learned a few things to increase the thrill of sledding, and that involves horses. The excitement is not only for the sledder, but the rider as well, and are listed as follows:
Horses can pull you up hill - eliminating the excruciating walk
Horses can pull you downhill- at much higher speeds than you can achieve on your own
As a sledder you have no control
As a rider you have all of the control- that is unless you lose control of your horse
Riding on an icy side hill always gets your adrenaline going a bit more than usual
Finally, the ever present threat of getting a rope caught under your horse's tail (Always entertaining for the audience- not so much for the rider).
Now for the skiijoring. This is actually a real sport, but here we are doing it ranch style. Our love of water skiing on the lake in the summer inspired this idea. An old water ski whose fins were broken off, and ski rope was all we needed (why we tried one ski instead of two- I don't know.)
(Even the dogs lined up to watch)
By the end of the day there were probably more tears than smiles, sore butts (frozen cow pies do as much damage as rocks, torn ligaments, and scared little kids- but you can bet we will all be back out there as soon as we can trying to figure out how to make this even more thrilling (enter snowmobiles)!