Warm day sandwiched by snow days in the Philly area spells MUD for horse owners

Warm day sandwiched by snow days in the Philly area spells MUD for horse owners
"Good Mud. Roll Here"

For horses, snow days are fun days. Horses just love to romp and play in the snow.

For horse owners, snow can be a challenge. Deep snow drifts, like the kind Philadelphians have experienced so far this year, often build up around barn doorways. Before any horse can even step foot outdoors those areas must be shoveled out completely. Gates to paddocks also need to be dug out and cleared before any horses can be turned out. And, eventually, driveways, walkways and other common areas must be plowed as well. Once all the digging is finished, however, the snow/horse combination can be quite manageable...as long as it stays cold.

The Philly area has had a pretty good stretch of cold weather, until yesterday. Relatively warm air hit the region and some of the snow pack started to melt, revealing patches of grassy areas and mud.

Melting snow creates new challenges for horse owners in New Jersey

About an hour's drive from Philadelphia on a small farm in Upper Freehold, New Jersey, several patches of grass and mud began to emerge yesterday afternoon from below the pristine white blanket. To a horse, these muddy areas scream in horse-speak “ROLL HERE!” Equids obey the "Roll Here" command without delay. They dutifully drop down to their knees and roll, body twisting and flipping from side to side, legs waggling in mid air. Just as suddenly they will stand up, buck like crazy and tear away from the scene of the crime like there is no tomorrow...