Don’t slip, trip or fall!

Livery Horse Farm riders enjoy a sunny trail ride in the snow in Hinesburg last week. Horses wear winter shoes that act like studded snow tires so they don’t slip in wintertime. Courtesy photo
Livery Horse Farm riders enjoy a sunny trail ride in the snow in Hinesburg last week. Horses wear winter shoes that act like studded snow tires so they don’t slip in wintertime. Courtesy photo

That nor’easter that threatened to hit last weekend missed its mark and left the Champlain Valley with mild temperatures and little snow. Roads were slick at times. The sun did shine on Livery Horse Farm in Hinesburg long enough for horse and rider to get some much-needed time outside. Owner Kim Johansen said she and her crew ride all winter, but it is particularly nice when the trails sparkle in the sunshine.

“I have kids, some of my regular diehards, who ride all winter no matter what the weather brings,” she said. “They just bundle up like they were going skiing. The horses wear winter shoes that act like studded snow tires so they don’t slip, or they go barefoot for better traction than wearing a regular horse shoe.”

Livery Horse Farm has about 100 kids who ride every summer. Winter is more challenging but Johansen still offers bare back riding, trail riding and she keeping the ring and trails rideable with her snowmobile. “The horses don’t like sitting around all winter,” she said. “They love the kids and the attention.”

Livery Horse Farm does slow down in the winter. “It’s much harder to find help,” Johansen said of equine care on the farm. “It’s definitely a labor of love.”

This weekend horse and riders across the Champlain Valley can expect lows in the single digits at night with partly sunny days in the 20s with calm winds coming in from the north, the US National Weather service said. Remember trails and roads freeze when the weather dips below 32 degrees. Dress warm and drive slow!

Please send your weekend weather photos to Lynn@WindRidgePublishing.com.