Cleaning the stall, it sounds like I'm tossing golf balls in the wheelbarrow--the manure is frozen solid. Makes for easy cleaning though! The buckets are full of ice, bits of grain frozen in the water like insects in amber. My toes are beginning to freeze and the water heater is steaming in the hallway, warming up some buckets. Harley is glad to be outside now, even though it's probably only around 5 above zero. He's been cooped up all day, so we'll let him have an evening romp with Echoe before dinner. He's going to be a handful the next time I swing a leg over him!
There's something really peaceful about closing up the barn for the night. The horses snort, sending puffs of vapor into the air like dragons. I can hear them contentedly munching on supper, as they snuffle through their hay. Mr. Rat is scratching in the walls, probably dining on the grain Harley strews around his stall. I have a last nose-to-nose whisper with Harley, kiss him on his velvety nostrils, and shut out the lights. The barn door creaks on it's runners; the wind whips up the hillside; goodnight guys.