Winter Olympics For Equestrians

Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life

The official Olympic equestrian sports take place during the summer, and for good reason: It’s cold. The winter Olympic Games are reserved for athletes who enjoy icy speed, aerial flips, and frozen nose hair. But, if there were winter Olympics for western equestrians and ranch-minded folks, here are a few of the sports:

Downhill skiing: What happens when ranch girls wear crepe-soled boots to class at Montana State University at Bozeman during the winter. Side note: Up there, it is usually winter. The campus is built on a hill, with the buildings strategically placed at the top and the parking lots at the bottom. When I attended in ‘06-’07, quality entertainment between classes consisted of grabbing a coffee, sitting on a bench, and scoring falls.

“8.5! I would’ve given her a 10, but I deducted a point and a half for wiping out a passing professor.”

“Really? I was going to add a bonus point for that.”

Snowboarding: This is what happens when the crepe-soled boots become frozen together into one solid object, as can occur after the wearer accidentally passes a garden hose over their boots while filling the water trough. Don’t scoff: In an environment where icicles form on men’s beards and spit freezes before it hits the ground, this is a serious concern.


Cross-country skiing: This is what you do when the horses get out, the four-wheeler won’t start, and the diesel truck is gelled up. Wearing slick-soled boots will increase your speed as you glide around the herd to round them up, but lug-soled boots will decrease your distance-to-fall ratio. Choose something in the middle to average 50%.

Those horses would be gathered in no time with this crew on the job!


Ski jumping: What happens when you have to cross an unfrozen creek to round up the loose horses before they head to the neighbor’s. These aerial maneuvers vary in degree of difficulty from quick and simple to impossibly advanced, depending on how much of the jumper’s feet and legs dip into the icy water.

At this point, we no longer care about the horses. We just want to live to see soft snow again.

Figure skating: What you do when you’re breaking ice on the stock tank and a crack appears on the far side.

Her face says “Oh, bleep, the ice is cracking…”


Speed skating: What you do when the crack reaches your side.

Annnnd we’re hauling butt.


Bobsleigh: Riding in a sled towed behind a four-wheeler or feed truck is a popular wintertime activity on the ranch. Unplanned bobsledding occurs when the rope connecting the sled to the tow vehicle becomes untied. If you’re on flat ground, no worries; the sled will gradually lose speed and eventually come to a complete stop. If you’re on any kind of downhill slope or the sledding surface is slicker than snot on a doorknob, feel free to scream, because it’s probably going to hurt.

This is how happy I am when I don’t wreck while sledding.



Hope you’re watching the Olympics and having fun this winter!

Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life

About Jolyn Young

Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit

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