Horse-and-Buggy Snowboarding in Amish Indiana
A few years back we shared a short clip of an Amish fellow skiing behind a buggy in Ohio. Skiing and other winter sports can be particularly popular with young Amish males.
Today, photos of more winter fun, taken somewhere in Indiana.
These youth snowboarders are carving up the “slopes” courtesy of a single-horsepower engine (there actually is something of a slope, or ridge, which they make good use of as you’ll see in the shots below).
Here’s another, buggy-powered, session.
Looks like a lot of fun to me.
Another good example of Amish ingenuity.
Nothing like playing in the snow! I would love to join in the fun. Thanks for posting this!
Not sure I would do it, but I know my son would love to try it! Great shots.
This is called skijoring. I understand that it is fairly popular where there is plenty of A)snow and B) horses. Where I live we have a whole bunch of the latter, but next to none of the former! Otherwise I would be all over this.
As you can see from the attached Wiki, people also do this with dogs.
Love the name. Never heard it before. Thought it sounded Norwegian, according to the Wiki that’s where it comes from.
Something tells me “Amish Skijoring” as a post title would have confused people though 🙂
I have seen our Orange County, Indiana Amish “ice-skating” on their ponds in winters past. It seems to be only the men, but they have a ball.
Looks like fun, if I were young.
Love how the other horses are joining in the fun!
When we came to Canada from Holmes county Ohio, local folks used these things called ice skates. Being the land was so much flatter than Holmes, ice sheets occasionally covered the fields and made the potential for all sorts of fun. We soon figured out how to propel ourselves with those newfangled skates with a few bumps and bruises along the way. If you knew where to look on a Sunday afternoon. you might see twenty or thirty youths gliding in all directions. It is no surprise then to see snow boarding behind a horse.
Interesting story Eli! Thanks for sharing. What community did you move to in Canada and what year did you move?
We moved to Norwich area in 1957.
This looks like a purely leisure activity. What I have often seen in my travels is that after the manure spreader goes out to field to do its job a brother will be pulled back to the barn behind the spreader. It always looked like fun. I guess if you want to play in conservative Amish communities you have to also work. Tom The Backroads Traveller
Ahhh, English or Amish, boys will be boys—always “horsin’ around”.
It looks fun, but a bit dangerous, what with those other horses galloping around (the snowboarder’s hooked up to just ONE horse, correct?)
Yes. Hooked up to one horse, but when they took off two other horses would chase them around the pasture.
It looked to me like the horses were having just as much fun. I guess they feel safe enough around them in frolic mode. Or maybe that adds to the thrill.
The one time I tried to snowboard, I did alright, but really felt it the next day. It turns out there’s an art to falling.
fun in the snow
Does anyone else find it sad that girls are apparently relegated to staying home and preparing the cocoa?
In THEIR culture there seems to be little interest among the female population in partcipating in certain activities. I think that what is sad is when WE project OUR beliefs and OUR expectations on other people, then makes assumptions about them when they don’t confrom to OUR values.
In an article I read somewhere recently (probably AA) about hunting among the Amish, there was mention of a teenage girl that enjoyed hunting. Obviously this is an activity, even among the “English”, where males greatly outnumber females in participation. Yet there was an example given of a girl that hunts.
So just because we don’t see girls out enjoying this sport, doesn’t mean that none are allowed to. Also doesn’t mean that none do. IN THIS CASE there don’t appear to be any females partcipating, I’ll grant that. But, no it is not something that greatly disturbs me nor do I find it to be particularly sad. That’s just me though …
You can’t see it from these photos, but one of the group taking turns snowboarding behind the riding horse was a girl.
there you go.
If they had hill slope enough, would the Amish toboggan even if they improvised a toboggan out of some large pieces of plywood or something.
All you’d need is a bit of a slope and a running start. That’s what I miss about being a kid, using the slopes in our neighborhood to have hours of fun in the winter.
[I don’t know about anyone else, but we used to slide down the giant mounds of snow that the municipal ploughs would make in our residential street as it bended]
We did all that. We built snow forts in/on the plow-made mounds and pelted our “attacking” friends with snowballs.
All I can recall today is the fun of speeding down the hill, and am usually blessed with no memories of the long climb back up the hill after sledding down, or of heading home half frozen.
Today it seems most of the youngsters stay indoors with their computers and video games rather than skate, sled, or toboggan. What a shame we don’t encourage them to use their own imaginations — without “graphics” or “bullet points” to “guide” them.
Oh yeah, I remember building snow forts. I recall that my brother and some other kids from our side of the curve of our Crescent street would band together and snow ball fight with the kids from the other side, barely two or three houses apart, but it was fun until someone got hit by too hard a snowball and went inside ending the war for the day.
We weren’t pacifists then, and I bet the Amish do that too.
[once my brother and I threw a snow ball or two at our father in our backyard, and he was carrying in the groceries home after work, we got him in the shoulder and he’s like “come on now!” and went in side, my brother and went about playing and all of a sudden WACK, Dad snuck out and got us both when we weren’t looking, I think he learned to be sneaky and throw well because he was the youngest of six kids on a Manitoba farm with nothing else to do in winter)
I don’t about someone like Eli S, but in my neighborhood in Ontario today (Saturday) they are calling for a major ice storm, it wasn’t that bad, I experienced some slippery walking, but nothing that can’t be overcame.
Looks like they are have a lot of fun.
Amish winter fun
I asked my son, Mark, about this snow boarding with horses. He said that he’s never seen it in his community. When the ponds are frozen there is ice skating. The on Amish man kind of opens up his pond and basement for ice skating season. The folks come over and put on their skates in his basement then go out to the frozen pond. He even has an ice skate sharpener. There is usually a big pot of hot chocolate going to warm up with. Mark says that certain evenings are reserved. This past week, Monday evening was reserved for Youth. Tuesday and Wednesday were “Open” skates. Mark says that girls and boys, men and women, go to skate. Sometimes during the school day the school children and their teacher will take an afternoon off and come over to go skating. Mark doesn’t go, anymore. With his knees the way they are he says he’s doing good to just be walking.
This looks like fun and I don’t particularly like snow and cold!!!
Erik, I agree with you, I think the horses are having just as much fun as the people, if not more.