So the blizzard of January 2016 (Winter Storm Jonas for those who think winter storms need names like hurricanes) is finally over. The region started digging out yesterday and it will be a few more days before things really start getting back to normal. While folks like me who board their horses worry about digging out our cars so we can make it to the barn when roads are clear, those who have horses at home, have had to cope with horse care through the entire storm. My hat’s off to you…opening barn doors and gates with falling snow and snow drifts, coping with stir-crazy horses, praying that the power stays on so that the well pump will work, and slogging through the snow with numb fingers and toes.
This snow brings back memories of February 2010. Cigar was boarded at a nearby facility at the time. It had a metal barn with an attached indoor. The owners were out of the country at the time. I was home from work when the call came…my friend G was on the line, and the first words out of her mouth were, “First, your horse is okay.” “Second, the indoor collapsed during the night, but luckily, the shared wall held up and the barn did not collapse.” I held my composure enough to call my husband who left work to take me out to check on things first hand.
Some higher power must have been looking over our horses that night. It is nothing less than a miracle that the shared wall did not buckle and trap/injure/kill the horses. Steel beams were twisted like twist ties. I can only imagine what it sounded like as it came down. Metal panels still groaned with the continued weight of the snow. The horses were taken to stalls and paddocks at the neighbor’s farm while we all contemplated what to do next. I was lucky enough that Ms. C had an open stall and said it was ours if we could get Cigar to her farm.
The next day, I drove out ahead of my husband to begin the fun task of digging out the trailer. Challenging? You bet. Exhausting? Yep. But I was single-minded that my horse would not spend another night in an icy paddock. You could see that he had paced the fenceline all night not understanding why he could see his barn but not be in it. Again, I was lucky that he did not slip and injure himself. A couple of hours later, the trailer was freed from its snowy parking spot and we were on our way to Ms. C’s. Thank goodness that my husband is an excellent snow driver. People must have thought we were crazy for hauling a horse after all that snow.
His driving skills were put to the test yesterday since the roads out Ms. C’s way had yet to be touched by a plow. Even the F-250 almost got stuck in the deep snow. Thankfully it did not and we were able to visit with my very badly behaving horses. On Sunday, Ike had taken the paddock gate off its hinges earlier in the day and managed to cut his fetlock while doing so. It was superficial and caused me more angst than it did him. The boys had also torn down the hot wire fencing so a mere snow pile was keeping them in their own paddocks. I suppose I should be glad that neither of them have shown any jumping talent. We also watched Ike show off his extended trot to buck transition since seeing my husband and the truck set him into a frenzy. I guess he thought he might have to go somewhere…
Today, with the fence between them repaired, the boys were calmly eating hay when we arrived. Ike showed us his giraffe imitation as he checked out our arrival. No running today…phew. Luckily Ike has also recognized the error of his ways and no longer stands on the ice that has formed in the water trough. Falling through into the frigid water below has deterred any more circus elephant balancing acts. They gladly accepted peppermints today as I mused about how long it would take for the snow to melt in the arena. Come on sunshine, do your thing!