Dec 9, 2009

The Morning After

The storm rolled in as expected. (How come the weatherman is never wrong when it comes to the nasty weather, but they can't predict just one sunny day!) I heard the worst of the wind around midnight, banging hard against the house. All of our canines and felines were in the house, but couldn't help but think about those equines and yes, the bovines, too. I hate when animals suffer. But I knew they all had shelter out of the wind and hoped they were smart enough to use it. At the break of dawn, I bundled up and went out to check on the herds.

The drifting was spotty. In some places, it had blown off almost completely, where at other times it was over my knees. My usual route to the barn was completely blocked - it would have been waist deep or more.

One barrel in my arena was still standing. The cones were almost completely covered in drifts.

A dead tree by the corral was blown over. You can see Windy back by the portable watching me. I was surprised to find all the horses in the portable shelter.

The sun was starting to come up. Look at the sun dog over to the right of the picture. There was one on the other side of the sun, as well. The sky was very pretty this morning.

The horses followed me back to the barn for breakfast. Although they were in the portable, all of them were snow and ice covered. None were shivering or appeared to be terribly uncomfortable.

The roosters are unaccustomed to such activity this early in the morning and started their crowing. Not sure if it was just that time or they were voicing their displeasure with their roosting interrupted.

The sun began to shine into the barn making it appear a lot warmer than it really was. The temps at this time were about 3 degree Fahrenheit with a windchill of -19.

In case you are wondering, I don't typically blanket my horses in the winter. This is our winter climate and they have adequate shelter and a wind break. I would guess most horses that are kept on a farm in our area aren't blanketed - many which don't even have shelter. I see more blankets at boarding stables where the horses don't have pasture, trees and other natural shelter to protect them in inclement weather. I have blankets I use when camping, especially late in the season when the nights are crisp. At camp, the horses can't move around a lot and I feel the blankets give them some added warmth which helps keep their bodies warm after a long day ride. Just my way of pampering them because they worked hard for me.

Our driveway was snowed in this morning. John will get the tractor and open it up when the wind dies down some. My office was closed today as well as the school, so none of us have to be anywhere.
The forecast says the snow has ended, but the wind and bitter cold temperatures continue through the day. Winter has officially started. I hope this isn't a sign of how it will be in the months to come.


  1. Glad to see you survived without too much damage. Now to move the snow so you can get around. Is it wet heavy snow or the light powdery stuff?

    I don't blanket my horses either. They have a good barn and plenty to eat. If it heads to -40*F and stays there for weeks I will blanket but not now.

  2. After the blizzard left us I noticed that it was on your way next with lots of snow and wind. I was so glad when those 80+ mph winds with snow thunder and lightning were over with. I didn't sleep well at all all night.

    Looks like you all weather the storm well. That snow managed to blow into just about every crevice and crack in your barn, eh? I blanketed Baby Doll during the worst of the storm because most of it was blowing ice, sleet and cold rain and she was getting soaked to the skin. But I typically don't blanket her for cold weather or dry snow. And she has 27/7 access into the barn, as well as trees or wind breaks.

    You have 5 roosters? And they don't get up early? lol! Sometimes I'l hear our roosters inside their house crowing at 2 in the morning! Looks like I might end up with 4 roosters. Want another one? heheh!


  3. 27/7? Hey look I added 3 more hours to the day! Yay!


  4. The snow is beautiful isn't it? Course, I'm always excited about the first snowfall and then I'm done with winter - time to get to spring....course that isn't going to happen but I can dream!! A couple years ago I blanketed my horses and my dad made fun of me "the horses never got cold when I was taking care of them without blankets" he'd say. I ignored him and kept on with my blanketing. I faithfully blanketed everyone for about 2 years and then just decided not to do it last year. The horses all seemed happier without the blankets, haired right up and if the weather is TOO nasty, they just stay in anyway. I do have 1 that is a ninny and he was shivering this fall when the temps were only in the high 30's so he gets sheets and blankets and coolers and all kinds of "foo foo" stuff, but all the others are fine without!!

  5. Great pictures, especially the sun dog!

    Do they have shoes in the winter? Do they get snowballs stuck in their feet? I've heard about that happening, mostly to shod horses, in the snow - sounds terrible.

  6. Funder - Barefoot horses get ice balls in their feet too. I have noticed that the ice is worse when the feet are cupped (if that makes sense). I have used many tools (including a hair dryer) to get the ice off their feet. No one thing seems to work better than the other.

  7. I think horse blankets are for people more than horses. That being said though, there are some Thoroughbreds at our stable who never seem to get very fuzzy so maybe they do need them.

    Quarter Horses are sturdy! Yours look especially tough. :)

  8. I blanket the 27 yo when she shivers. Usually it's at least 10 below zero. Then (at 10 below) because I'm soft, I blanket the rest of 'em. Me bad.

  9. Great to hear from so many! Although school is still closed, I made it to work today. All livestock seems to be fairing well. The snow seemed heavy because there was so much of it, but it wasn't the super wet stuff, thank goodness!

    Agree, Mindee, that blankets are more for us than them! I do think I 'll pick up a few more when they are on sale so when it gets this cold, I at least have that option to make myself feel better! LOL! By afternoon, most of the ice & snow were off their backs. They were dry & happy, it seemed. Totally agree if I had any senior horses, they would be blanketed.

    My horses aren't shod right now, but they do get some ice on their hooves. I don't mess with them unless I see them uncomfortable or plan to ride. What I hate is the uneven frozen ground. Ginger twisted her ankle one year & had some swelling. Winter just is nasty! :)

    Lisa, give me 27 hours in the day & I'd use them up, too! I need longer days every day! LOL!

  10. Anonymous12:57 PM

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