Thursday, January 3, 2008

Too Cold!!!

What a crazy winter this is! We’re freezing here with temperatures lower than ten degrees at night and wild wind making it sub-zero. It never got up to even 20 degrees today. Yet, the weathermen are predicting it will be in the 50’s over this week-end. Bad enough for humans, but my poor California princesses are really having a hard time.

The stalls have Dutch doors on the front and the back and windows on the side. I shut the back doors, but usually leave the top of the front doors open so the horses can look out. I know that Silk can get a little claustrophobic. Last night, my husband was encouraging me to close all the doors in the barn since it was so cold and windy. It posed a real dilemma for me.

I wanted to feel certain that the girls would be warm enough. At the same time, if one of them reacted negatively to the doors all being shut, I wouldn’t hear it since I was in the house in my warm bed. They were wearing their blankets which are quilted and have Gortex on the outside. They also have pretty thick fur right now. In the end, I opted to give them a bit of extra grain and more hay and warm water but leave the top of the stall doors open in the front. I just wanted to avoid opening the doors to a disaster this morning of a wall kicked in or an injury. I kept waking up all night worrying as I heard the wind howling.

Finally, in the early morning darkness, a half hour before I usually do, I went out to feed them. They were really happy to see me, but they were fine. When I tried to put them in the pasture, Silk didn’t want to go. That’s a first. I insisted, so she stood at the gate watching me muck the stalls the entire time she was out there. After forty-five minutes, I put them back in the barn and the front corral.

Now, it’s time to give them that extra hay and fill the buckets with hot water again to keep their inner furnaces going strong for another single digit night. Okay, all you Californians, go ahead and gloat!


Rising Rainbow said...

I sold a horse that went from here, WA state, to Mass. With the kind of winter you've been having I wonder how he is doing.

Arlene said...

I wouldn't worry too much about the cold and the California 'princesses', we have two horses from the deep south,one from Canada, one from Holland,and one from out west. They all adapted to the climate their first winter. They know what to do to keep warm and their bodies adjust for them. In this extreme cold the only thing we do is blanket them from the wind in turnout, and give them nice hot mashes at dinnertime, their windows are open to keep the air circulating. Don't worry the 'kids' are okay.

the kittens' mother said...

Aaw it's nice to hear all of these horses have such wonderful owners who take care of them how they deserve...with respect and loyalty. Well done and keep up the good work!
From Meg and cats xxx
P.S. Hope the weather improves soon so that the horses are comfortable again and you can have a good night's sleep!

Victoria Cummings said...

MiKael, Arlene and Meg - Hard to believe it, but now two days later, the temperature is in the 50's. They say it will be 60 by Wednesday. It's hard on the horses - I'm really watching their water and food consumption. This is a time when they could colic. They loved it when I took off the blankets though.

Strawberry Lane said...

While your horses are all tucked warmly in their stalls with pretty blankets and warm mush for dinner, the California "princesses" are up to their knees in mud from our rains and mud slides.

Another reason I'd like to move back East. I'm always looking for more excuses to move there. I love the snow and don't mind the cold, since I grew up with it.