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!