Saturday, February 2, 2008

It's Almost Over, Isn't It?

I really thought the horses would run around like crazy today. Yesterday, we had an ice storm that turned the pastures, the corrals, the paths to the house and the driveway into an enormous skating rink. Then, it rained almost two inches in two hours last night. I know because I was driving alone in the car during the worst of it. So, when I woke up to 40 degree weather with clear skies, I figured that the horses would love to come out and play.

We still had these ice floes and frozen moon craters in the pasture. Smart horses that they are, they took note and there was not even any trotting. They ventured out slowly to the middle of one of the iciest parts, looked at each other and headed back to munch the hay that I dropped next to the fence.

I was in Silk’s stall trying to deal with the brown ooze that was bubbling up out of the ground. It took a trip to the feed store and three bags of wood pellet horse bedding to get things under control. At least it wasn’t as bad as last winter’s flooded stall drama. When the ground is frozen, there’s no place for the water to drain in these intense downpours.

Last February, we had a storm, and Silk’s stall filled with poop soup up to her knees. Since it was still coming down like crazy, I had to put both horses in Siete’s stall and bail Silk’s with a bucket. The sump pump kept clogging, and the water kept rising. Using a smaller bucket as a scoop, I filled one of those big water buckets over a dozen times, dragging it out to dump it in the bushes. Then, I emptied 12 bags of wood pellets, which soaked up the stinky water and immediately had to be shoveled out. It took eight more bags of pellets to achieve a dry stall. I couldn’t move my arms for about a week.

I didn’t have to do that today. The horses behaved and didn’t break their legs. The ice melted in the warm sun. Phil the Groundhog told us that we’d have 6 more weeks of winter. Despite that, I’ll call it a good day.


billie said...

My gosh - that must have been tiring work, getting that stall dried out!

I'm glad the worst didn't recur with your rain this time - we have been so lucky in the past couple of months. Each time it rains, which we badly need, we get a few days of wind and sunshine to help dry things out.

Here's to dry stalls and a nice balance of rain and sun.

Amanda said...

Wow, I couldn't imagine doing what you had to do last February with the storm making "poop soup". I'm glad for your sake, it wasn't like that today.

Gecko said...

I had no idea there was so much troubles with ice, I can't imagine it'd be very pleasant to have to come out to of a morning!

Heidi the Hick said...

Do you have dirt floors in your barn?

The floors are cement in my parents' barn. We have to use rubber mats, but at least it stays dry in there... not always easy in a 100 year old barn!

It's hard to get through a winter. When nasty weather causes problems in the barn, everything stops to solve it.

The worst part is that once we get a thaw, it's mud season. Ugh. But it's okay...May through October are totally worth it!

Rising Rainbow said...

I am so sick of this weather. I wish spring was just around the corner.

Victoria Cummings said...

I do have dirt floors in my barn. Many people will tell you that it's actually better for the horses legs to stand on shavings and dirt than on concrete. At any rate, putting stall mats down on dirt and having to pull them up when the ooze rises would be an even worse nightmare. I just do what needs to be done and push on through it - although clearly the memory lingers on.

billie said...

We have dirt floors and rubber mats - occasionally I'll pull the rubber mats back to let things air out, but for the most part it stays dry. We are lucky that our barn was built on the highest part of our property - sometimes though when it rains a huge amount in a short time the water will flood through the back side. So far it's only ever gone a foot or so in, so we can muck that much out and fill with dry shavings.