Monday, December 14, 2009

Who Ordered This Mess?

I just came in from the barn to give my aching arms a break. Siete was asking for more snow, fluffy this time, please. Silk wants to go back to California NOW. She’s wishing I knew how to teleport us there. Okay, it’s not as cold as it is in Wisconsin or Montana or Maine, but it’s only mid-December, and we’ve already hit the complaint department button several times this week.

First, there was snow topped with the inch of rain that created lakes in the corral and the pasture when it fell on the four inches of snow. Then, with temps in the teens for several nights, all that water turned everything into a skating rink. When it began to warm up yesterday, we had a disgusting flooding mess. In a moment of desperation, I dumped some bags of wood pellets into the corral so no one would break a leg. It worked well until we got more rain last night. Now, I’ve been trying to dig ditches to get the water out but there are chunks of ice blocking the drainage.

This is the first winter that we’ve had the gate between the barn and the pasture. Both horses were hovering around it after the first snow, eyeing the vast pristine white blanket on the other side. Since they have their snowshoes on, I decided to risk the icy patches out there and managed to pull it open. It’s your choice, ladies, I told them, but be careful. Siete charged right out and scampered around in a couple of big circles. Silk looked at me like I was out of my mind and headed back to her stall. Right away, Siete wanted to come back in, but the drainage ditch was full of frozen chunks. She stood there waiting to see if I was going to come to the rescue. When I didn’t, she remembered that even though she’s a western cow horse, she can jump. With one pretty little leap, she crossed the ditch and ran into the stall with her mother.

By today, they were both ready to explore the far corners of the pasture to see if there was any grass worth eating under the snow. As soon as I walked out with feed buckets in my hand, they took off and Silk demonstrated the proper way to deal with the ditch. How many days until Spring?

9 comments:

Kate said...

I hate it when it does that rain/snow combination - due to our layout/drainage situation we're very prone to bad ice and sometimes we end up trapped in the barn for days - that's the worst since it's almost always really cold at the same time. Now, why do I live here?

Lori Skoog said...

Same here!

detroit dog said...

Glad to see all is relatively well, though I'm sure you've been working your butt off!

I hope the holidays are going well for you and yours.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Mud, muck,snow and ice everywhere. It's disgusting. We've got the same problem. The churned up mud gets frozen into moon craters and it's impossible to walk on or we're sinking in the mud over our boots. Spring is a long way off, we'll just have to live with this mess until we get a decent snow. Ugh!

Pony Girl said...

Oh dear, what a nightmare! I am sure My Boy's pasture is starting to melt off from our big week and a half deep freeze....along with the extra water an inch or so of snow added. His clean blanket is going to be a muddy mess by the time I get it off of him this weekend! At least I know he'll be cozy and clean for a bit longer...
I hope your ponies hang in there and stay safe on that ice!

Wolfie said...

Sorry that you had a bit of a mess, Victoria. Not quite that bad here. It snowed all day yesterday. I went for a trail ride with a couple of friends and it was gorgeous. Quiet, clean, big snowflakes coming straight down and everything with a blue/white hue. By the time we finished our ride, we looked like snowmen perched on our mounts. :-)

Paint Girl said...

We are going through the same thing with the weather here. It is finally going to hit 40 degrees, so the snow and frozen ground is now melting, and the pasture's will go back to being a muddy mess.
I always worry that the horses will hurt themselves, but we've been pretty lucky!!
Hope things clear up there for you!

John and Regina Zdravich said...

You have to keep telling yourself "Winter Builds Character" and "Whatever Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger" while you count the days till spring!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Too many. Here Spring arrives as late as May or June, and then only lasts for a week or so. bah!

Winter is the true test for a horse owner, for sure.

I like the photo of Silk jumping. :)

~Lisa