Monday, December 15, 2008

Riding out the Storm

Last Friday evening's drive home from work found me stuck in traffic moving at the speed of snail. The predicted storm had in fact arrived and while it wasn’t the first snow of the year, it was the first snow that was mking roads a challenge. Not exactly having the best read left on my tires, I dropped my Dakota into 4 high and made my way through the idiot drivers. By the time I arrived home, the wind was already picking up speed. The forecast predictions were -20 to -30 with the windchill factor. …Fabulous…

Cold, zero degree temps are one thing adding wind to the equation , that bring on a whole new level of complications when dealing with horses and livestock in general. It takes one person to get the gates and the other running with forkfuls of hay, all the while trying not to lose your own breath as the wind blows in your face.

That was pretty much our routine over the weekend with the storm that blew in ,and while we didn’t get quite as cold as they had predicted, it was plenty bitter out there. Regardless, we braved the weather 3-4 times a day to check on horses, throw more hay if they were out and when we could stand it, pick iceballs from horses hooves, not an easy job when it’s below zero and the ice is mixed with sand and gravel. Kinda resembles cement. We have tried everything from WD40 to Vaseline to try to prevent the snow from balling up in horses hooves and if the conditions are right, nothing seems to help. (If anyone knows of any trick, please do share!) One thing we didn’t have to worry about this time was water staying open. The insulated boxes were working like a charm.!

Saturday night, we were relieved when the wind let up just a bit but then watched the temperature continue to drop well below zero. We resigned to stay close to the woodstove when we weren’t out checking on horses. Besides, it seems I have caught the bug that Tom was just recovering from and staying warm and comfortable was at the top of my to do list.

On Monday, it’s sure to happen that the talk in the break room will be the weather and as usual there will be the one person in the crowd that pipes up to say “ Oh, I didn’t think it was all that bad out”.

As I think about the frozen appendages and eyelashes I suffered , clearly, this person doesn’t have livestock to deal with!

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