Shiver Me Timbers
The weather changed abruptly last night...or early this morning. I woke up to the sound of wind whipping up a frenzy. I'd left the Boys in their sheets overnight, and I'm afraid that was a mistake. They didn't seem cold this morning, but I surely was. Horribly wind and bitterly low temperatures had rushed in on another weather front.
I switched all three back into their insulated winter blankets. This time, though, I tried to put the new one on Toby. Since it was brand new, it was still a little stiff and the fabric was a little noisy. That proved a problem.
Toby has a deep seated fear of rustling plastic, paper, and, in this case fabric. I related this back to a boarding stable with plastic on the windows, all of which blew out during a huge storm, leaving noisy, flapping plastic near his stall. Then, a rather mean barn manager found out he didn't like the rustling sounds and, I suspect, tormented him with the paper bedding bags whenever she could. (Long story of a manic personality and a resentment of me attached.) At any rate, Toby was traumatized, and ever since, I need to be careful with noisy rustling things around him.
Today, I had to bring him into the aisle, put him on the cross ties, take off his sheet, give him a nice quieting grooming, and then put on the noisy blanket. Once he was soothed by the handling, he was fine, so I'm guessing the combination of the blanket and the horrendous wind created too strong a memory of his past fear. Once he was dressed in the new coat, he was just fine and, I think, really appreciated having the extra protection from the cold and wind.
I was able to let all three have full run of the paddocks and pasture today as the ground was frozen along with the mud. There isn't much to eat as far as grazing goes, but I think they just like to nibble at whatever they can find. I do give them plenty of hay, however. This time of year, especially, it is very important for them to have good forage so they can keep up their own body heat.
My water tub heaters seem to be working just fine, so the other essential--fresh water--is also always available.
The one benefit of the day is that the sun was out. That did make for a few places where, with the wind blocked by either trees or the barn itself, it was probably fairly comfortable for them to hang out.
I have to keep reminding myself that horses are true outdoor animals, well adapted to tolerate the weather. Well fed, watered, and with shelter available, they do just fine.
I'm the one who's shivering. *G*