But It's Still Cold
I cannot remember since having the horses home--over ten years--such an extended period of below freezing weather. I judge this by how long I had had to fill the water trough either with buckets or by using the coil hose--now residing in my bathtub. We've had colder weather, with temperatures below 0 F, but this is many more weeks of cold in the 20's.
We may luck out and be missed by the next storm coming across the country. The latest track calls for it to hit north of us with a chance that we will get some rain instead of all snow.
Good and bad, as rain creates ice--far from my favorite kind of footing.
Which leads me to the topic of the day since I will not be riding again. I am quite amazed as to just how much of my life is governed by owning horses, especially now that I have them here at home with me.
For one, weather is definitely not "take it or leave it." I follow the weather forecasts like an addict. Temperatures, precipitation, the comings and goings of storms all are important in ways the outside world could never understand. Will there be mud? Then Tucker has to have restricted turnout. I'll have to fill the second water trough and make sure the interior fence rails are all in place. Will it rain? Do the Boys need waterproof turnouts? Thunder and lightning? Close off the pasture and perhaps put them in the barn. Too dry? Dust in the arena when I ride. Too cold? Frozen footing makes training impossible. The list goes on and on.
Then, there's timing. There's a feeding schedule to keep. I'd rather be home around 4:30 in the aftenoon to feed, so activities that keep me away might be a no-no. When is the feed store open? Will a holiday interfere with being able to get my hay?
And just when do I need to go get a new load of grain or hay? How many bags do I have? Will they hold me over the weekend? Is there enough hay to carry me over in an emergency?
What if the power goes out? Here, my water comes from a well, and the pump needs electricity. I do have a generator for serious outages, but that means I also have to keep tabs on having enough gasoline to run it. All this, not because the house will get cold--I have a gas fireplace--but becuase I have the horses and they need water.
I'm sure people with children have similar worries, but at least you can pack the kids into the car and go someplace until the crisis is over. Not so with horses.
Well, OK, if you have a trailer and a place to go, you can always evacuate. But I have three horses and a two horse trailer. Who'd get left behind?
Don't get me wrong. I love having the horses home. It is, for dozens of reasons, far better than boarding out. But it is also an awesome responsibility. Everytime I read of some person who';s guilty of animal neglect, I simply cannot understand it. Once you put a horse behind a fence, it becomes your job to see that he has enough food and water--seven days a week--to stay healthy and sound. He cannot fend for himself.
That's why when a person speaks of his/her horses or other animals not as pets, but as "children," I totally understand. Like children, they need care, nurturing and protection.
If I need to mold my lifestyle around them, it's fine by me. I don't regret a moment of it.