Today is Friday. I haven’t ridden Grace since Sunday. 4 days in a row without a ride, I am seriously jonesing! We were hit with a winter storm on Monday. The snow that started to fall on Sunday when we were cow sorting, started to stick on Monday, the temperatures dropped, everything froze and our County came to a stand still. The temperatures finally came up above freezing yesterday – Thanksgiving. I had no idea I could get so excited about it being 33 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grace came through the storm with flying colors. I always worry about her when it gets cold. She was born in California and has only experienced our somewhat mild Western Washington winters. I was with her when she saw her first snowfall as a 3 year old, wide eyed and very interested in the white stuff falling from the sky. 7 years later, she doesn’t pay it much attention. Even though she is dressed in her warmest winter blanket, I still stress about her in the cold. My biggest concern is her water intake. Grace has an 80 gallon stock tank in her pasture. It’s too far from a power source for a tank heater, which wouldn’t have really mattered this time, since our power was out for the coldest part of the storm. When it gets cold, I diligently break the ice off her stock tank and add a boiling pot of water to it several times a day. I also offer her a bucket of lukewarm water. Grace seems to make it a point to never drink in front of me when it’s cold out, which only increases my anxiety. I fed her as much hay as she would eat during the coldest days of the storm. Once she started turning it into bedding, I knew it was time to bring her back to her regular rations. I also increased her grain, something she was very agreeable to.
Every time I walked out to the pasture the first thing I looked for was the freshest pile of poop. I think only horse people will understand the value of a new pile of horse poop. I even have a happy dance I do when I find it. As long as Grace is pooping, everything in the world is going to be all right! Between the consistent piles of manure and that her skin would snap back when I tested her for dehydration, I was positive that Grace continued to drink even though it was below freezing.
I had planned to have the day off today, but after missing two and a half days of work; I decided to come in to catch up this morning. Still waiting for the IT guy to get the server up and running. I originally had planned to show Grace on Saturday, but after 4 days off in a row we are going to skip this one. I plan to leave the office today early enough to get a ride in. Grace let me know this morning that she is ready to go, greeting me with a squeal and a buck, right before she took off across the now very muddy pasture. Must remember to decrease her grain now that it’s warmer out!