ORIGINALLY POSTED in 2016, but tonight feels like the same kind of stormy night… and I was reflecting back… so I thought I would post this story again for all of you who suffer rainy night breakouts!
So Hubby was out of town on Sunday night.
I was in bed, sleeping soundly. It was storming. Rain, Rain and more rain. Wet stuff makes our clay soil here very, very slippery. The horses are usually quiet in this type of sloppy rain.
At 3am, I woke up for some reason… ‘Did I just hear thundering hooves run past my bedroom window?’
Naw. There are no pastures by my bedroom window… I couldn’t have just heard thundering hooves run past my window. Just go back to sleep.
And then I heard it again. Thundering, wet, sloppy, ‘churn up the lawn’ type of hoof action. Horses were circling the house, 1000lbs of hooves digging into the lawn, driveway and all other parts of this drenched soil.
I bounded out of bed in a panic.
THAT WAS NOTHING…
I grabbed clothes and a headlamp, but the headlamp’s batteries were dead, of course. In my sleepy state, I couldn’t find any other flashlight – and I could clearly hear the shenannigans going on outside which only heightened my frenetic searching for light – so I opened the garage door to shine some lumination outside.
I saw nothing. But I heard something. Something very, very bad.
The sound of gushing water. Geyser like gushing water.
HOLY CRAP!!! WHAT DID THEY DO?!!
I still hadn’t seen a horse. But, as I ran outside to investigate, it was right in front of my face. Old Faithful. Yup. They had knocked over a spigot and water was shooting skyward like a Roman Candle. Hmmm, I thought to myself, at least we have good pressure…
For a moment, I was frozen. I couldn’t think. Here we were in a drought and water was pouring out like a broken hydrant. I had to do something FAST.
First things first. I needed to see the issue. I needed light. So, I drove the truck right up to the situation and parked it there with the brights on.
Yup, the spigot was ripped off and gone.
WATER PUMP, WATER MAIN, VALVES – WHAT TO DO?!
I was soaking wet but I didn’t even feel it. I ran over to the pump area with my measly key flashlight and prayed for some guidance. If this was the Grass Valley house, I would have known which valves went to which spigots. I would have known how to find the water main and how to switch off the pump.
Here, I hadn’t gotten that far. I didn’t know. Oy. What a way to find out what I didn’t know.
So, I frantically opened every box until I found the power. I shut it off. Good. The flow lessened, but it was still going.
I knew I had to find the valve. I started turning them all to see which would cut off all the spigots in that line. Once I found it…I couldn’t get the darn thing all the way off. So, there was still a steady stream of water.
OK. I could work with this. I filled everyone’s water trough. I filled up several pitchers for the house. I filled the bathroom sink basins and then I shut off the main for good.
Problem solved. For tonight, anyway.
About this time, as I was testing spigots, I felt Wrigley’s hot breath on my neck. It was pitch dark.
Wrigley (obviously not in his pasture but standing behind me): “Whatcha doin’? Hey, this is the greatest night, EVER! We found this really green lawn up front and we’re all on it, eating. You should come!
Me: No, you guys just hang out there, calmly, and wait until the morning. Then, when it is light out, I’ll put you away.
Wrigley (wheeling around and peeling off – digging deep tracks in the driveway as he went… ): OK!
I walked over to the front lawn and shined my puny car flashlight. I saw four pair of green dots looking back at me. They were all present and accounted for. I did my best to look at their legs and faces for any gashes. They all seemed OK and at ease – eating green grass.
So, I left them until the morning and went back to bed.
I was back in bed by 4:30am. I figured the sun would be up in a few hours and I’d assess the damage then.
When the sun rose, I walked out. All 4 loose horses came over to tell me about the fun they were having. Finn, BG, Gwen and Wrigley. They were muddy messes, but very happy.
Finn: “C’mon over here and let me show you the gate that Wrig broke down!”
BG: “Yeah, he slid in the mud and bashed it right off of the hinges!”
Gwen: “He is such a spaz. But, I’m glad he broke it. Do I have to go back in?”
Wrigley: “When’s breakfast?!”
Yup, I could see the skid marks. Someone, probably Wrig, slid right into the gate and took it off of its hinges. I’m very lucky that no one was hurt as they maneuvered the downed gate.
I needed a plan to get them back into their paddock and keep them there while I affixed the gate to the fence. I knew what to do; I’d feed them really good stuff.
And that’s what I did. They marched into their paddock as soon as they saw the good stuff… I bungied the gate back to the posts. It would hold until Hubby got back. I let Gwen stay out.
ALL IN ALL, WE WERE VERY LUCKY! – THANK YOU, HORSEGODS!
When Hubby returned the next night, he was able to shut off the valve completely so we could restore water to the house. This morning, he fixed the spigot and will remount the gate tomorrow. Hubby didn’t say a word about the chewed up grounds. I think he knew how upset I was about all of that…
But, no horses were injured and nobody had to be called to put Humpty Dumpty back on the wall.
We were all OK. Thank you horsegods, thank you!
One suggestion: LED flashlights. The batteries last forever.