When Boarding your horses is a really, really good idea…

I am totally drenched.

Totally.  Head to toes.  Sloppy, soppy, wet.  I have hay bits stuck in a pulpy schmear all over my supposedly waterproof jacket.  I’m hot under all these layers.  My mouth has some liquid mud running into it from when I wiped my brow with my sodden glove.  There is an oozing channel under my nose and my hat is still stuck partway over my right eye from when I had my hood on top of it.  And, somehow, my arms are wet under my coat.

Right now, the idea of boarding my horses sounds, really, really good.


Let me digress.

The alarm went off this morning and I knew that the wind and rain had been battling it out all night.  Yay.

Actually, the wind and rain have been in heavy competition for three days now.  You’d think they would have had enough crying and blowing for this week but NO, it continues.

Anyway, that’s all fine when I’m cozy under my comforter… but when the day arrives and the onslaught is still in extreme mode, I know it is going to be a messy, messy day.


I had to face it and join the elements in order to feed my charges.  So, I donned my protective gear.

My favorite piece is my long jacket with an eskimo hood.  Under that, I wear a few layers (TUCKED INTO MY FLEECE PANTS – not a fashion statement but necessary), I wrap a warm scarf around my neck, put on thick socks, pull up my tall muck boots (that I love) and add a fuzzy hat for good measure.

I’m Ready to Feed even though Mother Nature dares me not to.  I ventured out the front door.

Whooosh!  The wind flattened be against the veranda as I clung to the pillar for support.

The dogs, who ran outside with me as they normally do every morning, quickly turned tail and begged to go back inside.  Since I hate dealing with drenched dogs more than I hate dealing with drenched me, I let them back in.

Today, I would go it alone.

OK, it wasn't really this bad but... kinda.


The first pasture that I can barely locate through the pummeling rain is Remi’s.  I had just put Rojo in there with her the day before and I was worried that he wouldn’t know how to use a shelter.

Evidently Rojo learned a thing or two last night because as I drew closer, I could see them both huddled inside their tin roofed and incredibly noisy shelter.  You can see the rain pelting it in this photo.

Rojo and Remi peer out at me. The rain punishes their tin roof (and my head).



Since my ranch is on a hill, all the water runs downhill, past everyone.  This constant flow creates a slick film on top of the soft dirt – a perfect setting for a Laurel and Hardy slapstick comedy.  The ground is a slippery, sloppy, muddy, nasty mess.  I really should wear a headcam when I feed in the rain…

Anyway, I arrived at the barn and it was flooded.  perfect.

Not only has the wind been blowing non-stop, but it has been blowing directly INTO my barn carrying Shamu-sized puddles with it.  There was no way I could feed on the ground.

I decided to put up feeders on the rails so that I could watch the wind carry off the hay the horses didn’t dump on the saturated ground.

Oy, the barn is totally flooded.

Gwen, ever the lady, voraciously pulls at the hay in the bag and scatters it all over the ground. The wind takes the rest. Great.



Silly me, I thought it would be a good idea to put Tess in the barn last night since she is older and I wanted to protect her – as well as keep her from keeping everyone else out from her overhang.

When I arrived at the barn, not only was it flooded, but Tess was standing on her tippy-toes as she moved around the ewwww mess.   Of course, it wasn’t too ewwww for her not to lay down in it.  Ugh.  She was matted and muddy and disgusting – just how she likes it – doused in Eau de Barn Floor.

Deciding to deal with Her Highness later, I found a high, dry spot in the corner and threw her some hay so that I could get her out of the way while I figured out how to feed everyone else.

*Just as an aside, A few months ago when I started hoarding hay for the winter, I made the bright choice to use the stalls for excess hay storage.  Hmmmm.  Doesn’t seem like such a great idea right now…

Anyway, with the hay barn door open and my arms full of hay, I proceed to feed everyone – one way or another.

I find the one dry spot in the barn and put down some hay to get Tess out of the way.


I remember my traveling hay bin that was in my trailer... I filled it and hung it on Remi and Rojo's shelter. Sink or swim, you two...


Even though they each had a feeder full of hay, they ate together with their hineys towards the wind.


I then proceeded to clock myself, once again, with this %$##@ branch. I do it every time I wear my hood. I can't see it so I walk right into it - every time! And, since it is the middle of feeding chores, I forget to fix it - always!


I fed the ponies and Norma, only to see that they had remodeled their enclosure once again. They hate any walls on the far side so they gnaw at it until it falls to the ground and then they dance on it.


I hit my head once again on the *^&$^$% branch before I reached the barn for more hay - where I discovered that I really needed to dig out the French Drain which was overflowing and not working at all... later.


I attempted to bring 3 flakes up to Finn, BG and Wrigley's shelter but they mauled me as I entered their paddock. In a eskimo hoody blind spastic throw move, I tossed the three flakes as close to the trees as possible and then headed back to the barn for more.


With more hay, I trudged up to Finn's shelter. Funny...I've always told myself that I didn't need a 4-wheeler - better exercise to walk. Regretting that now. Anyway, I see that water is running into their shelter so I grabbed all the tripyou rocks I could find to weigh down their flapping walls.


I then notice our new 'seasonal creek' that is rushing through the ranch... that will be a nice addition for the brochure when we sell, I'm sure.


And the new water feature... I have half a mind to crawl around in there and look for gold - we are in 49er country after all...


Ahhh, our newly constructed fresh water pool!


For any of you who have pulled your foot out of your boot and then stuck your foot back in a cavernous mud hole, you know why I took this pic. "Phew" is all I can say...


The barn door was warped from the rain and was really HEAVY so I used my boot to arrrrrrghhh Incredible Hulk slide it shut. Fun.


My last duty for the morning, I pushed Remi and Rojo's feeder towards the back of their shelter. They seemed happy.


As I head back towards the house, Bagerra rubs on my leg. I was tempted to pick her up and use her as a towel.


My totally soaked jacket and boots... but like an IDIOT, I left them like this and my dripping coat drained straight into my boots. So, when I went out to feed later, my boots were soaked INSIDE. oy.


As I emerge from the mud room, I see Shiva and Bagerra begging to come in. Bagerra lives in the haybarn where she is high and dry, safe and warm.


Since I'm incredibly soft, I cave and let her in....


And THAT is why today boarding seems like a really, really good idea.


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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

10 comments have been posted...

  1. horse care courses

    Ha at least you didn’t slip over in the mud which is more than can be said for me yesterday and to top it I had to call into the shops on the way home (covered in mud) to buy something for supper!

  2. sharon

    I was feeling your pain all the way (and feeling very glad I do board) until I got to the part about hanging the jacket above the boots. After that, I just had to laugh because that would have happened to me to. Once you been driven out of your mind by the nasty elements and have crossed the threshold into your home, you just want OUT of those clothes. Now, if you were a teenager, you would have just thrown them on the floor ;o)

  3. nancy

    Do you remember the days when we used to be kinda glamorous? Those days be gone… I had a puppy crawling on my head much of the night and look like a little bit of hell…

  4. Mary

    What a mess. Better get rid of that branch before someone looses and eye! yikes!

  5. Jody

    What an adventure! Rain always makes work triple hard. Actually I would rather work in rain than in wind if I had my choice. But here, we get rain then we get wind. We get rain, then we get wind! So the moisture really has no effect because the wind drys up everything and takes it off to the next rain cloud.

  6. Joanne

    *Whew!* I’m exhausted reading about it. You might want to consider being a spokeswoman for a center-aisle barn company. You sure sold me! LOL

  7. rose

    So does eating together mean Remi and Rojo like each other or is it “lifeboat” mentality?

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