Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Ventured Out

with 4 comments

Apparently, the horses were just waiting for nightfall to venture out into the deep snow covering the hay field. Their meandering trails made for an interesting pattern beneath the colorful dawn sky yesterday morning.

It was around -5°(F) but the horses appeared unperturbed by the cold, even though there was frost on some of their whiskers and eyelashes. By noon, it had warmed to the mid-teens and their attitude had noticeably changed.

They showed a much greater interest in stuffing themselves with hay at noon. That preoccupation was a helpful distraction, allowing me to put blankets on all of them in advance of extreme weather coming in the days ahead. I think they were wise to the threat and were stoking their furnaces in advance. 

Probably why they were so accepting of my fumbling around to get the blankets on them. They seem to sense what lies ahead in the weather department.

I got the barn and hay shed loop plowed yesterday and it was just as tricky as I suspected because of the depth of the snow. By taking it slow and moving half-plow-blade amounts of snow at a time, I accomplished my goal. After parking the ATV back in the shop garage, I headed down to clean up the edges with a shovel and was surprised to find the feed delivery van parked at the barn, unloading bags.

They showed up a day early to avoid making deliveries in wild weather.

It’s a good thing I ventured out to plow when I did. This incident encourages me to not let things wait until the last minute. If I had waited any longer to get that part of the drive plowed, those 50 lb. bags of feed would be piled in the snow at the edge of the driveway and I would have been carrying them down to the barn by myself.

Sounds like winter is going to come in like a lion this year. There’ll be no worrying about whether or not it will be a white Christmas around these parts.

Ho, ho, ho.

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Written by johnwhays

December 20, 2022 at 7:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. It is probably a silly question, but don’t your horses grow a winter coat’ Although it doesn’t fit the slim streamline summer coat image, the horses’ shaggy winter coat here means that they are in no need of another one. That said, maybe, the type of horses you have came from other hotter regions originally. (I guess you wouldn’t remove the winter coat for aesthetic reasons…) And so you might say, that your conditions are particularly extreme, but I have seen lots of pictures of horses in Iceland, (or is it Greenland, which gets colder) happily embracing zero temperatures.) Anyway, at a guess, it must be something to do with the type of horses you have… feel free to enlighten me:-)

    Ian Rowcliffe

    December 20, 2022 at 12:33 pm

    • Great question, Ian. I am far from an expert on this subject but I’ll share my perspective. First of all, I am much more inclined to wait until our horses show signs of not coping well with the cold than Cyndie is. They definitely do grow a good winter coat of their own that serves them well in most conditions. If their long coat gets wet, it loses a lot of the insulation value. Our added coat can protect them from getting wet. We are expecting high winds with extreme cold temps that will rival Arctic regions (-58°F wind chill) and since our Thoroughbreds are not an Arctic breed of horse, their winter coat may not be up to the task of protecting them.
      Here is an article I found on the subject: http://richardschibellracing.com/cold-weathers-impact-on-off-track-thoroughbreds/

      johnwhays

      December 20, 2022 at 1:38 pm

      • Interesting as well as being informative: thanks for your trouble, John.

        Ian Rowcliffe

        December 20, 2022 at 4:24 pm

      • Always happy to be able to “talk” with you, Ian!

        johnwhays

        December 20, 2022 at 10:15 pm


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