Thankfully the snow held off until after noon today, which gave me time to get the horses out for awhile after their breakfast tubs. We took their blankets off so they could go out and roll, and could enjoy the dry day before the wet stuff started falling.
The hoses had been left hooked up and were all frozen and needing thawing. The short hose in the back field was easy, but the long hose in the little barnyard was frozen solid. I unhooked it and stretched it out down the hill, made sure the pump was working, and then went to check the water pump in the barn. The coil hose I have in there had also frozen, but since it's so compact, I brought it inside and thawed it out with warm water.
While I was running around dealing with hoses, the horses went on a parade around the entire property. I'm not sure what they were doing, but Cody was in the lead, then Apache Moon, Keil Bay, and Salina. They were power walking the fence line but there was nothing to be seen or heard, and in fact none of them seemed overly alert. It was almost like they knew they needed to get the exercise in before the weather turned. The donkey boys were still in the paddock cleaning the breakfast tubs.
Daughter and I got stalls mucked and then the barnyards and paddock. Cody escorted me to the back field, the donkeys checked out the muck barrow to make sure it was not hiding anything that shouldn't be dumped, and the other three came and checked things out just to make sure I was doing everything the right way. I spent some time talking and scratching and hanging out with them.
I realized I probably needed to add bags of pine pellets to each stall - of course they were in the garage so I went and loaded them in the truck. One good thing about the cold last night is that the ground is now solid again (only a temporary bliss with saturated earth and yet more snow/ice) so I drove the bags right to the barn door and got pellets distributed and sprayed with the newly-thawed out hose.
While they were sitting I drove the truck out to get the mail - my new Kindle sleeve arrived from Etsy - gorgeous and hand-made, very reasonable price, and even the packaging was lovely - black tissue paper tied with a curly white string. The sleeve had a tag attached by a tiny black matte safety pin, and there were two postcards enclosed - paintings by the artist. Really lovely.
(if you like quilted things - Kindle sleeves, iPhone sleeves, coasters, pot holders, big quilts - go check out Briana Taylor's shop on Etsy.)
Headed back to the barn and finished up the stalls, then went to check on the long hose. It was still frozen but a few snaps against the ground elicited a gurgling sound and then a huge pile of those frozen worm-like things that rush out, making the most intriguing tinkle as they pile together. I got all the tubs cleaned and put back in the feed room, got all the water buckets clean and full, and then topped off the two water troughs. I unhooked all the hoses, covered all the pumps, and noticed the snow was really starting to fall. Daughter's jumping lesson was canceled, my Proust group was canceled, and by this time the herd was canceling their power walking and were all lined up ready to come into clean stalls.
Keil Bay hung his head over and gave his stall the once-over. Sometimes if I keep mucking, getting a little OCD about the last bits of straw or hay or those little bits of manure that defy the rake, he will bang his back door to let me know it's time to move on. Let it go and let him in!
It was 4:00! Sometimes I don't know where the time goes in a day. But it always feels good when there is yucky weather coming to have everything in order at the barn, and to walk into the house with the sound of 6 equines munching hay still sounding in my ears.
I do not know why seeing a herd of six so content makes me so happy. But it does.