Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wild Weather

True to Murphy's Law, we've been having beautiful sunny weekdays followed up by stormy weekends. Saturdays have been windy and Sundays very wet. I'm unsure why these storm tracks are on 7-day cycles, but I am one of many Nevadans who are getting sick of it and feeling picked on by the universe. Even those people I know who are not gripers are griping about the timing of this bad weather.

I got my rear in gear and got out there into a saddle on Friday evening, knowing that Mother Nature wouldn't let me ride come Saturday and Sunday. I worked with Bombay on stepping over poles. At first he just stepped where he felt like it and made a lot of banging noises as his hooves hit the wood. I ignored that, and as soon as he cleared a pole with all four feet I praised him. Eventually, he started making the effort to pick his way over them.

Once he cleared all four poles at a walk, I asked him to do it at the trot. Then I mounted and we worked our way over the poles together at the walk and trot. I found that if I posted upward as he went over a pole, it was much easier on both of us. I didn't canter him, because the round pen is so tight and he's such a big horse. I'll have to lay the poles out on a straight-away before we attempt cantering and jumping over them.

I also taught him how to park himself between two poles, and back out without hitting anything. He was a natural. Side-passing over the pole, however, proved to be too complicated for both of us.

Come Saturday the wind was blowing. I went outside just to hang with the horses, but considered riding Lostine, since she doesn't get rattled by the wind. However, Lostine gave me a look that said she was in no mood for a ride. Weird things were happening all around us. Drivers were speeding, their tires squealing around curves. Sirens were going off every hour or so. The wind was erratic. I just got a general feeling that it wouldn't be wise to ride today.

In the afternoon my husband told me to look at the sky. I said, "This is tornado weather." I then went outside to clean stalls, and sure enough, a little whirlwind ripped through the paddock and shook the barn violently. We don't get many tornadoes in Northern Nevada, but once many years ago I was sitting in the bleachers at a softball field watching my daughter play, and there were four tornadoes off in the distance doing a little dance through the desert. It was surreal. It still have nightmares about it.

By evening it was pouring rain. I had left the stall doors open so that the horses could get out of the wind, but they chose to just huddle under the awning of the barn. I put Lostine into her stall and shut the door, but Gabbrielle couldn't get into hers, because Bombay's butt was blocking it. I was yelling his name, trying to get his attention to tell him to move, but the rain was pounding on the aluminum roof so loud that he couldn't hear me.

Gabbrielle bared her teeth and opened wide to bite Bombay on the butt, and then thought better of it and gave me a guilty look. (I've been teaching her non-violence.) Bombay suddenly turned toward me, and he was completely drenched. He walked into this stall, and Gabbrielle was then able to get into hers. As I entered each stall to put the blankets on each horse, I had to yell the horse's name to make sure that he/she knew I was there. The rain sounded like hail. What was odd was that last night was the first night of the year that it was warm enough that the horses didn't need to wear their blankets, and here we were 24 hours later having to put the blankets back on because a snowstorm is moving in.


Leah Fry said...

Texas has that same seven-day cycle, although we did have a dry Saturday. It's also warm enough to have the windows open, at least for the moment.

Cheryl Ann said...

HA! We must be getting your storm! It started getting windy yesterday afternoon. Hubby and I stopped at an overlook and the wind nearly tore the door off my car! It was that bad! Still windy here. I hope we don't lose any trees! Last year we lost a 30 year old eucalyptus in our front yard.

manker said...

are you sure you're not talking about montana ? :) :) Sounds EXACTLY like the "weather" they're predicting here.... methinks we're not out of winter til june

be safe

OnceUponAnEquine said...

Crazy weather you are having! Murphy's law is in force here too. Weekend was supposed to be beautifully warm, but the wind ruined it. Now a possibility of snow tomorrow, but at least that will be a Monday. Gabrielle sounds like a character, tempted to chomp on the unsuspecting Bombay, but restraining herself under your watchful eye.

lytha said...

i can't imagine having to yell my horse's name to let him know i'm there! what storms you have!

tornadoes gave me nightmares and i was only in one, in KS.

my man always says that seattle is too natural-disaster inclined, and that's why we should stay in germany, where there are no tsunamis, volcanos, or earthquakes, which he's seen warning signs for in my homestate.

i camped on mt st helens a few years ago when it was rumbling again and spitting smoke. all the horses were jumpy that weekend. i was mentally rehearsing escaping a volcano on horseback!

odd to be in an area with zero natural disaster risk. hm!


Jenn said...

We are on the opposite weather schedule...raining during the week, gorgeous on the weekend! Must hit you guys first then us later in the week!

When it rains REALLY hard and makes that horrible noise on the roof Gabe refuses to go into his run in...he gives it the white-eyed "What the hell?" look and snorts. Goofball.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

This time of year we get similar stuff, too. The wind is so wild that we get Dust Devils which resemble tornadoes. They can be a couple hundred feet tall and look just like a twister picking up tumbleweeds, thick sand, pastic trash bags, etc. And it's no fun to get hit by one. lol!

I don't much care for the wind. It is very unsettling.