Sunday, March 13, 2011

This is the Story...

...in which NuzMuz loses her temper at the wind.

I walked outside at 6:15 PM, fully expecting the horses to be eager for their dinner, but I couldn't get any of them to go into their stalls.

All three horses just stood in the corner of the paddock with their manes and tails whipping in the wind looking off into the distance.

I placed what was left of a slice of hay into each stall after the wind had blown most of it away, but still they would not go in.

I tried herding them, but still they would not go in.

I grabbed a halter and lead rope, caught each one, led then and locked them into their stalls. But then I couldn't easily get their blankets on because they kept looking out their windows and pressing their bodies against the stall walls.

So, I had to pull each of them to the center of their stalls to lay their blankets over their backs, but this made them agitated, because they couldn't see out their windows.

This behavior was very unusual. My guess was that they were entranced by a herd of deer. So, I searched the horizon, but saw none. The wind was obviously carrying the scent of something. I looked over at the haystack, and the wind had ripped the tarp loose so that half the stack was uncovered.

I reattached all the tie downs and weighed down the corners with rocks. By the time I put the halter away and returned to the haystack, the wind had ripped the tarp loose again. I repeated my previous actions but piled on more rocks and found better locations to anchor the tie downs.

I looked around for deer again, but still saw nothing. I began to wonder if perhaps the horses just weren't hungry feeling the effects of their vaccinations. Then I considered the earthquake in Japan, knowing that after an earthquake that size, other tectonic plates will have to shift as well. Maybe the horses were sensing something.

(By the way, I did feel an earthquake here in Nevada around the time of that earthquake in Japan. I don't know if it was the same one or something more local.)

All I knew was that the horses were acting weird and the wind was pissing me off. I turned around, and sure enough, the tarp had ripped loose again and the hay was uncovered. By the looks of the black clouds coming over the mountain, it was going to rain or snow soon.

(The size and condition of my tarp and the size and shape of my haystack limit my options of weighing the dang thing down. In other words, the tarp is so huge that it touches the ground, so I can't hang tires from it. Whatever I lay on it either isn't heavy enough to keep the tarp down in these winds, or so heavy that the tarp just rips. I tried folding the tarp in half, but the wind just rips it open. The tarp looks like a gigantic tiger paw took a swipe at it. I've tried everything you can think of, and no, I can't afford to build a shelter. I'm not even willing to purchase another smaller tarp at this point in time, because I'm so disappointed in how cheaply made all tarps are. This ripped one that's on my haystack now cost me $200 and I just bought it six months ago.)

I just want the wind to go away. I want this winter to go away. It's supposed to rain or snow Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday according to today's forecast. I want to actually be able to feed my horses this hay without it going moldy.

I think next winter I'll buy several tons of hay and make arrangements for the farmer to store it for me, and then I'll just pick up a few bales every couple of weeks to save me the hassle of dealing with tarps and moldy hay.

But I'll have to find a different hay farmer, because I've already found several moldy bales in the block that was just delivered, and this guy does store his hay in a shelter. He always blames his "workers", saying that they don't understand how to cut, bale and slice correctly. (The slices vary from paper thin to a foot thick in addition to being moldy and containing dead birds, snakes and rodents!) I have to bite my lip to keep from telling him to either hire workers who speak English or go back to school and learn their language. Ultimately, he's responsible, because he's the manager of the farm.

There was one summer we had a few years back in which we had several weeks of triple-digit temperatures. The heat was so intense that our air conditioner couldn't keep up and we couldn't sleep. I had to keep washing the bed linens because they were soaked with sweat. I swore I would not live another summer in Nevada after that, but here I am, and now I am swearing I'm not going to spend another winter in Nevada after this one. However, I'm sure other seasons will come, and I'll forget all about my misery. That's why we keep blogs. They help us remember.

4 comments:

achieve1dream said...

Ugh. Sorry the weather is mistreating you. I hope the wind died down quickly. Hay storage is a pain in the rear! I hope you can figure out something else for next winter.

fernvalley01 said...

I hear you on the tarp in the wind.I was standing on top of our stack one day tring to pull the tarp back over when the wind caught it .All I could do not to be pulled right off is to sit down,NOT FUN!!!! One day ,I hope to have a big hay shed for the round bales and squares.Someday...

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The weather forecast just changed, adding Monday and Tuesday to the rainy days of Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so that gives us only Thursday without a storm. I find this so irritating, because my husband is home from work for the week and I had planned on trail riding as much as possible, but there are landslides, mud, and lakes everywhere. We might drown in all this water. When I went out to feed the horses, the wheelbarrow of hay was filled with water.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

I gave up complaining for lent - but if I were to complain... ;)

First it would be about my horse also getting the faraway look in his eye, staying at the far end of his paddock, refusing to cooperate with simple tasks, or to start eating his meals before I leave the barn so I don't worry all day that he might be colicking.

And yes - the cause is deer in the woods that he can see / hear / smell... I don't know why he gets so preoccupied but he does. It's annoying and inconvenient.

Don't let me start about hay and hay farmers - we've had two loads from different sources that were full of foxtail barley. Val is just now recovering from several months of mouth sores and I've doubled my hay expenses for the winter.

I hope the week pans out better than you thought - you're not alone in these troubles :)