Hot Showers and Sharp Teeth

Well for about two weeks now I’ve wondered about two things:

  1. Why do I live somewhere that it gets this cold?
  2. Why did I think it would be fun to have horses at home and do all their care in said temperatures?

I have obviously had horses for many years and taken care of horses for many years, all in the same relative geographical area. As a kid I cleaned stalls at the boarding barn on the weekends, turned out and brought in horses, smashed ice out of water buckets, and more. Why did this seem so much worse? Do you feel cold worse as you age? Seriously if my hands were exposed to air for more than two seconds they started burning. 95% of the time they were burning after 15 minutes with gloves on. Of course Stampede needed his antibiotics (last dose tonight!) via the mix with applesauce, load syringe, and administer method which meant no gloves for a few minutes. Then wrap the leg with no gloves on. Then some other task that required no gloves. So cold.

Thank goodness for whoever came up with those lovely insulated coveralls. I would not have survived chores without them.

Only wearing 3 layers on the bottom, 5 layers on top, and two pairs of socks

The chestnut boys dealt with the cold so much better than I did. Other than hiding inside for short periods on really windy days they had no problem hanging out eating from their hay troughs when temperatures dipped into the negative digits. I would have originally said I would leave my horses in more during the winter, but so far they maybe get an hour or two less of turnout per day. They like being out and moving around.

They also like scrounging for hibernating grass versus eating their hay?

The only change with cold weather is that they often appear near the barn to entertain me and beg for treats while I clean their stalls.

Classic

I finally got a picture of the cat that hangs around via barn cam. Oh and I felt bad and started leaving out food. I don’t want a cat and this one is super afraid of people but I felt so bad with the cold and I know it’s living in our other barn.

Guard cat on duty

Yesterday the temperatures finally gave us some relief – 20’s with some high winds to make it feel colder. I kid you not I was able to walk around without gloves on in the barn last night comfortably. It felt so warm.

What I didn’t mean to do bad things

Husband and I took advantage of the “warm” weather to get hay moved between the barns yesterday. Mr. P took that opportunity to leave his mark on Big Red.

When a horse tries to eat your truck

I’m glad the hay is stacked and ready for the ponies to eat and hopefully we can make it a good month before we have to move some again.

Barn cam happened to take a snapshot of us moving hay. We are getting pretty good at stacking a lot on the truck!

Maestro has been getting pretty consistent rides despite the temperatures give or tack a couple extra days off last week. He’s a pretty chill dude and went right back to work yesterday after three days off. Of course he was missing a pull on bell boot that I found whole in his pasture and could barely get back on. Mysteries.

I did find something last week that he’s pretty nervous about – a dog losing it barking in a cage in the clubhouse. We just could not maintain a canter and go down towards that end of the ring and then we did a 180 when a cat appeared near where the dog was barking. After I finished the ride on a good note we went down to explore the scary sounds more closely. From what I can tell thus far most of the things he gets worried about are sound related which is interesting.

What is wrong with that animal in there? Is someone hurting it? We should get out of here.

I will be enjoying these warm temperatures by Michigan standards and catching up on all that missed saddle time.

I’m not sure timing or location will work for any of my California blog friends but I am headed to San Francisco this month then going down to Monterey. Get ahold of me if you are in the area and want to try to meet up.

 

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20 Comments

  1. Stephanie

    I am 100% sure I could not live much further north than I do currently! My hat is off to you for living in such a frigid climate AND for managing to move around in that many layers lol

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      I most definitely would not go any further north than I currently live. I’m not sure how people deal with the level of cold we have had the last few weeks any more often! I do love spring and fall where I live though!

      I certainly don’t function at full speed in all those layers but I just try to consider it a workout, lol.

      Reply
  2. emma

    my horse and his herd mates have been scrounging for grass instead of eating their hay too, it’s super confusing to me! go figure tho…. glad you’re staying (mostly) warm in the arctic!!

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Interesting! I need to do some research and see if I can learn why they do that. Mostly warm with a side of frozen over here! Not sure how I lived without remote start before the truck, it’s a lifesaver in these temps to get in a warm truck after freezing at the boarding barn.

      Reply
  3. Leah

    Brrrrrr. We’re finally getting a break here, hopefully things are warming up for you too! Every prolonged cold snap I go through that “why do I do this?” again, but thankfully, we do always thaw out at some point 😂

    And that poor kitty, that’s how I got suckered in to having barn cats too. They just show up and then I feel guilty and feed them.

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Yes we are warming up over the next few days although it comes with snow/freezing rain/rain combos which should be fun. I don’t remember any cold snaps being so long before, this one was rough.

      My husband has wanted a barn cat so he was all for buying the food. We had a barn cat we inherited with the property that was awesome (dog in a cat body basically) but she got feline aids in a cat fight with a random interloper and we had to put her to sleep so I’ve been quite reluctant. That plus not wanting to attract other things like raccoons and possums onto the property. We will see how it goes!

      Reply
  4. HunkyHanoverian

    I know I have said this, but I have mad respect for your ability to do horsey related activities in the frozen tundra. You could always move to Texas! P.s. Good for you giving that cat food 🙂

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      I’ve been to Austin, TX once and it was a neat area but it was so hot and I think it was late October, lol. I don’t think I could handle that heat! I think ultimately we would love to end up on the west cost (like Oregon or Washington) or down a bit more south (like Virginia or the Carolinas) for some better weather but for now this works!

      These temperatures are exceptionally cold for us. I’d say normally we get a night or two of negative temperatures the whole winter but this time the super cold just dragged on.

      Reply
  5. Teresa

    The cold has been terrible. I am so happy that it’s warming up.

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Somehow now it’s going to be a high in the 50’s later this week then back down in temps by Friday night and forecast is saying it could be a foot of snow or more. Crazy!

      Reply
  6. Stacie Seidman

    I don’t know how people live in this climate regularly! It’s been super cold here, with wind chills in the negatives, but that’s really unusual around here. Especially for this length of time! It was 33 today and I thought it was warm out! Glad your boys are doing well though, despite the cold!
    I almost wish a cat would move in at my barn… Very much don’t want one either, but I just found evidence of another RAT. A RAT! Ugh. So disgusting. I didn’t set traps yet, I felt like it was pretty unfair given the weather. Hope your cat does a good job with the rodents and earns his keep!

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      The cold we have been having is unusual in frequency. Usually you get a day or two of really cold per winter but man it just didn’t want to end for a bit there. High of 30 here today, lots of snow on the way Friday night into Saturday.
      Well let me tell you what I’m learning – not only does the cat eat the cat food, the mice do too. So now I actually see mice more. Ugh. I guess I should be glad they are mice and not rats?

      Reply
  7. Genny - A Gift Horse Blog

    Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr that sounds chilly!! My dad worked outside for a long time and loved his insulated overalls! A must for the weather like that.

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Yes, I don’t know how I survived without those overalls before! So much warmer!

      Reply
  8. Tracy - The Printable Pony

    Can’t lie, I was SO GRATEFUL for a high of 34 degrees yesterday. It felt nearly tropical after all the bitter cold days!

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      High of 47 today (with rain and clouds) is going to be pretty amazing! Except when all the snow melts and I can see all the poop that’s been hiding in the pasture…but it will snow again Friday, lol.

      Reply
  9. Avery

    So so much cold. I live down south for a reason and we are having quite the winter. We are looking at another week of freezing temps and frozen precip of some kind. What is this!? Such crazy swings in temperatures and conditions I can not keep my head straight…or my clothes.

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Too much cold everywhere this winter!

      Reply
      1. Avery

        YEs! This has been a crazy time for weather. hurricanes. flooding. fires. mudslides. freezing rain and snow.

        Reply
  10. Avery

    So so much cold! I have never been more ready for spring

    Reply

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