We’ve battened down the hatches

Our horses live outside with access to their stalls. Whenever there’s a big storm, like Irene, or mountains of snow, I worry about them but there’s not much that we can do. Last night we battened down the hatches and prepared for Hurricane Irene. My husband got out his power tools and fixed the stall door (brought down by that other force of nature, Curly), so now the aisle is safe for horses again. Another boarder put away anything that could get blown away — toys (horse and human), pitchforks, and small creatures.

Freedom is happier being out than in. He absolutely hates being confined to a stall for longer than it takes him to eat a meal. I tried keeping him in overnight when I first got him and he rubbed a bloody patch on his neck from weaving with his head over the door. That’s the last time I kept him in. There are times when he will stand in his stall — mostly when it’s very hot or very wet — but only if the door is open.

While part of me would like to think of him being safe and tucked into a dry stall, I think that if the wind gets very strong, he might be safer with the freedom to move around, rather than get spooked when he’s trapped inside.

I suppose what worries me the most is a that a tree will come down on the fence line. That’s happened before. Last time the horses were still in their pasture looking at the ruined fence with a perplexed expression.

At this point we’ve seen only heavy rain. Sheets of rain are falling as I type. The wind has been only moderately blustery. I’m hoping that all we’ll need to do is bail them out when this is done. I just hope that others, who are closer to the eye of the hurricane (or tropical storm) are safe too.

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