In the days leading up to winter storm Jonas, local news outlets succeeded in scaring the crap out of our poor local southern population. With 6-12 or 8-14 inches predicted (depending upon who you listened to), the shelves were bare at our local Walmart (where I am currently gainfully employed). I admit to calling out of work Friday night, as 3 inches of snow and sleet had already accumulated and a freezing rain was steadily falling at 8pm. But surprisingly we were spared even the ice I’d dreaded and our power never flickered. All in all Saturday dawned to reveal a mere 4 1/2″ of snow. Not nearly as bad as it had been made out to be!
I worked Thursday night (overnight, being that I’m 3rd shift) and got to experience firsthand the craziness that takes becomes Southerners when they hear the word ‘snow’. I should probably mention that before we lived in North Carolina, we lived in Maine for 3 years so all this is completely amusing to me. Besides the typical bread and milk, water, & butane/propane we also sold a ridiculous amount of books/magazines, alcohol, Chapstick and condoms. We were slammed throughout the night – it was insane! There was a brief lull at 3 but once the snow started at 4am, it picked up again. I actually had to talk one customer through self checkout because he was completely panic-stricken, almost hyperventilating as he described the hazardous road conditions. Naturally when I walked out the doors an hour later, this was what I found…
I made it home without a problem in the car, and moved the vehicles around in the driveway, blocking my little Ford Ranger in (which is useless in snow) and making sure the car and the Tank had a fairly straight shot down the short driveway.
I worried about my boys up north (Wings and Justice) as there was truly no way for me to make the 20 mile drive to check on them once the snow started falling overnight, but the pasture owners must’ve read my mind for they called that morning to let me know that they had put out hay and everyone was doing fine. Neither of my horses were blanketed, and as much as it killed me I resigned myself to the fact that they were just going to have to tough it out nekkid. Justice has 24/7 access to the run-in on the property, being that he is at the top of the pecking order, but sadly Wings is often SOL. However I took comfort in the fact that the trees on the property do provide limited shelter, and he does have a thick winter coat this year.
My barn on the other hand, is only 2.9 miles from my house so I ended up braving the hazardous roads all 3 days to play in the snow.
Siesta is still a little off as she is healing up from her recent abscess, but Pokey was gung ho and ready to go! My BM had opted to keep the horses in due to the weather, and the minute Pokey stepped outside he tried to drop and roll. I asked him to keep moving, and he playfully bucked beside me – you could tell he was absolutely thrilled by the snow! Once we made it to the arena he took off, and proceeded to cut up for a good 15 minutes straight!
The temperature was in the mid twenties but with the wind chill it felt like 20 degrees (I personally thought it seemed even colder). So I did not remove his blanket.
I took a few photos too but being that they were with my iPhone and it was dark and dreary, they didn’t come out so well.
That first day I took the car to the barn. We had barely 2 inches of snow accumulation at that point and despite a wee bit of slippage, overall the car did just fine.
The next morning, however dawned to reveal a good 4 inches of snow and sleet. I didn’t feel comfortable taking the car out again, so I resigned myself to digging the Tank out of the snow and ice. I should probably mention that it has just been sitting for the last 3 months. It has no heat, and the tags are expired. I plan to get it all fixed up in the spring (minus the heat because it’s just too expensive) but since I recently got my old Ford Ranger back from my ex, the only thing I need the Tank for anymore is to pull a trailer (not happening over the winter anyway). So it hadn’t been run in a while, but I was very pleased that it handled the snow perfectly. It is only a 2 wheel drive but I purchased all terrain tires for the rear a couple years ago, and I’m so glad I did! They really do make a difference y’all!
At any rate, I was determined to take Pokey out for a ride. But first I pulled out the big guns. Well sort of. I have an ancient Canon Rebel xti that a friend gave me a year ago. (And by ancient I mean that thing is at LEAST 8 years old and was heavily used before it came to me). I rarely use it, mostly because it is big and clunky but also because it has been trying to die on me of late. (As a former professional photographer I can tell you cameras do have lives…which typically come to an end when their shutters wear out and cease functioning. The shutter on this camera has been funky for a while…it only works about half the time and sometimes not even then).
It took a bit of coaxing to get the old camera going but once it did I was able to get a couple decent(ish) images.
Once we got a couple snow photos, it was time to saddle up. Pokey was definitely full of himself. He even went so far as to nip at me as he pranced excitedly to the mounting block (for which he received a firm warning) and he also pulled a few bronco-esque bucks as we headed down the driveway before settling into a sideways jig. I didn’t get after him – he hadn’t been ridden in over a month.
I decided to ride in a halter due to the cold. It was 28 degrees but with the wind chill it registered closer to 20. I know it’s probably fine to ride with a bit but I know I wouldn’t like something metal in my mouth with it being that cold so I decided to chance the halter. He was definitely strong but not out of control.
As we neared home, it started to snow again. Just barely. I waited for it to pick up but it never did. (Thus my goal of riding in the falling snow this winter remains to be seen).
I had put hoof boots over his shoes so the snow wouldn’t ball up in his soles. It actually worked out pretty well!
I had no issues getting home in the Tank. Fortunately it was the first and last time I needed it.
Sunday morning we had the barn (I’m still working there 5 days a week), but both my boyfriend and myself were feeling under the weather. I did put Pokey in the arena one last time to try and snag just a couple more pics. If you are friends with me on Facebook you have seen all these already, for which I apologize but I do love them 🙂
Due to myself and my boyfriend still feeling under the weather, my BM was kind enough to give us Monday morning off from the barn. I didn’t really feel like leaving the house, but was worried about the boys so we decided to brave the snowy backcountry roads to check on them.
I was feeling too crappy to stick around for long but it definitely made me happy to know they are well and the BO is doing a first rate job looking after them (he and his wife live only a couple miles from myself btw so I was particularly impressed that he’d braved the storm to make sure they were fed).
The snow should be gone by tomorrow, with temps of near 60 predicted. But we have enjoyed our little snowstorm, and personally, I hope we see more of that white stuff before winter is over!