January Happenings [Story]

Good day and hello from snowy West Crescent ranch in Nokesville, VA with our January story.

We are just about done digging out from the 2016 snow storm that brought us about 24” of snow on January 23rd and 24th. I was able to keep the road to the horses and barn plowed for the first 12”, from 6PM Friday until about midnight, but Mother Nature overcame the power of the F250 and I headed inside for some hot chocolate!

By the time Mother Nature’s fury ran its course, the road I had plowed several times, was not even visible, the drifts were up to my knees and the barn doors were half covered with snow drifts! Ouch!

But here is the rest of the snowy story.

We were well prepared for the snow as the heated waterers were working overtime, thanks to a great product from Nelson Waterers. The additional precautions we put in place, including wind breaks on the two-stall and the overhang on the barn proved to be of great value in keeping the horses warm.

We have seven wonderful horses here, and you can see each one at www.westcrescentranch.com and they were all toasty during the storm.

We moved ZZ from the herd of four to the barn for the snow storm and that left Ace Bobby (affectionately referred to as Que Ball because of her all white coat, which BTW is super thick in the winter) Crash and Clover in the large two-stall. In between plowing the road I kept checking on the horses to ensure they were warm, dry and safe. We of course had taken the precaution of blanketing all the horses except Goldie, for the storm. Although Crash and Clover, the gelding and filly respectively at about 3.5 years old, horse common sense prevailed, as they were in the large run-in stalls, Que Ball had lost her way on common sense trail and was standing in the snow and wind. I was able to lead Que Ball into the large run-in and once in there I closed the gates to keep them out of the storm. The three of them were a little rambunctious for the first few minutes, but settled in for a “long winter’s nap” if you will, as the storm raged on. Que Ball’s chinny chin chin ice cycles eventually melted and all three were happy to be out of the storm!

We had Goldie and Kiss’ in one side of the barn and ZZ and our Barrel Racing Champion horse, Sheza Dashin’ Bug aka Bugs, on the other side. Kiss’ dominates Goldie and we had to separate them for the storm, as they normally have the run of the 40×24 foot indoor area to themselves. Unfortunately Kiss’ chases Goldie out of the indoor area from time-to-time, so we separated them using coral panels, and closed off the east side of the barn as the storm raged. They were at a loss as to what to do, as Goldie stood facing the stall door, expecting it to open so she could come and go as she normally does, but there was no “open says-a-me” in her horse language. Kiss was less concerned with the stall door and more interested in ensuring there was food. Kiss’ is a great horse, albeit part thoroughbred and part quarter, and Goldie is a horse we rescued from a place in Nokesville.

ZZ and Bugs had separate stalls, that did not adjoin each other, and initially we thought they would get along when we moved ZZ to the pasture with Buggs as they are both mild mannered horses. But that initial love fest ended quickly when ZZ became the boss. In the end we had to feed and care for them in the stalls. ZZ was sneaky, as when we were not looking she would try to push open the doors and get over to Bug’s hay, but I often caught her with her hooves approaching the “cookie jar” and shooed her away.

The greatest part of the storm was caring for our horses to ensure they were warm and well fed; but the greatest surprise came when they were released from the “jail stalls” and the galloping, snorting, bucking and running like wild mustangs ensued. We did not anticipate the horse show when we let Crash, Clover and Que Ball out for the first time in two days, but it was spectacular. They loved the snow, dove into the drifts like children experiencing their first snow and put on a spectacular show that is now stored in my mental treasure chest. You can enjoy the videos on our web site, www.westcrescentranch.com.

The videos capture the beauty of horses at their unbridled best and it is a pleasure to watch horses partake of “fun” and create mental treasures for us in our endeavors to create a great home for horses.

So long from West Crescent Ranch in Nokesville and until the February story on how we helped ZZ fully recover from Lyme disease, do well and live the American dream with horses.

Peter and Karen

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