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#1 greygelding

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 02:33 PM

I awoke Wednesday at 2:22 and peaked out the window. Snow! There was what looked to be about 3in on the ground. Perfect I thought, turn the horses loose after breakfast, take some pictures, and head off to work. The bathroom light wasn’t working which meant there was no power. I tossed another warm blanket on the bed and snuggled down, cuddling up to my warm woman. My iPad awoke me at 6:00 and I scurried to the window to take a look. It was dark but it looked like a lot more than 3in. Opening the front door and using the flashlight I discovered a two-foot snowfall. Shutting the door I checked, still no power, so I started a t-pot of water on the stove and filled a couple of containers with water as the well won’t be operating. Fully dressed in warm clothes I step out and take a few pics with my iPad of the winter wonderland in front of me.
 
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Stepping off the porch I head for the horses to feed breakfast. Sovayn is not in sight but Mattie and Aspen are in their shelters waiting for food. I spot a Sovayn standing in a corner of his corral trapped by fallen tree limbs.
 
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I start to hurry over to him in case he decides to try to go through them and hurt himself. As I came around the corner I came to a sudden stop and was staring at a nightmare. The mare motel style shelters for Shar, Trooper, and Rosie had collapsed under the weight of the snow.
 
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Trooper
 
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Rosie was outside in her corral, Trooper was under part of the roof that was still attached to the corral panel, and Shar was trapped between roof supports. Everyone is calmly watching me like “Oh goody, Mike is here and he’ll set everything right in time for breakfast. Since the three with the shelter problem are watching me with perked expectant ears, I crawl into Sovayn’s corral first. The tree branches are heavy but broken from the trees, so I’m able to drag them away. One down, three to go.
 
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As I approach the long shelter I see a squashed pipe corral panel between Trooper and Shar and I’ve got a real problem. She is safe but is really stuck. Trooper tries to duck under the part of the roof hanging at an angle toward the corral. It’s about the height from the ground that a mini could make it under but Trooper is no mini. He tries to make it but realizes he won’t fit. I quickly crawl into his shelter and reassure him that all is well. He takes an immediate attitude of “Oh, this is just another of your dumb games so I’ll play along”. He just chills out and takes an interest in what I’m doing. I crawl into Rosie’s corral and release her into the pasture. She may never go into a shelter again but she’s OK. Two to go. Trooper is next so with his “help”, a jack, supports, and straps I stabilize the roof panel enough to remove another bent four rail corral section and he follows me out through Rosie’s corral. He looks like he’s thinking “That wasn’t as much fun as your usual games but as long as there’s food in it it’s OK with me”. One to go. This one might be a bit more difficult. She can’t turn around but with some thought, I had an idea. Shar is not a normal horse and I was counting on that. I remove the side corral panel leaving three roof supports, the outer one is too low, while the other two are at her wither height. I remove the outside one and as I start on another the groan from the roof tells me this is not a good idea. I bend over and place my self under her roof. Hey, nobody said I was the brightest bulb in the lamp. Taking one last look at my reinforcements I halter her and start to back her out. As her withers pass the first support just grazing it, and Pam reaches over her front wall and tugs on her tail, a signal we use when unloading from a trailer, she gets the idea. Slowly and carefully she backs under the next support and the rest of the way to safety. I come out with her, Pam and I both breathe a huge sigh of relief and we release her into the pasture. The crew is checking out the snow and I get my breakfast a few hours late but all is well. I have never been in a two-foot snowfall and have a new respect for those of you who have. We are prepared for wind, heavy rain, and our occasional 3in snow but not for this. Power is still down, broken tree limbs everywhere, some on people’s cars and houses, and cars stuck along the roads. We took our 4x4 truck and headed into town but everything is closed so we’re at home today. There will be a change in those shelters, increasing the snow load and reinforcing the structure, before another horse is allowed in there. Tonight Sovayn and Aspen are home, Trooper moved into Mattie’s shelter and the other three have been fed in the pasture. They usually pair up after mealtimes so they should have shelter for awhile plus there is the forth 12x12 shelter open for whoever wants it.
 
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Mike


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#2 greygelding

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 02:49 PM

Power is slowly being restored and trees cleared from Redding area. We still have no power and I took another day off work to settle things down here. As the Well is not functional we also have no water. The water tubs are full and I, of course, have a plan for that should the power not come on for a few more days. I hooked up one of my power inverters so I now have internet and can recharge any power source needed around here. It’s crisp and quiet in the house which makes it perfect for snuggling. Since all is well we're actually enjoying the “adventure”, except for the collapsed shelter part of course.

Mike

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#3 corasmom

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 03:10 PM

Oh Mike ! How scary! I am so glad all of you are okay! I have to tell ya, I looked out yesterday morning and couldn't see the barn and thought it had collapsed! All the snow in the fences, roof top and downed trees blocked my view. Our mare motel is twisted tho. As I'm sure you've heard we havent had this much snow since 1968! Costco had some good generators and also Lowes. Too run your well pump. Let me know if there's anything we could do to help you guys.
Also, not sure where you got your corals, but Superior Barns in
Red Bluff is a good place.

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#4 JRdesire

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 04:11 PM

Oh my gosh Mike!  I would have been panicked - but you kept your cool.  So glad your horses stayed calm, that saved you many many vet bills I'm sure you know.  We are expecting a big storm to start tomorrow similar to what you just got.  About a month ago, we had another big storm and there were somewhere around 120K people w/out power, some for 4 or 5 days with sub zero temps.  NOT FUN! 

 

Where or where is Spring!?!?!!!  Glad everyone is safe!


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#5 greygelding

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 05:36 PM

The four standing shelters were purchased new and we picked up what we call the “Hollister Barn” in used condition, in Hollister Ca. All were professionally installed. We are set pretty well for the next few days or more without power. We just got home a few minutes ago and saw a downed power line about a quarter of a mile from home so I know it will be another snuggle night for sure. LOL
I made sure to get Trooper out before Shar because I know she will stay calm for most everything and Sovayn went first as he was in the most horse damaging position if he panicked, which he didn’t, and he was also the quickest to rescue.

Mike
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#6 dragon

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 06:00 PM

So glad all horses and people are ok


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#7 BFF

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 08:35 PM

I am so glad they are all ok.

 

What a scary thing to wake up to.


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#8 greygelding

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 07:12 PM

I am so glad they are all ok.
 
What a scary thing to wake up to.


It was interesting to say the least. I must say I’m pleased that the four all felt comfortable enough with me to handle things calmly, especially Trooper and Shar.

Mike
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#9 karens

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 07:47 PM

Wow! This gives me another perspective of those cool, frame and flat top shelters I see in the CA photos. And more info of why we don't see that around here. Yes, indeed, this makes me recall stories of decades ago, when we had about 4 ft, were snowed in with 10 ft drifts, melted snow for drinking and toilets for days. Those frames meant for sunny southern California would not work here. I'm so sorry you had to wake up to this! And now have to deal with it! And what a blessing all are well. How to predict the specs needed for building, as weather patterns change! Keep us posted.



#10 dragon

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 02:49 AM

Go with metal slant roof