Oh, Texas. You couldn’t just like… let me have one last pleasant winter experience here, could you? I think this place and I share mutual feelings for each other. Or so it seemed last week when it was blowing freezing rain directly into my face at 20mph. Did I perhaps yell “This is the LAST FUCKING TIME, Texas, with your stupid WIND and your stupid FUCKING ICE” as my eyeballs got frozen shut? I mean, perhaps. No one can prove it though, except maybe the neighbors.
The good news is that this time at least I was well-prepared. Winter Storm Uri definitely taught us a few things last year, even if most of those lessons were wrapped up in a big ball of trauma. This year it also wasn’t nearly as bad. We were supposed to get ice for a couple days, but no super prolonged periods under freezing, and no snow. My only real concern was the power. No offense ERCOT and/or Texas Powers That Be, but I have literally negative percent faith in your ability to not kill me. So did I hoard water? Yes. Did I double check to ensure the stack of firewood was ready to go? You bet. Did I haul a weeks worth of hay down to the barn, make sure everything I own was fully charged, stock my pantry with two weeks worth of non-perishables, etc etc? Indeed I did.
To add insult to injury we got 5″ of rain in the couple days preceding the ice storm. That made for some really really high quality mud, as well as standing water EVERYWHERE right before it froze solid. I know I said we needed rain, but what I meant was like… not all at once. Beggars can’t be choosers I guess. But all that rain did turn the runs out behind the horse’s stalls into absolute shitshow disasters, and then they froze over, so I had to close to stall doors and not give them access to the runs. Knowing I was going to have to close their doors, in the one afternoon where it had stopped raining and before everything froze, I did a reset of everyone’s stall – loaded them up with a layer of pellets, fluffed up some extra shavings, got everyone fully loaded on hay, etc. They were definitely going to have to spend at least one to three days inside, but the barn was as prepared for it as possible.
They ended up spending about 36 straight hours inside, and then had a couple mornings where they had to wait to go out, but it could have been worse. We burned through basically all of the shavings in that few day period, even with me mucking every few hours, but everyone was warm and cozy and dry. I forgot the joys of trying to pick frozen poo and pee though… you people that live up north are certifiable.
Other than being annoyed about being confined, everyone fared pretty well. They basically just stood there in their warm jammies while I slaved away cleaning up their shit, keeping them stocked up on hay 24/7 to keep them warm, and soaking their meals in warm water. Rotten animals.
I was a little worried how Gemma would handle the confinement (or really, the subsequent return to turnout) so I did get her out and walk her and hand graze her a few times. Honestly though, she handled it all great. No real shenanigans when they got to go back out, and she did a pretty good job of just standing in her stall eating hay. I mean… she eats like half the amount of hay as the other two fatties, and she seems to prefer eating out of a slow feed net as opposed to the floor or the large hole net (I think she finds the “challenge” more interesting) much to my annoyance, but… she did well for her. She doesn’t like Texas hay very much and I don’t really blame her.
We did get a pretty good coating of ice, but luckily we didn’t lose power. Some people did, with trees coming down on the lines, but the grid kept up with the demand. It did not stop me from laying there the entire first night listening to the frozen rain hitting my windows, just waiting for the power to go out, and constantly checking ERCOT/local outages. Thank goodness though, it was fine. I mean, I had to give a lot of CPR to every single gate latch on this property, and I almost busted my ass on some ice, and snot may or may not have been frozen to my face at one point, but it was still way less miserable than last year. Still 0/10 would not recommend but I didn’t incur any new emotional damage.
Our work offices were closed on Thursday and Friday due to all the ice on the road, so I did have super light days working from home. I used the extra time to start getting the Patreon ready, get the content organized, lists made, and make a schedule. Everything is set up and ready to launch tomorrow – I’ll have a post here explaining everything and how it’s going to work, and what it will mean for the blog, plus outline some of the content that’s already in the works.
And last but not least I did get one fun bit of mail before the IceFest. I’ve been gathering more whites to include in that big Ultimate White Breeches post (which I’ve got all my people coordinated for the try-ons/photos/videos next weekend so I swear it’s coming soon) and decided to throw in a pair of low-budget bregging style ones into the mix. I’m trying to make it as diverse as I realistically can with a range of prices and styles. A few of you here have suggested that I try Esprit Equestrian in the past, and when they came out with their PRO line they really put themselves on my radar. I like the styling of them and was intrigued by the description saying that they had an inner lining to help smooth out lumps and bumps. I bit the bullet and got a pair of the whites (for science) fully expecting to not like them that much and end up returning them after the try-on. I have to say though y’all, initial reaction is that I’m pretty impressed. Like impressed enough to where I want all the colored ones now. Y’all were right, these things are comfy and really flattering. I’m a little shook. We’ll see how they stack up against all the others.
Anyway, more on aaaalll of this tomorrow… hopefully what I’ve come up with for the blog will be something that works for everyone. If not I’ll just blame it on my brain cells having leaked out of my nose and frozen to my face.