Thursday, May 7, 2009

This morning is beautiful

Everything around my home is dripping wet. The tree trunks are stained dark with water and finally they have started to bud as the grass greens with the new life that the long-needed rain finally brought. There's a light fog clinging to some areas and the sky is partly cloudy. We had a gorgeous sunrise this morning.

Despite my broken foot, I couldn't resist heading out on my crutches for a short walk to enjoy the silence, the singing birds, and the amazingly beautiful morning that I woke up to. The rain had washed even the smell of smoke out of the air.

The world around me could have easily been gone within the next couple of days. However, I am safe, and the farm's horses are safe, and so I am ecstatic to be alive, well, and safely at home.

For the past few days, there was a fire raging not far north of me. Everything has been so dry the past couple of months (with the slow thaw we had, everything just absorbed and went dry) and so this fire was eating grounds, crossing roads, jumping fire ditches and rivers. My county and town was in a state of emergency along with two other counties and countless other towns. People were losing their homes.

The farm was on alert to evacuate at moment's notice.

If the morning seemed beautiful to me, I can't imagine how it seemed to the horses. This topic/discussion is about evacuation plans.

The horses were caught, brushed, had their legs wrapped in preparation for travel and stalled. We loaded hay into the big horse trailer along with eight buckets (one for each horse), horse first aid kits, people first aid kits, grain, and extra lead ropes and halters. We cleaned it out, filled the tires as they were low on air, and hooked it up to the truck. We scoured the barn and loaded anything priceless or valuable (like the 5000$ barrel racing saddle that's 30 years old) into the truck. All medicines needing refrigeration were put in an electric cooler and the cooler plugged in, ready to load into the truck at any notice.

We prepared tags with the farm's name, address, and the owner's phone number on it along with the horse's name and clipped them to the horses' halters. Horses were to stay in their stalls in case they decided to stir up trouble in the field if it was suddenly time to go, with light turnout for a couple hours in pairs into the indoor arena where we laid out hay for them to munch.

For the most part, they were all just restless from being stalled too long except for the Thoroughbred gelding I ride, Willow. He was extremely uncomfortable with the tenser atmosphere, the reek of smoke, and the sudden change of schedule. Poor boy. He was beside himself with nerves the whole time and I can only imagine the nap he's having this morning when we were finally able to let them out as the fire is 90% extinguished.

We had a plan to load him last should we have to go, and we had a plan to get him in there quickly. He was the only one nervous about loading.

The farm also had a place to go in case of evacuation, and had plans made with that farm owner to house the eight horses.

All in all, it was solid and quickly put together. We had plans in place before hand. We have plans for fire escape, tornados, or the need for quarantine.

What are your evacuation plans, should it ever come to it?


  1. FIRST!!!!!!

    Thank God for rain!!!

    So glad you are safe and sound.

  2. Sounds like you have a wonderful emergency plan in place , and you deserve a beautiful morning after all you went through the past few days!My plans are not as detailed and efficient as yours ,I may take some ideas from your list ,however I do have a few places I could take stock on short notice, as well as safe storage of some tack etc , the big problem for us is all the equipment and cattle.
    Have a beautiful day girl , you earned it .

  3. What the number one and two said.

    Glad you're safe and sound.

    Great emergency plans. No time, to delineate mine.
    I'd run like heck:)
    Jump in my pond.

  4. LOL!
    word verf

    Yup, I speeded outta here..

  5. Love your first paragraph of description, Mel. Just beautiful. Full of your spirit and that of the area around you.
    So glad you are all safe.

  6. thank you BH, and everyone else who commented. It really was a good day. Now to just launch myself into the band. Performance on monday and our lead singer has DISAPPEARED.

  7. You are one organized person. I'm so glad that you didn't have to evacuate, but plans in place never hurt!

  8. Have you found lead singer yet?