Yesterday afternoon storm clouds started moving into the Sacramento area. About half-way home from work, rain drops started splashing off my windshield. By the time I reached Placerville, my windshield wipers were working furiously. A freeway notification sign said "Snow at the summit. Carry chains." As I left the freeway and made my way across the winding mountain road that leads to our valley, the rain let up a bit. At home, the road was barely wet and the windshield wipers were back to intermittent.
While I was changing into my chore clothes, the storm cell caught up to us. We waited for awhile before going out to do chores, hoping that it would let up. Flash and Mufasa stood in the open at first, grazing. Then they moved under the trees and finally into their run-in shed. Lucy and the goats were in their respective sheds at the first drops. When it started to come down harder, Pistol moved into the shed with Lucy. Jackson stood outside the shed, with his head down, getting drenched. We quickly decided to bring the horses into the barn for the night.
Brett set up the stalls with hay, while I shooed the hens out of the henhouse and collected eggs. The minute I was done, they raced back inside. Brett headed off to the oak pasture to get the boys and I headed over to the mare pasture. They saw me coming with my arm full of halters. Lucy craned her head over the run-in shed divider and looked at me over the heads of the goats, but didn't budge. Pistol came out and met me at the gate. Jackson stood right behind Pistol. As I walked Pistol to the barn, Lucy came charging out of the run in shed and started racing along the fence-line, screaming her head off.
How dare you take Pistol first!
Can't you see I'm getting wet?
Get back here right now and take me into the barn!
Jackson trotted along behind Lucy, staying out of her way as she careened back and forth. He waited for me at the gate when I took Lucy in next. Jackson was so eager to go that he dove his head into his halter and then started shaking his head impatiently. Once in his stall, I noticed that in addition to being soaking wet, he was shivering. His sides, his flanks and his shoulders were quivering and twitching. I thought about putting a cooler on him but I knew he would be walking back and forth between the stall and the run-out -- and a soaking wet cooler wasn't going to help. Instead, I grabbed a big bath towel and rubbed him down. The towel was very wet when I finished but he wasn't shaking nearly as much. He was diving into his hay and his stall was deeply bedded with shavings. I knew he'd be okay. The horses have all shed their winter coats so they were not well prepared for this very cold storm.
This morning the clouds were moving out and the sun was trying to make an appearance. We had over half an inch of water in the rain gauge.