Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Big Rain

The Big Rain

Last Monday, it was my evening to feed at the barn. Since it was raining, I was riding Cole in the arena. That’s when Kevin’s phone started to beep—there was a tornado warning for the city just to the west of us. I kept riding, but then his phone stared to ring. First it was his daughter and then it was Ellen. I figured I should take this seriously. I told Kevin, we should feed and get out of there. The rain kept getting harder and harder. I was listening for the freight train, but all I heard was rain on the metal roof.

When we finished, we went to our little barn—and found it flooding. The water was rolling in from the tack room. We started to bail. Then I looked over to the indoor arena. It was rushing in like a river. I had never seen anything like it. It was time to call for reinforcements. When I called the barn manager, she didn’t even say “hello.” She just asked, “Are we flooding?” I told her how bad it was and she said she would be out right away. By now, the water was approaching the front barn from the indoor arena. Kevin and I made a dam of sand, and we were able to contain it, but there was nothing we could do about the back barn. It was too late. I went over to our little barn and started bailing it out, again. We dammed up the tack room, and that helped.

Soon, all kinds of people showed up to help out. All of the stalls in the back barn were flooded and the water was still coming in. For a while, it stopped raining, and I got hopeful, but then it started up—just as bad as before. I just kept bailing our barn by myself. I was able to keep most of the water out of the stalls. The dirt floor isn’t even due to horses pawing in the aisle, and most of the water gathered up there. Ranger and Dante got a little because they have a low spot in front of their stalls, but nothing to the extent of the other stalls in the other barn.

I had to leave about 10:30 because I had to work in the morning. Kevin is retired, so stayed until the end—after 3:00 AM.

We got more rain through the week, and the river was very flooded. Unfortunately, Ellen and I took Thursday and Friday off to trail ride. Sigh. there was no crossign the river. To make the best of it, our goal was to get Ellen riding Dante on the hill.

Day One: She was very nervous. We put his halter on over his bridle, and I led them 3 trips on the hill. On the last trip at the bottom, I let her loose. She walked off. When she was nearly to the end, she trotted. Dante was perfect. We then rode Cole and Ranger on the hill, too.

Day Two: I walked next to them with the lead rope in my hand—ready to hook him up if she needed me. She didn’t. we did 3 trips on the hill. She trotted to and fro at the bottom. The only time he was bad was when she got to the top and wanted to turn him to go back down. I had to help her the first time, but she handled it the second time. We then rode Cole and Ranger on the hill, too.

Day Three: As she led him down the street to the trail, a car approached. We realized it was Kevin. So did Dante. Kevin allowed us to cross in front of him and Dante stopped and stared at him. Remember, we used Kevin’s car to begin his traffic desensitization—which culminated with Kevin in feeding Dante carrots out the window. We weren’t positive about the recognition—until Dante neighed at him!

Dante was pretty excited, and right after Ellen mounted, a woman on a horse trotted up to us. He wanted to follow that horse home. Ellen managed him well. he did rush a little on the way back up the hill and didn’t really want to turn away to go back down. Ellen handled all the issues like a champ. We did only 2 trips because it was raining. Ranger got the day off and I rode Cole 3 trips on the hill in the rain.

Day Four: We decided Ellen didn’t need me any more on the ground, so I rode Cole with her and Dante. It was a perfect 4 trips on the hill. Poor Ellen lost count. She wanted to quit after 3. I told her when we were nearly at the bottom on the last trip. She thought it was funny. We trotted each time we got to the bottom. The hill has been conquered. She rode Ranger by himself on the hill.

The aftermath from the storm doesn’t end there. By Monday, the river was crossable. I was out riding after work. The damage to the trails is extensive, to say the least. We met up with a friend and rode with her for a little while. There was one bad log blocking the trail that Cole stepped over like a champ. She couldn’t get her horse to cross, so we were on our own from there. There were lots of logs, washed out areas leaving piles of gravel, huge ruts to negotiate, a bare culvert pipe and even one section that looks like the trail may collapse on the river edge. Cole handled each obstacle like he had been practicing all weekend instead of going up and down the hill. The last one was an easy log to step over—that I didn’t notice until too late that it was covered with poison ivy! Once we were over, we rode the trail to the end and had to cross it again to get home. He tried to sniff the log, but I think I kept his nose from touching. I won’t risk that, again!

I’m sure the park will take care of the logs in the next few days. I hope they make other repairs, too. I have never seen them so bad. On the bright side—at least we didn’t get hit by a tornado.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

Flooding can be dangerous too. I'm glad nobody was hurt and I hope the damage is easily repaired. How is the barn that flooded? I hope you guys get some pretty weather for a change!