The weather has been on constant refresh on my phone. I was living in FL when a tropical storm came through and that was scary enough. Now they are saying Irma will still be a category 1 hurricane when it comes my way Monday afternoon. I thought we would be well out of the path being so far inland, like we were in 2015 when Columbia flooded, but not this time.

We don’t have a barn and I’m not going to take away a stall offered to an evacuee from Florida or the SC coast just because I am nervous. Most of the barns around here, including TIEC and my trainer’s barn, have opened up for evacuees and are full already. It is amazing to see everyone pull together and help one another out. Wouldn’t it be nice if it could be like this always and not just in times of disaster?

But I am nervous. Without a barn to keep the Dynamic Duo warm, dry and snug they will be forced to be out in it. The electric fence we chose has been tested in hurricane force winds. The tape is fairly loose which allows the wind to go through it with minimal turbulence. My area gets high winds with gusts up to 50 mph in late Feb through March (the windy season) and we never saw the tape move at all through all of that. Baring a tree falling on it, I’m pretty confident the fence will be just fine.

The shelter, though. That is my concern. It has held up perfectly since we built it last winter even through the windy season when the tarp roof didn’t flap in the harsh gusts. We also added more reinforcement than the original plans recommended. But this isn’t a few wind gusts here and there. This is a category 1 hurricane with sustained wind and blowing rain. The shelter is their only dry spot out of the wind and rain, so if the tarp goes it will take away their only escape from the weather. Plus it will scare the crap out of them.

Not a whole lot we can do about it now. The tar is as secure as we can make it and has no holes or tears. We are adding more sand to the interior floor and will hope for the best. As for the horses, their halters will be on them and I am going to use nail polish to paint my number on their hooves and livestock paint to put it on their butts as well. If they do get out of the pasture, at least they will have identification on them in multiple spots.

A lot of people will have it way worse than we will. 6″ of rain in 24 hours isn’t so bad compared to what Florida and the coast will be getting. I’m holding off on closing my office down until I know for sure what is coming. Some sources are saying Tuesday and others are saying we will just get high wind and rain, but not at hurricane or tropical storm levels. I won’t close down for rain and wind, but if it is a category 1 hurricane I will. So much is up in the air right now. I can’t even begin to imagine those in Florida awaiting the arrival of Irma in her full glory. Mother nature is a force.

Hopefully all my worry is for naught and we will only get some nice rain to help with the slightly crunchy late summer grass and make for some nice mud puddles for the kiddo to splash in.

18 thoughts on “Irma”

  1. My guys will be outside too. From what I’ve read out in a pasture is best bc if something happens to the barn they can’t get out. As long as you have your number on your guys they’ll be fine!!! Stay safe but I doubt we’ll get more than some wind and rain (or so I’m hoping!)


  2. Horses are pretty saavy in big storms like that. Gwyn has been through many and my friends have pasture only horses in Florida who will be out on the east coast. Hell, I’ve ridden in a tropical storm! They tuck tail and turn their butt into the wind. They will be okay 🙂


  3. stay safe. I grew up in VA (near NC) and I lived in Houston awhile (one evac out for a hurricane scary) so have lived thru some hurricanes and the hurry up and wait is the worse part!!

    I am hoping it peters out for you and is an nonevent by the time it reaches you it looks like not till middle of next week possibly or so (My dad will be affected later in the week on ES of VA).

    Also i have always heard it is better for horses to be outside. Esp if the winds end up not as bad. Fingers crossed it stays far enough away to just wet things down!!


  4. Please stay safe!
    I hate to be this person but please don’t leave their halters on or if you are set on it please make sure they are breakaway. Again sorry I really don’t like when people just comment annoying things I’ve just seen too many horrible things and can’t help it.
    Love your blog!


    1. I was going to do halters but then everyone told me not to! I don’t have breakaway ones so they will be naked. Right now it looks like the storm will skirt us to the east and hit GA more with us only getting 35 mph winds and about 4″ of rain.


  5. My horses were on 24 hour turn out when Hurricane Sandy demolished NJ a few years ago. Thankfully, I had a barn to stick them in, but I was still a nervous wreck. Even with my BO (who was a vet) living on the property, I found myself panicking when the roads to the barn were blocked when the storm passed. Thinking of you and your critters these next few days… stay safe.


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