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Getting Through My First Hurricane As A Horse Owner
 By FreeRein   •   31st Oct 2011   •   3,364 views   •   8 comments
Getting Through My First Hurricane As A Horse OwnerI woke up to the sun shining through my bedroom window. It was Saturday, August 27. I pulled the sheets off myself and walked to my door and pulled it open. My brother was already up and playing Lightning McQueen in the middle of the hallway as usual. I walked down the carpeted hallway patting my big, black, 150 pound Newfoundland Lab mix, Boomer, good morning as he sat down and rolled over on his back expecting a long belly rub. I smiled, kneeled down and gave him a few quick pats and stood up continuing my way down to the bathroom as my two other dogs, Lady; a Flat Coat Retriever Newfie, and Lucky; a tiny little Shih Tzu, tumbled up the stairs together, Lucky nipping at Lady’s ears playfully and Lady gently swatting him away with her big paws as she tried to get away from him. They nearly ran into me as I jumped out of the way, regretting the fact I didn't close my bedroom door as I watched the two play their way into my room. ‘Yay,’ I thought as I finished what seemed to be a detoured walk into the bathroom just to put up my hair.

After I was done, I slipped on my flip flops and climbed down the stairs and went into the garage where my mom and step-dad insist I put my paddock boots which they think smell terrible, but I find to be my favorite smell, leather with a touch of horse. I smiled as I picked them up to bring into my room where all of my other riding accessories were located. I pulled open my drawer which was specifically for riding jeans and breeches. I decided today I would look like the barn bum I was rather than wearing one of my polo’s and tan pants with my old pair of tall boots. I pulled out a regular old tight tee and a brown leather belt that had always been one of my favorites.

I put everything out on my already made bed when my couch potato Shih Tzu jumped up and rolled over right smack in the middle of my outfit. I sat down on my air mattress which replaced my recently popped water bed for the time being. I patted him and he purred. Yes, my dog purrs when you pet him. I was gently tickling his belly when he shot up and licked me right on my nose. I cradled his head in my hands and smothered his head with pets, just making him roll over again. I smiled and pulled everything on, except of course my boots which were restricted around the house, and climbed down the stairs where the suitcases were out.

I found this odd because we only ever take them out when we go on our “family trips” every two or so years. We had just gone on a trip to Florida the second week in August. My iPhone buzzed in my pocket when the screen popped up with a message:

From Kieran:
OMG! We r bein’ evac-ed cuz of Irene!

I can’t read text chat but I sure understood that... That morning, my parents were outside putting things away, securing things down, suit cases out... We were being evacuated. Soon. At that time I knew I wouldn’t be seeing my horses that day. I wouldn’t be seeing my horses for a while.

After I finished solving everything out in my mind, I turned on the local news and at the bottom in small letters it said “Mandatory Evacuations for the Following:” I watched and as the alphabetical ordered towns came to the letter of my town only to find that right there in plain letters was mine.

I sat down astonished and texted Kieran back:
“Hey! I just saw in the news. Are your horses going to be ok?”

She responded:
“Taking em’ 2 my ant’s 4 the week. Left an hr ago.”

She has four horses at her house. Her aunt lives in another state and breeds Friesians. Pretty Posh... I told her I was glad they would be ok and then, I texted my trainer. My horses are boarded three towns over, so maybe they would be safe.

My trainer explained that the barn was just going to have some wind and rain when the storm hit. It wasn’t going to be bad up there. I was still nervous about my horses though. She told me she was helping out down there and would make sure my horses were fine. I thanked her and told her I would text back later and lugged my suitcase up the stairs and into my room. The first thing I packed was my album of all the horses I have ever owned. Then, I focused on all other things that were important.

I then, lugged it back down stairs and outside. At this point, everyone else had their things in our large eight passenger Chevy van, which was more like a small camping trailer. We mainly used it to take me and my friends places so we weren’t smushed in the back of a compact car. Our three corvettes and two transoms would have to stay parked in our garage and tent garage since there were only two people in our household that could drive. My mom would drive me and my brother while, George, my step-dad would drive our red 2003 S-type Jaguar. When everyone was ready we took two 50lbs bags of dog food, a package of bottled water, one twelve pack of Pepsi and our three dogs into the Van. We would take the five hour drive to my grandparents’ house, leaving my horses, favorite 1980 yellow corvette, and home in the hands of Mother Nature.

The drive was long. Seven hours instead of five. Traffic was bad. My dogs were jumping everywhere and barking out the windows which made it impossible to sleep through it. My laptop was on my lap and Boomer was sprawled out in the backseat next to me. Michael, my brother watched every single episode of Avatar: the Last Air Bender (Animated) while I watched Seabiscuit, Secretariat, and a whole bunch of other horse movies on my laptop which made it all not too bad. I also did all of my summer reading which I had put off until the last minute.

We finally got there at around six o’clock at night. My Nanny and Poppy were glad to see us and my dogs were glad to get out of the car and use the restroom. They took well to everything other than the fact my grandparents had a dog loving, obese, tabby cat named Fredrick. As far as I am told, I named him that but I don’t remember. My trainer texted me saying there was a lot of wind at the barn but everything was fine. There are no falling trees since my barn is in the middle of a valley. She said all the horses were acting as though this happened every day. I was happy that everything was going well.

It was a bit boring. We couldn’t go outside because it was poring. We had a family dinner on Saturday when we got there to try and cheer everyone up. I met one of my cousins who breeds Quarter Horses just three hours away from where I live. She showed me a lot of pictures and said that there were two horses that would be perfect for me. Of course, my mom objected to yet another horse. I know two horses is a lot, but Cash is retiring in October and I could have two show horses and give Cash a lovely retirement. This didn’t help because I began thinking about my horses. I quickly ended the subject and brought up the movie, Secretariat.

I don’t want to drag this story on and on, so I stayed at my grand parents while the storm was happening. We were going to go home on Monday the 29th but all the roads were closed. They finally re-opened the roads on Tuesday, the 30th. We took the five and half hour ride home. A lot of rivers were flooded and we had to take a detour around a few bridges which added that half hour onto our ride. I was just happy I would be able to see my horses.

When we got home I was happy to only find two trees down in our back yard. There were a lot of leaves and large branches everywhere but the fortunately missed our house. We lived on a mountain so my mom assured me that the house was in a good place, not likely to flood. She was right and the house and cars were unharmed except for the branch that hit the air conditioner and broke that. I have yet to see my horses. My mom promised that we would be able to see them that night after we cleaned everything up a little bit. We did walk down a ways and I took some pictures of flooding and damage. It is 1:30PM now, on Wednesday, August 30th. I am happy I made it through what I thought would be impossible.

What I learned is that never think something can’t happen to you. I never thought a hurricane would come up so far north. I was scared. I didn’t think that my house would make it but my family helped me through it. I just wanted to share this to tell everyone who went through Irene, I hope you guys are ok and I also hope that you guys were as lucky as I was. If you weren’t, just know I will have you in my thoughts and Prayers.
Horse News More PB Articles About:  Hurricane,
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  FreeRein
Etched in Stone  
That is a lot to have gone through! I am glad you and your family are okay.
  Oct 31, 2011  •  2,463 views
 
Simplicity  
that's good your house is ok
  Nov 1, 2011  •  2,386 views
 
All That Jazz  
Wow, glad you guys are okay.
  Nov 1, 2011  •  2,392 views
 
IsabellaHall  
Wow...What a life!Glad you guys are ok
  Nov 2, 2011  •  2,425 views
 
hylandrockxxx  
I'm very glad you and your horses are ok!!!! :) :D x
  Nov 2, 2011  •  2,413 views
 
Spaztastic  
Scary :/ Glad your ok :)
  Nov 3, 2011  •  2,422 views
 
Hidden Sorrow  
Hurricanes are exciting and scary. Me living on the west coast, we don't get a lot of hurricanes. Maybe only one was recorded. Anyways, I'm glad you were unharmed and able to tell this story!
  Nov 3, 2011  •  2,400 views
 
DontBAfraid  
Thats crazy! Glad you guys are safe
  Nov 6, 2011  •  2,416 views
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