Thursday, December 8, 2011

In the Dark.

So it occurred to me today, that I didn't even mention that yesterday's ride started out pretty interesting. And had a good lesson before the riding lesson.

W and I were in the arena, and I was warming Moon up for our lesson. The wind was howling outside and the temperature was dropping yet again. I'm slowly walking Moon around the ring, when suddenly the lights go out.

Pitch black.

Lesson #1? While automatic garage door openers are a wonderful convenience, they become a bit of a giant hazard when the power goes out...especially when the pull-cord to disengage the motor and allow for manual lifting is on the OTHER side of the door!

Our arena has no man-door. Which meant W had to squeeze past the tractor, harrows and jumps to lift the garage door that leads outside. And then walk back around into the dark barn. A windowless barn. In our case, with a young student and a cross-tied horse standing in the middle of it. Thankfully, an old, sedate lesson horse that was content to stand in the dark. Where we left him as we hauled the student out into the arena where the moon was providing light through the fabric walls once your eyes adjusted.

No surprise, the horses are freaking out in the barn, even though it's not like they're never in the dark. Well, I suppose there are night lights in the aisles so to them, it's normally a little light. Calling and banging and general signs of panic ensued.

Thankfully, Moon is a wonderful horse and calmly walked around the arena as though nothing was happening, save one loud reply to the horses calling in the barn. "Clomp, clomp, clomp, whatever", he seemed to be thinking.

Lights suddenly going out: Moon doesn't care. Riding in a dark barn: Moon doesn't care. Horses freaking out in barn: Moon doesn't care. Wind howling in the arena: Moon doesn't care. Small dog wearing jingle bells dashing unannounced under the 1' opening of the arena door in the dark as he's walking by?: Moon CARES!

Jumped half out of his skin and proceeds to snort and stand wild-eyed, ready to bolt if necessary. GER. Seriously time to rethink.

Shortly thereafter, the lights flick back on and W reappears.

Tripped a breaker with all the lights we had on in the barn, tackroom, arena, tackroom heat, watertrough heater, furnace... : P

W's gonna think about putting some flashlights in the barn and relocating the tractor so that we can escape easily with our horses should this ever occur when we're riding alone. Phew. No harm, no foul. But I certainly gave my first thought to emergency planning when at the barn.

Anyone else every think about what they'd do in an emergency? Power outages, being trapped in the arena, even things like if you fell off and were injured when no-one is around or if you found a sick or injured horse? I've got my cellphone charging right now, entered the key numbers in and found a flashlight to keep with me!! : P Important thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. I remember turning up at BlueBear once during a power outage. It was a Hydro outage, and there were rolling black-outs in the area. No one was riding in the arena at the time, but one gal who boards there told me it had happened to her before. Her OTT Thoroughbred, who can definitely be a handful, stopped dead in the pitch dark. He stood quietly while she dismounted and calmly followed her while she felt her way along the wall to the arena door.

    The stables horses were completely calm when I was there during the outage. I think horses are used to the dark, and provided there are no jingle dogs, they are probably quite happy to be calm if you're calm. Moon told you he wasn't going to get upset, so you were calm. This girl saw that her horse was relaxed, so she stayed calm. I am surprised the horses stabled in W's barn were fretting.