A Hard Rain

July 6, 2006

On June 25th huge black and green tinged clouds moved in over the peak above us, a sure sign we would be getting rain. The clouds were slow moving and ominous but very welcome after an exceptionally dry winter and hot dry spring. I expected a drenching, but did not expect three inches of hail and rain over a one hour period.  

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We found early on that our formerly wild horses don’t care much about going indoors during storms. After we moved them here to our own land, we allowed them to use natural shelter which is what they are accustomed to. They have the windbreak of granite bluffs and plenty of stands of trees to take shelter under. hailhorses1.jpg

Valeroso, Llego, Griton and Corazon

As Mike and I stood in the yurt watching the hail which ranged from pea to nickel-sized pile up, I worried about how the horses were handling this cold and unexpected storm. The temperature dropped twenty degrees very quickly from mid-eighties to mid-sixties. As soon as there was a small break, I put on a hat and jacket and grabbed the camera to see how they were doing out there. As expected, the boys had settled down in a group with their rumps pointed into the storm and heads low to allow moisture to run off. You could tell the hail made them uncomfortable, but it was not something that in any way frightened them.

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Valeroso, Llego, Corazon and Griton

With an 8,300′ peak above us and two arroyos to carry runoff down the mountain, this kind of storm can quickly cause flash floods. As soon as the arroyo behind the house began to run, our little New Mexico mustang Valeroso went on alert. This boy is from an area of New Mexico where flash floods happen anytime it rains at all. Normally, the other horses pay very little attention to Valeroso who is the low horse of the group. I was really surprised to see them all quickly follow him to the top of the property at a fast trot and canter. I followed far enough to be sure they were all safe and could just see them bunched together under a thick stand of trees and certainly safe from flooding.

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Valeroso, Llego, Corazon and Griton

Runoff passes quickly here and in less than an hour the arroyo was back down to a trickle. It was about time for the evening feeding and this time Griton led the group back down the mountain with all of them moving carefully over slick pine thatch.

hailhorses4.jpg

Griton, Corazon, Llego and Valeroso

When the boys saw me taking their photos, they knew I could be convinced to feed them a bit early and came across the arroyo and up the grade at a full gallop on their beautiful bare feet.

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Corazon, Llego and Griton

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2 Responses to “A Hard Rain”


  1. I’ve seen wolf packs work together like that…where a lower member knew something was going to happen and the rest of them reacted the way your band did. It shows that they do have rank but they also have a great amount of trust in each other. How fitting it was for Valeroso to take the lead again when going home. I love the interaction between them. That is so cool.

    Austin

  2. Austin of Sundrip Journals Says:

    Blossom and I have decided that we couldnt see anything from the tears as we looked out at the beauty of the land. You’re standing there taking pics but we wouldnt be able to see a darn thing through the tears.

    Austin, weeping…sniff, sniff


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