Yes, the cold snap is finally over! This has been the toughest winter I've yet experienced at Wings. You all know what I'm talking about, right? The biggest challenge for us was keeping our water troughs working. Our tank heaters simply couldn't keep up in the -20 degree weather. Keeping the hoses from freezing was another challenge. Just getting hoses hooked up and stretched over to fill tanks was a challenge. Our other challenge: the flu!
In December, I and several of our regular staff and volunteers were down with Influenza A, which hit the valley hard this winter. If you had this flu, you'll know what I mean when I say how hard it was to get over. Luckily, those who didn't get sick stepped up and took over the vital chores to keep the ranch running.
I'm happy to say that all of our horses and donkeys came through the cold snap with no problems. Our most fragile ones were taken into the barn on the coldest nights, and everyone got extra hay to make sure they stayed warm. Now we're just repairing troughs, heaters and power cords that failed in the extreme cold. The other key to keeping the horses safe was sawdust and shavings in the shelters to give them a soft, dry place to rest.
I hope you all are having a happy, healthy winter season! Please join us on February 9th at the Grange #116 in Hamilton for a Musical Potluck benefit for Wings, featuring the band Wolf and the Moons. See our Events page for details.
Laura Weise is a Wings volunteer who lives in Stevensville and will be bringing you stories of life at the barn.