Usually, I watch the weather pretty closely whenever there are thunderstorms in the area, but earlier this week I didn’t. To be fair, the storm wasn’t supposed to come very close to us, we were just supposed to get a little bit of thunder and maybe some rain. I had intended on taking Moon on her fourth ride out in our hills that afternoon, but I got sidetracked with a photography class instead.
I was laying on my bedroom floor, just finishing up the class when suddenly my phone scares me half to death with the extremely loud “A new station Warning has been issued. Seek shelter immediately” alert. The storm had done a 90 degree turn and was coming right for us and I was getting the warning for baseball size hail.
Naturally, my first reaction was somewhere along the lines of, “All the horses are outside. WHY did I turn them all out today?” I immediately run to put jeans and boots on and right as I’m walking out the door, the first stones start to fall. Hail stones easily as big as baseballs. Thankfully, it was only the very first couple that were that big, but for the next five minutes or so, it was 70+mph winds and golf ball size hail.
We only have one window in the house that faces the North which was the direction the wind was coming from, and that happens to be right beside my desk. The screen is full of holes, but the window itself held up thanks to the small hill right next to it that offered some protection from the wind.
Thankfully both our vehicles were parked inside the barn at the time.
The horses however, weren’t so lucky.
Sweetheart, my best saddle horse at the moment, was in a pen on the South side of the barn, so she had some protection and didn’t sustain any injuries.
Moon was a little sore, but she was fine after a couple days.
Minny, my yearling miniature filly, was in a full blown panic when I got out to her the minute the hail stopped. By the time she was calm enough for me to feel for injuries, she already had visible welts and bruises. The next day she still wouldn’t let me touch her ribs she was so sore. Now, six days later she’s totally fine except some lingering tenderness in some spots, but she’s back to her goofy, mischievous self.
Half an hour later, the biggest hail stones were still around
I have a rule, that no matter how low the chances of hail, I always bring the horses in, because it’s always the one time that I don’t that something happens. We were totally blindsided by this storm that grew from a small shower, to powerful, unpredictable storm rapidly. Friends of ours that live about twenty miles from us as the crow flies had broken windows on their house.
Other than bruised horses, there is also some damage to our grass in our biggest pasture. As long as it keeps raining this summer it shouldn’t hurt us too badly. But if the rest of this summer is dry then this is going to be a long winter of feeding cattle.
The biggest hit we took was in our garden. It is a total loss except for a couple tomato plants that are limping along. If they’re still alive by the end of next week we might get a couple jars of tomatoe sauce at least.