Horses, Fire and a Wood Barn

Horses, Fire and a Wood Barn


As you all may know, we moved to the southeast from Arizona. In Arizona, fire is very, very scary. Setting a fire in your backyard and leaving it to burn is a major no-no. Here, it’s no big deal. We have an empty field across the street from our property, and the owner has spent many months clearing it. He chops down a bunch of trees, mows down weeds and sets whatever’s left on fire. Then he just leaves. No big deal. He did this shortly after we moved here, and believe me, Bill and I were fit to be tied. We let it go until it was a few yards from our other neighbor’s house, then put it out ourselves. I’m sure the natives are still giggling over that one.

Anyway, someone not too far from here is burning a big pile of something tonight. Either that or a house is on fire and no one has noticed yet. Our house smells like a casino (cigarette smoke, for those of you have never been to a casino), and there’s a haze of smoke all around. You can see a glow over one of the hills just east of here. The horses are pretty freaked out, and we’re concerned ourselves. Especially since we just locked our horses in a barn made entirely of wood.

Unfortunately, we can’t stay up all night to watch in case the fire makes it all the way over here. Normally, we might try it, but we have to take The Kid to school early in the morning, Bill is pretty sick with a cold and I’m still recovering from some other bug I caught last week. But as a precaution, rather than leave the horses’ halters and lead ropes in the tack room like we usually do, we brought them down here to the house with us. That way, just in case something were to happen, we have halters ready. We really should do that all the time, and if we had more storage here, we would. But there’s simply no space. We have a mudroom planned, though, and that would be a great place to keep a couple of emergency halters. As I’ve mentioned before, a lot of people keep a halter hanging outside the stall door for emergencies, but we’re too paranoid for that. It feels too much like leaving the keys in the car.

So that’s our emergency plan, such that it is. It’s kind of a short-term plan, but we really need to have an emergency plan in place, and so should you. In our case, we need to worry about fire, tornado or nuclear fallout. Think about what might happen (even a remote possibility) and plan accordingly.

As usual, more on that later. For now, we have the teeny-tiny chance that the fire that may or may not still be burning a half-mile away could possibly spread to our barn covered. Whew.

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