The wind that had hit the ranch with gale force diminished to a steady 30 mph the next evening when it started to snow. On the ranch you can see the storm clouds coming from far away. Depending on which direction the storm is coming from, the clouds cover the top of either, Carrizo, Baxter or Patos Mountain and then descend down the slopes until they are even with the mesa. Then you can see the snow swirling around in the clouds before it actually reaches the ranch. This storm was a fast moving one, and soon chunks of snow were belting down on the herd.
Angel prefers to be outside in a storm, although there is a shed she can go in. She is not at the top of the pecking order, however, so she huddles outside next to a thick juniper bush with her best buddy, Pioneer, up against her. She would rather stand peacefully with Pioneer and endure the storm then be jostled around in the shed by the horses higher than her in the pecking order. Sometimes all is peaceful with all the horses in the shed, but Angel knows this is not always the case. She and Pioneer stood, heads down and rumps against the driving snow. Every now and then they would stamp a foot. Soon they were covered with a thick layer of light, fine snow which acted as an insulator against the cold.
Since this was a fast moving storm, about 10 hours worth, the clouds scuttled off and the next morning it was clear. The horses are fed generously with plenty of green alfalfa hay and free choice grass hay, so they had plenty of food to help keep them warm through that stormy night. When the rising sun streaked red and gold over Patos mountain, Angel snorted and shook the snow off her back. Then she stood looking at the fresh snow. Soon she was dancing around while the herd bucked and played with her. Bill spread fresh alfalfa in piles on the snow, and Angel and Pioneer stopped their playing and headed for their breakfast. To look at the herd you would never know that they had just experienced a howling blizzard. Horses do amazingly well when left to nature.
Snowed in on the mesa