Where Are My Barn, My Daughter and My Horses?? OH, NO!! A Tornado Has Hit Our Farm!!
A tornado hitting is scary. It’s even scarier when it hits your farm, involving your family and your animals. This actually happened to me a number of years ago when I had my farm.
It was a hot summer’s day where it was just too hot to ride during the day. Therefore, we rode in the evening, when the direct sun was not shining upon us and it felt a bit cooler. As you know, thunderstorms usually are common during the hot summer days. This day was no exception.
While my daughter, Julie, was tacking up her horse, Badger, I noticed the western sky beginning to darken and heard the rumble of thunder in a distance. Julie was just about ready to hop on Badger when I yelled to her to go into the barn and to stay there until the storm blew over. (I figured it was just going to be your typical summer thundershower that was going to blow over in 10-15 minutes. Little did we know.)
Now, our barn was not a barn, per se. It was more of a run in shed for the horses, but we just called it “the barn” because there was also a storage area in the building. So, Julie, Badger and the rest of the horses took shelter in the barn.
The wind began to pick up and the rain came down in buckets. The sky was a funny color instead of the dark gray. I kept my eye on the weather and the barn. I started to see the sides of the barn boards shake. I was getting very concerned about it. I was praying that God would look after Julie and the horses.
Then, while looking out the window towards the barn, I was unable to see the barn. A grayness fell over everything in front of me. I didn’t know what to do. A few minutes later (it seemed like an hour at the time), I was able to see outside. It was still raining, but not as heavily. Julie was walking up towards the house and looking further behind her, saw that the barn was gone. That’s right! The building was gone!! Everything that was in the building was there such as cat dishes, manure forks, tools, wheelbarrows, etc. Just the building itself was gone. It was scattered all over the paddock and field. The roof was in the woods. Oh, and the horses were gone, too.
I immediately ran out to meet Julie. She was a bit dazed. She said when the storm hit, the horses were very restless. As she was trying to take Badger’s saddle off, the building began to shake and the horses took off through the fence to safety. As far as the horses could tell, the building was attacking them and they were not going to stick around. Badger had taken off with his saddle on him and the girth undone. Julie said it looked like a cartoon where the horse takes off and the saddle stays in the air and then drops to the ground.
When the walls started to come apart, Julie dropped to the floor in the barn. A board had hit her in the back of the head. Fortunately, she was still wearing her riding helmet, which saved her head from being hit directly. (A good reason to always wear your helmet when around horses.) Thank God she was okay.
We found the horses in my hay field having a feast, a bit shaken with minor cuts and bruises, but otherwise okay. I thanked God that they were fine, too. We rounded them up and I made some calls for a temporary place for them. A neighboring farm allowed me to keep them in her one field temporarily.
The next day, I checked out the damage and it seemed as though a tornado had gone through my field and took the corner of the barn, which took it apart. You could see the swirls of the path the tornado took through the pastures. It seemed to bounce over the fences for some reason.
Anyway, this brings me to my point. When summer storms hit, is it safer to put the horses in their stalls until if blows over, or is it better to take a chance and keep them out with a shelter available so they can fend for themselves? My opinion: keep the horses out with some sort of shelter for them to weather the storm. This way, if they need to, they can run for safety. I would rather do that than take a chance of the building falling on them and possibly causing more injury.
What are your feelings?