Coping with Code White: Snow and Horses in Stormy New England

Barn roof emergencies, waist-deep snow, frozen pipes, buried fences and no end in sight

Do you have video to add to this story? Contact Fran Jurga with details or leave a message for her on the TJR Facebook page.

New Englanders are a hardy lot, but even the hardiest among them is asking, “When is it going to stop?” 

“It”, of course, is the snow that just keeps falling. With more than 100 inches on the ground in Boston, and all records broken, people are no longer worrying about shoveling or plowing. They are worrying about pipes and roof pitches and ice dams and wondering how long they can lug buckets of water from their kitchens to their barns. 

The Jurga Report is dedicated today to that spirit that keeps some New England horses and their people here, while others head to Southern Pines or Aiken or Ocala or Wellington. 

And they know it’s not over yet. As a matter of fact, it’s snowing right now.

Meet Heather Ogg of Prince Edward Island in maritime Canada. She’s going out there! Heather managed to make a video of herself trekking out to the barn in the blizzard this weekend, and then shows us the snow inside her barn. Her horse seems not to mind. Love her parka!

Dry Water Farm in Stoughton, Massachusetts experienced “every barn owner’s nightmare” this weekend. This news report switches in the middle to a nearby town, then goes back to the horse farm. Stick with it. We’re all so relieved the horses were unharmed, so moved by the outpouring of support (and horse trailers), but so concerned for the future of this well-known dressage and boarding farm. More tv news video from Dry Water Farm.

Gathering Farm on Bridge Street in Hamilton, Massachusetts is a well-known location for clinics and events. This little notice on Facebook is all that is known so far.

Townshend Morgan Farm in Bolton, Massachusetts is dealing with cabin fever expressed in many ways by 50 or so prize Morgans that should probably be secure in the knowledge that their farm has been standing since the 1700s. This iPhone video captures the “first out”, stallion Townshend Rise and Shine, led by Tom Maker, down a path to what will have to pass for a paddock for now, since the normal fences are all under the snow (somewhere). Thanks to Nancy Caisse for catching this New England moment.

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From a friend on Facebook:

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It’s not just New England. Here’s a report of a barn collapse in western New York. Luckily lessons had been cancelled because it was so cold.

A most unlikely hero has emerged from all snowstorms: The Hillbilly Weatherman has caused people to turn off The Weather Channel in favor of his expletive-laced delivery of the weather forecast, as provided by NOAA data. He tells it like it is and spares no four-letter words for just how fed up New Englanders are with it all. Broadcasting from somewhere in New Hampshire, many say he’s helped keep them sane. His Facebook popularity, as evidenced by the view count on this weekend forecast, is soaring far beyond New England. Look for him on Facebook and YouTube if you can put up with his creative use of four-letter words when it comes to stormy weather.

And if anyone wonders what it’s like here in Gloucester, where I live, take a thirty-second walk down one of the few sidewalks in town in this video.

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to upload videos to YouTube…and label them so people like me can find them! 

Hopefully this article can have some additions, or a followup…and may the sun come out tomorrow and spring begin. I hope you’re safe and you’re horses are contentedly munching hay, safe in their stalls.

Photo at top by Paul Moody




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