dancing horses

dancing horses

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winter is here

And it's arrived with a vengeance! After a relatively balmy fall the temperatures have plummeted. In the summer the chores really don't seem too bad. In winter though, the work level goes up. I can't use the hose anymore and it's much colder in the morning. Lugging water buckets is good for my core and arm strength (or so I tell myself). The manure is freezing to the cart which makes emptying it harder as well. However, I have found that I'm warm enough with my insulated coveralls, insulated  baffin boots, wool hat with ear covers and rubber winter gloves (a great find at the local Co-Op). And I really don't mind the chores because it means that my horses are home.

The high over the next few days is to be -10 C. Today the water buckets were frozen solid. It took a ton of banging with a stick to break up the ice to get it out of the bucket. I realized that if this winter is going to be a brutal my water buckets are just not going to cut it. My current system is to have buckets in the tack room (which is heated) and switch them out in the morning, supper time and night time. At night I add some boiling water and so far they haven't been too frozen over. However, I worry that their water intake will be too low.

So I turn to the internet for help. Tell me about your solutions. Do the bucket insulator cozy things work? If you use the heated buckets how do you secure the cords? I worry about the heated buckets with the electric cable. Especially with a young one who gets bored and starts exploring....

from last winter.....


  1. I put a little hay chaff in the bottom of the wheel barrow so the poop won't freeze to the bottom of it.
    I invested in a stock tank heater a few years ago..best investment ever. Put it in a long bathtub shaped water tub and put a cover (piece of plywood perhaps)over the end with the cord in it so it is hidden.I actually cut an opening in the side of a 45 gal apple juice drum , laid it down and stuck the cord through the bung hole. Worked very well.The cord was completely covered. I keep the tub against the barn so the cord runs out of the tub , up under the door and inside to the plug..no exposed cord outside at all.

    As for the freezing hose. I use mine all winter. I keep it in the tackroom and just run it out through the door when I need it. I bought a quick connect coupler at Home Hardware so I can easily and quickly attach it to and take it off of the tap.

    Hope this helps! It seems like winter came in hurray.

  2. I tell myself that hauling buckets builds my core strength too. No advice -- we're newbies to this whole harsh winter gig. I'm interested to read what your other readers suggest.

  3. All the paddocks have heaters in the water tubs. I wish I had some fancy advice about the cords. The hose is detached and placed in the tack room, which has a heater. The heater scares me but since my horse is out and I am not the one doing chores in the cold, I really can't complain.

    One thing we are really careful about is to drain the hose after use. A frozen hose usually also has holes when it thaws.

    The rubber winter gloves is brilliant.

  4. I'll be interested in reading the answers. :) I have a stock tank heater, but since Chrome won't drink our well water it doesn't do me a bit of good since we moved. I guess he likes muddy, frozen pond water. I just put water in both of his meals and put a bunch of water in his midday beet pulp mash. So far it seems to work. When it's really cold I also put salt in his feed.

  5. We have had over a month of windchills into the -40's here on the pairies. My 3 girls, (9yr mare, 1yr filly, 5month filly) have a paddock with free access to the back stalls on our barn. It basically works like a run in shelter, no heat, no blankets or rugs. They have a bath tub with a floating heater to keep it from freezing and a frost free hydrant is right on the other side of the fence so we have a short length of pvc pipe that goes on the hydrant and into the trough.


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