Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Getting Ready for Winter

And winter is definitely coming. Monday and Tuesday were in the high 50’s - 60’s. Late yesterday afternoon, the temp dropped into the 40’s, with a strong northwest wind blowing.

Monday, with the afternoon high near 60, I decided it was time to get ready for winter. That meant, if I didn’t want to break ice in the mornings, I better get water heaters into the tanks and electric cords run. I have always had to break ice for a few mornings every year, as I delayed too long in getting water heaters into tanks. Some years, the ice got so thick that I’ve had to break through the ice with a fence T post! Have you ever tried kicking through the top layer of ice, to have it quickly break? The force of kicking through the ice takes your boot into the water, leaving you with a wet foot. That doesn’t feel good at all.

Not this year. This year, I am ready. Getting ready for winter means getting water tank heaters and extension cords ready. From the top shelf in the storage barn came down 2 of the water heaters. We have plugged in up to 5 water heaters some years, and that is just for the horses. But this year, all of the horses are in 1 big lot, with Duke, my stud, in his own lot.

I have 4 or 5 more dog and cat pet heated water bowls plugged in the mare barn. Out of the feed bin in the mare barn came out 1 long extension cord to plug in Duke‘s water heater. The other extension cord hangs permanently from the storage barn to the outside shelter. All I had to do is unroll some of it to be able to plug it into the large lot’s water heater that is about 25’ away.

Now all I have to do is make sure both the water heaters and extension cords are still good. Last night, it wasn’t cold enough to see if any water tanks had ice on top. That is about to change. North winds are even brisker today. Temps are dropping, with highs tomorrow only in the 30’s. that means that tonight’s temps will be in the teens. If heaters don’t work, I’ll find a layer of ice in the water tanks!

I hope the water heaters work. I don’t want to break ice in the morning. I really don’t want a wet foot! And my horses will love the warmer water!


txtrigger said...

How do you manage to not have your horses play with the cord and pull the heater out of the trough? We use one of the drain hole heaters, and it has worked great. Also, we have GFI's on the plug, so just in case the horses were to somehow mess with the heater, or it would get a short, the GFI would trip the power off, so we don't have shocked ponies.

We had 2" of snow this AM, but it was all gone in a few hours. More to come our way Friday, while we are at the first ride of the year. Should be interesting weekend!

small farm girl said...

Please be careful with the heaters. I know someone who had theirs get a short in it. Luckily no livestock was hurt. But, the owner sure got a shock when he touched the water. lol

Horses Are Our Lives said...

I put the cords through a piece of pvc pipe and attach the pvc pipe to the fencing. Yes, I have had horses pick up the heaters and pull them out before! I meant to get a picture of the pvc pipe at the tank. I'll do that and post it soon.

SFG - I have my husband check these over every year, and we usually end up replacing 1 or 2 every other year or so. This year, all of the heaters seem good. I have always used this type and have not had any problems so far. I always make sure the horses are drinking. With 9 horses in the lot this year, the tank should always be 1/4 -1/3 gone every day in the winter. In the summer, the tank is always 1/2 gone. I have just put out white salt blocks to make sure the horses keep drinking over the winter.


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