Mine is when it's in the single didgets and one of my horses colics!!! I just love walking around in the dark with just enough snow on the ground to cover the ice.... Luckily neither of us fell this time !!! What yours ?!?!
Last edited by Jumperrider55; Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:45 PM.
I'd say when it is single digits and you have to haul water from the house...then you slip on the ice and spill some down your pants leg and your boot...then in pouring it into the heated trough you spill more of it down your jacket...and the horses stare at you and snort as you curse out...well...everything...
But then, you get to work with them and give them mints and you're happy that you get to see them each and every moment, so in their presence you are just grateful...
Until you walk back up to the house and realize how cold it really is!!!
That too !!! I love when it turns to frost on top of your pant leg!!! The mare is doing much better now. She does this to me every single year right around now!! The things 10cc s banamine and 1/2 hour walking in the cold can do !!! It's only taken me 3 years to figure this out!!!
I, too, hope your horse is okay. After losing my guy to colic I decided to keep my next horse at a boarding barn. Having them at that pasture was great most of the time, but when a problem occurred it was tenfold on my own.
Oh yes, the joy of spilling water on yourself while carrying it to the trough and then having your pants freeze to your legs.
For me when I want to get away and cant find a reputable person to care for my horses.. Also in total agreement with the water - hauling buckets of water in the winter time is a definitely up there as well.
I had one who always got colicky in the winter when the water was cold and he wasn't drinking enough. I started warming up his water with hot water from the house. He really liked that, and no more colics. Hope your horse is all better soon because late, cold nights at the barn are the pits.
My worst one was after I had had a full abdominal hysterectomy with an incision all the way across my stomach from hip bone to hip bone. I was living alone at my farm and my son had taken me home from the hospital. He went back to college and I was by myself. Of course at the time, I just had no idea how sick I was going to be. The night after I got home one of mine spiked a fever of 104 and I was in the barn trying to give him meds and was waiting for the vet on the porch of my barn lying on a table. I couldn't even stand up and could barely walk to the barn but I decided I needed to do night check and found the horse with the fever. What a night!
Every. Single. Day. in the winter when I get up at 6:30 in freezing temps to do morning chores.
Oh yeah, life is easy and breezy when they're out 24/7 in the summer pastures, it's all bareback rides and easy livin', with nothing to do but make sure the water tank stays full and all limbs are accounted for.
Not in the winter. I have a pretty low-maintenance crew and there still seems like a lot to do. Particularly when it's this bitterly cold out.
I tell ya...I boarded for the first year of horse ownership, have had 4+/- horses at home for almost nine years now, and I am ecstatic to be starting a career that will pay enough so that everyone can move to the boarding barn, at least for the winter!
My insulated carharrt bibs are so thick the water doesn't soak thru... But they do freeze and then become stiff lol!
My worst is when it's in the -20 somethings(with wind of course!) and you have to water NOW, and then it is only -7 the next day! Every.darn.time.
Orrr, when you run out of hay earlier than expected, and have to plow a path with 3' of snow thru the yard and pasture to get to the hay shed. And that is also the best time for the starter to go on the quad.
Wow, reading these posts REALLY makes me glad that I live in Texas!
A couple of winters ago we had below freezing temps for 3 or 4 days straight and the water in our barn froze (first time in 6 years). It turns out that the copper water pipe developed a small split and we had to haul water from the house to the barn for a couple of days until my DH could repair the water line leak. Hauling buckets of water for five horses across the snow and ice made me extremely grateful to be living in a warm climate!
We've had a couple of easy winters here in New York State but this year is more normal and it's a little hard to adjust to it after a few years off!
I have to bring icy water buckets in to my bathtub to defrost them and hand carry warmed water down to the barn for my crew. Takes a little getting used to but once I do it for a couple of days it becomes routine.
I had a little mini mare colic the other night with the arrival of a strong cold front, so I know how you feel, OP.
Mistyblue suggests putting them on a sled, the type kids use to go down hills.
I'd add putting a kitchen garbage bag in the empty bucket , fill with water, close top of garbage bag. When at your destination, untie the garbage bag and pull it out from the bottom(so it doesn't spill).
Enroll me in the Hate Winter Club, please.
Everything just seems to take twice as long when it's cold.
Reading everyone's water-hauling woes makes me glad I had a frost-proof hydrant put inside my barn.
With a heat-tape wrapped over some insulation it has frozen only once in 9 years - when I did not completely shut off the handle.
Of course I am too lazy to lug a hose back & forth the 250' from the house, or drain the 50' completely, so I water by the Bucket Brigade Method.
Not so awful for just my 2, but spillage is a PITA.
As I age out I admit the thought of selling the farm, buying a townhome and boarding does flit across my mind.
But then I realize how much I'd miss having them at home.
Even with the Winter Woes, still worth it.
OP: hope your mare is recovered.
Get yourself some trax for that ice-strolling!
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
Also glad I live in the south! I came from NY, so feel the winter-woes-pain.
For hauling hot water (which we had to do last winter due to a blown well pump), I bought three seven-gallon Aquatainers from the camping section at Wal-Mart. Yeah, they were heavy but no spilling and I could put all three in my big Rubbermaid Farm Big Wheel Cart and pull it out to the tub.
And I made a Redneck Insulated Tub using an old Rubbermaid tank (hole in the bottom). I put in 2 cut down 50-gallon drums, stuffed styrofoam insulation below and around them both and then filled the gaps with expanding foam insulation. Adding the hot water at night meant no blocks of ice in the morning.
While mine aren't in my backyard (someday!), I do 100% self-care at a private farm only 5 miles from our home. I couldn't do boarding.... too much of a control freak when it comes to my horses.
<>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."
I am not looking forward to going out for morning chores today, the high is 9.... It's currently 0... I am seriously considering asking my farrier to put studs in my boots because it's not fair that the horses get to walk around with minimal slippage !!!
Oh yeah, hauling hay out from under a tarp (with heavy snow on it), sometimes so tight under the tarp it has to be hauled out flake by flake. Biiiiiig fun! I don't have to haul water but do have to deal with the hose from hell (the worst is getting it to thread, at night, when my hands are cold, adn i'm tired, and can't see, and its snowing... )
And yes, had the colic thing a few years ago when my old guy colicked. It was in of December, arctic temps, and I had just broken two ribs (kicked). so I strapped on a heated rice bag around my back with an old belt and let my boy around and around the pasture, in 2 ft of snow. But I would have done the same thing at a boarding barn! When he came home from the vet (five days, IV fluids, scoping, the works) he was kept at my neighbor's barn, which meant FOUR times a day hauling hay over (flake by flake because I couldn't lift), carrying water at their place in a teeeeny tiny little bucket (like 15 little buckets to one big one), and negotiating their very icy driveway (at one point, I had to crawl on my knees, pulling the hay, I was so scared of falling with my ribs). Good times!
I am also too much of a control freak about their care to want to board again but some nights, usually December-January, the idea of a stable boy.....
When it is so windy that you can not physically open the sliding barn doors to empty the manure filled wheel barrow. You then attempt to pull it over the threshold of them man door and a good percentage of the manure contained in the wheel barrow pops out all over the place so you have a mess both inside and outside the barn.
This can happen during any season. The clean up is less frustrating in when your hands are not numb from the cold but still a nuisance.
Since I live in Central Georgia I don't have the winter woes some of you have (thank God) and I can honestly say that I've never wished my horses were boarded out. Even walking a colicky horse all night has not made me wish it was so. I love taking care of them, I love being able to walk out to the barn and visit them any time I wish. I think I've lived so much of my life wishing I had a horse (30 years!) that I'm trying to make up for lost time.
"My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."