This thread made me lol...and wow, I am not alone! I have grumbled so much this winter, I swear, I am boarding the boy out next winter so I can ride inside. However, then I start thinking about water, hay, his turnout, and I start freaking out that I can't leave him somewhere else, lol.
My crappy winter day:
Get up at 6 am. Feed all house animals, Have coffee. Dress, head out to barn.
Feed my horses, make sure there is hay and water. Leave out lunch and water for them for my mom to feed. Go next door and feed my parents' horses.
Go to work as vet tech...get bit and peed on all day! LOL!
Home, on way in, let horses out, give more hay. (Turnout has been slim in weather and after I lost my old boy a month ago, having trouble getting the other 2 to stay out. Mare spazzes.) Sigh.
Go to house. Feed house animals. Bundle back up, back to barn. Pick frozen poop, clean out buckets, slip and fall getting wheel barrow out, spill water on self. Cuss, be angry. Carry water. After chores, if it isn't too cold, sneak in moonlight bareback ride or lunge boy in the snow. Groom both horses.
Back in house. Yoga, shower, bed. So I can do it all again the next day. (DH is back in school, so boring evenings for me.) Is it spring yet?? I want to ride and the horses to have grass to stay outside!!
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 !!!
Try Yaktraxs, they are like tire chains for your feet. I am sure REI among other places carries them. They work GREAT.
Over all I love having them at home!! I am a control freak so it's nice being the only one wrapping there legs, feeding them, changing blankets, turning them out and making sure buckets are scrubbed twice a day !!!! There's just some days that I wish they were boarded !! But when they are boarded I'm miserable and wish they were home so everything is done the way I want it and I don't have to worry if their warn enough or if their wraps are going the right way or if their standing out in the rain..
When I was thinking seriously of boarding my show horse for the winter so I could have an indoor, I started thinking about having to worry again about if he was fed right, had water, turned out with mean horses, standing in the rain...etc etc and how I would feel guilty on the days I couldn't make it out or was too tired. I figured his overall well-being and my mental health was more important then getting to ride a little more...
OK, after reading this, I'm beginning to think there is some sort of "right of passage" for boarding at home/entirely self care colic situations, lol. My pony did that to me 2years ago, on one of the coldest nights that month...at human dinner time, so I know my poor vet had to leave her nice warm house.
Even though I have to haul water from the BO's bathtub to soak hay and fill the water, I still like doing all the work myself. Well, I did ask the amazing boyfriend to feed for me this morning, so that was nice.
But I'm just too darn obsessive! I will be such a pain in the butt boarder the next place I go to that isn't entirely self care, haha.
"On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."
Do those of you up north in the incredibly frigid temperatures use heated water buckets or a heated hose hanger? We had temp-resistant PVC pipes put in from the water pump to the barn pump so it doesn't freeze. only if we leave the handle partly on. :/ when we know we're going to get frozen temps, we make sure the water barrels are ALL full (almost 800 gallons of water barrels/troughs) and if we need to, we haul water in from those to fill their heated water buckets until the water lines/pump unfreeze.
When I'm really sick (doesn't happen often) and anytime I want to get away for a night. Had to give up spontaneous weekends away a long time ago. I've been lucky to find good farm sitters, it's the extra 30-50 per day that has to be added to the expense of any vacation or night away that's hard.
As for the land of frozen hoses, took me awhile, but I conquered the frozen water problem, it was just a pain. What used to bug me to no end was frozen manure, stuck to walls, and under my feet. For some reason I hated stepping on the little hard balls while cleaning stalls.
I'm right there with ya, too. Every winter there comes a point when I fantasize of boarding again. A few winters ago, we had frigid temps for two plus months and 3' of snow on the ground, our power went out (this was before we got smart and got a whole house generator), and a horse colicked. I told my husband I'd sell the whole farm and everything on it for a dollar and I meant it that particular day!
Summer is SO much easier... I'll take the flies and heat any day. I don't think I could do the horses at home thing if I lived any further north! At least we made it to Feb. now, we're on the homestretch!