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  1. #1
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    Mar. 14, 2004
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    Default Pasture without access to water – how to handle?

    Many years ago, when I had never kept my horse in anything but a full care barn, I looked into renting a house that came with the right to use to a large pasture. The pasture was actually nowhere near the house, just happened to be owned by the same guy. There were many things wrong with this situation, and I didn't end up going for it. But the dealbreaker was that the pasture had no water, just the river, which formed one border of it. There was no way I wanted my horses, which at that time included a 30-year-old, to have to go down to the river for water! There were horses already in the pasture, which was another one of the drawbacks, and they drank from the river – at the time I never considered bringing water and filling a trough.


    Fast forward to today, I know a lot more about self-care. I've seen pastures advertised that have no water, and it really cuts the price quite a bit. Though I would never go for a place with unrestricted river access, I'm betting I could make it work having to haul water. Note that I'm in Western Washington, where it rarely freezes. And I own an assortment of trucks, tractors and trailers. Does anyone have this situation, and if so, what do you use? What has worked well, and what has been a nightmare?
    Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
    Starman



  2. #2
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    May. 25, 2014
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    We currently have paddocks without water. We have a fairly small water trough that we put into the front end loader, take to the house, fill with hose, then return to field. We have another field that a hose reaches. We are waiting eagerly for dry enough days to get a barn well situated to be able to run water (frost free hydrants) to the barn and out to more fields.
    Time management tough for you? 42 great tips and support through this course!



  3. #3
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    Jul. 19, 2010
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    Gum Tree PA
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    Not having to deal with long periods of freezing weather makes it easy. Assuming you can drive your truck into or near the pasture. Buy and or look for a used plastic water storage tank. Tractor Supply carries them. They can come in a number of different sizes/gallons.

    The storage tanks depending on size can be a bit pricy. Around here 50gal used plastic barrels can be had for $10-20. Most have been used for "food stuff" so no worries about chemical contamination. The ones I get can be filled at the top and have a fitting at the bottom where a shut off value can be installed. We use them for jumps. Check Craig's list or if you have food manufacturing plants in the area they usually have lots of them.

    Install a shutoff value if it doesn’t already have one. Throw it in the back of your truck and fill, I have used my Jeep for the same. Cut a length of horse that suites your needs. Gravity will do the rest but don’t use a full length hose it will take much longer.

    Unless you have to travel over long and bumpy roads the water weight should keep the tank from bouncing around. Otherwise figure out how to strap it down.


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  4. #4
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    As long you have a hose long enough you're generally OK.

    If you really have to haul water, like in a "water buffalo," I'd pass. Remember that Murphy was an optimist; lots of things can go wrong and the results of a failure to deliver water in a timely fashion can be catastrophic quickly.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Dec. 28, 2003
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    Canada where all hell has broke free
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    Default

    Where I am now we haul water in a 50 gl barrel to the summer turn out pasture and in wither to our small fields. We have a pump house and run hoses in the summer but there is 10 hoses to get to the last field and in the winter it is to much work for everyone to drain the hoses after each use. So we have a barrel that sits on a stand in the back of the trucks.
    My life motto now is "You can't fix stupid!"

    Are you going to cowboy up, or lie there and bleed



  6. #6
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    Jun. 11, 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
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    I leased a few pastures with no water. I have a 250 gallon water tank that sits in my truck. No big deal to fill and deliver.


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  7. #7
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    Aug. 18, 2012
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    Haven't been in that situation. But...one barn I was at was using well water, and when they lost power, the automatic waterers wouldn't work. We bought a bunch of those 5 and 10 gallon jugs, filled them with water and refilled the waterers that way. Obviously it was a lot more work because it was individual waterers but it would have been easy to pour the water into the troughs.



  8. #8
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    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    There are a fair number of people around here that think nothing of using a natural source as the sole source for the animals' drinking water. One neighbor for sure, I still remember the day the donkey and the pony went tip tapping down the street to the creek to get water and then went back home.

    There are all kinds of ag tanks out there for water storage for things like a gravity feed system on a seep box or a storage tank in a tank house or a reservoir for a fire suppression system to be accessed by fire fighters, just look around to see what might work the best, if you freeze then making it a cistern might be best.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  9. #9
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    Jun. 30, 2009
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    Western Washington
    Look into a rain reservoir re cost/practicality etc


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  10. #10
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    As long you have a hose long enough you're generally OK.

    If you really have to haul water, like in a "water buffalo," I'd pass. Remember that Murphy was an optimist; lots of things can go wrong and the results of a failure to deliver water in a timely fashion can be catastrophic quickly.

    G.
    Be sure to have plan B and C, what if you are sick, what if it is too muddy to get to that pasture, etc.

    We spent many days in the summer supplementing some windmills, when the wind was not blowing, with an old truck with a 1000 gallon tank, or moving the cattle to other pastures.
    No fun and much stress.



  11. #11
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    Sep. 26, 2011
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    WNC
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    Does the pasture have any access to a water faucet anywhere? When we moved to our place the pasture was about 300' from the nearest faucet and we just ran a long series of hoses out to a trough located on the closest fenceline. Threaded the hose through the fence to keep it from being flung out of the trough while we walked back to it. It worked for years since we're also somewhere it doesn't freeze very often. Every once in a while had to repair or replace a hose. Finally ran a water line and it's great but no real complaints about those "hose" years.
    It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.



  12. #12
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    Apr. 2, 2009
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    North Carolina
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    Keeping livestock out of rivers is important, not only for your guy's safety, as you noted, but for the rivers themselves (& drinking water). USDA, NRCS, & USFWS have cost-share (and sometimes can cover total costs, such as a project I'm working on now) programs to fence livestock out of stream & provide alternative water sources -- check with your local extension agent.

    Do the horses have a shelter or anything with a roof? Large (250+ gal) water tanks can be had very cheaply on craigslist, all you need is a section of gutter & you have a nice giant rain barrel.

    I have a lot of hoses.
    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
    We Are Flying Solo


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  13. #13
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    never had the problem myself, but I remember from my youth seeing big tanks on trailers with a self waterer in the fields. it was mostly for cows, but horses were not that prevalent, especially not in fields away from the barn. We are talking 'big' here, I am guessing a thousand + gallons...(it's been a long time...in reality they might have been an oversized bath tub! )

    but that seems to be the simplest solution if you have a vehicle that can pull it (or get one according to that rating)
    Quote Originally Posted by BigMama1 View Post
    Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
    GNU Terry Prachett



  14. #14
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    Dec. 28, 2009
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    VA
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    The last few weeks I was at the previous boarding barn the well went bad. It was really inconvenient since I was trying to pack up a barn's worth of stuff, treat a puffed up leg, and get ready to go out of town for a short trip.

    I had a 100 gallon tank with a shut off valve at the base to attach a hose, that went in the back of my truck. Thankfully I only lived 1 mile away. I transported around 400 gallons of water in that 2 week period.

    I had a 150, 100 and 30 gallon tanks that I put into use. Normally I would only be using the 100 gallon tank, but I wanted to have lots of spare water on hand for cleaning the poultice off my horses leg and so that the farm sitter didn't have to worry about transporting water.

    I was glad that it happened during the late summer, and not during the freezing cold winter. I hate dealing with water when it's cold.



  15. #15
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    Jan. 26, 2006
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    Fort Worth, Texas
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    when trail riding we used tanks such as this food grade tank for water transport theses tanks can be had for as low as $50... capacity depending upon version is normally between 275 and 330 gallons

    The reason these are on the market is the concept is its a one-way product to ship food grade liquids. The tanks cannot be reused for the initial propose

    The size and fact it is caged makes it easy to slide into the bed of a pickup

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/275-gallon-I...-/221286744870



  16. #16
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by clanter View Post
    when trail riding we used tanks such as this food grade tank for water transport theses tanks can be had for as low as $50... capacity depending upon version is normally between 275 and 330 gallons

    The reason these are on the market is the concept is its a one-way product to ship food grade liquids. The tanks cannot be reused for the initial propose

    The size and fact it is caged makes it easy to slide into the bed of a pickup

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/275-gallon-I...-/221286744870
    We have used those and now have a fire fighting water trailer with a 500 gallon tank with a pump on it, big, filtered intake hoses to get water into it out of ponds and a fire hose and nozzle to use under pressure.
    Our fire department at times borrows it.

    We use it to water the arena and roads and pads also, it has nozzles for that on the back.

    Works great to wash anything you want water under pressure also, like bigger water troughs and is perfect to haul water where it is needed.
    It is overkill just to water a couple of troughs out in a far pasture, most any container you can close should work for that, or several of them.

    The trouble with hauling water as the only water supply is that it may not be as reliable as continuously having a water supply on the spot.
    Be sure you have some backup person aware of the situation and that can see water gets there if you can't.



  17. #17
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    Sep. 14, 2014
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    Alberta
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    How far is that pasture from nay water supply?
    Not having any hard freezing makes that lack of water flaw easier to deal with.
    I need not only a source of water, be it a automatic waterer, where the line is kept un frozen and a heat tape, as in my main pasture, but also power to all my other water troughs that allow a heater to be plugged in as needed
    I guess if too far to allow a hose, or several joined up hoses to run, hauling water would be an option, or can there be re-fencing done, to allow some sort of corridor that leads to a water source?



  18. #18
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    Jul. 24, 2008
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    How many horses, and how far is your actual water source from the pasture?
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  19. #19
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    Dec. 15, 2005
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    What other "amenities" will you have or not have? Will the horses have a barn or run in shed? Electricity? A gravel drive so you won't get stuck in the mud while driving the water to the barn? A dry place to store a few bales of hay?

    I remember what it was like to haul water buckets after work, across a muddy field on a cold, rainy night to then find cold, damp horses. I only did that for a short time. It was miserable.



  20. #20
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    Feb. 18, 2012
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    Eugene, OR
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    If it was a situation where I either owned the land or had a long term lease, I would get one of these. You can have a water truck come in and fill the tank at a fairly reasonable cost. My SO's mom has one on her property as a well back-up, since sometimes during the summer her well can't deliver enough water on demand for irrigation. Works quite well. Depending on where you want to water the horses, you could do gravity feed to a trough or you could hook up a pump.
    It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
    Theodore Roosevelt



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