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Experiece with Bar Bar A waterers???

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    Experiece with Bar Bar A waterers???

    Have two horses at home (SW Ohio). We've been using a stock tank with a heater in winter. Thinking about switching to :

    Any experiences or thoughts?


    When I was looking into auto waterers a while back, I remember reading the Bar A Bars do best with a decent sized herd to be using them. IIRC, they do not require electricity(?) so I'm not sure if that's the reason.


      Just installed one for a "herd" of 3, so far so good, everyone uses it just fine. In Maryland, spoke to another COTHer that was in MD also that has used them for years, sorry can't remember name,may be search for the old thread, said they work great even in the harsh winter we had a couple years ago, I believe she actually is listed in BarBarA testimonials on their site. Found ordering very easy and they are very willing to help if you have installation problems.
      "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

      "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


        I'm not as big a fan of waterers that only hold enough water for that drink at that moment, and are empty the rest of the time. I realize this works just great for the most part, but I always worry (even though I've never had a waterer failure) about a power outage (well pump doesn't work) or some sort of malfunction leaving my animals with six ounces of water until I get home and fix it or the power comes back on.

        My Varnan waterer holds 18 gallons, so if there is a power outage or the unit fails to function, I have at least a day's worth of water sitting there for them to drink.

        I also like to see horses really guzzling water when they want to, and the paddle types or itty-bitty-bowl types don't let them do that. Completely nonscientific, I realize, but nothing makes me happier than a horse plunging half its face into the water and sucking down several gallons in a single go!
        Click here before you buy.


          I just ordered a Bar Bar A waterer yesterday! Can't wait to get it installed. FWIW, this waterer does not require power and I don't have a well pump to have to worry about. So much better than to have to deal with algae and HOT water in the summer and chipping ice, tank deicers, etc. in the winter. I'll just check the waterer twice daily to make sure it's functioning properly then be on my way to the next chore! No more dumping, scrubbing and filling for me!
          Chestnut Creek Farm
          Visit us on Facebook!


            Bar Bar A waterers

            Don't own one yet, but have asked many questions of the two really smart ladies I met that own them. 1st one has a boarding/layover facility in Colorado. She raved about them. Our horses easily learned to drink in 5 minutes during our stay. A friend here in Flagstaff has them as well, they have been 100% reliable. They are pricy and you have to get the install just right. After that, smooth sailing.


              OMG, this is the BEST thing I ever did on my farm! I have 18 of them--one in every turnout field and I am the biggest fan. I have had a problem with only one of them for some reason and it is a minor problem that my installer/excavator has been able to fix (unfortunately repeatedly) with the assistance of the company owner that may be an issue with the rocky area where we put the waterer.

              Anyway, these waterers have never failed us in any weather. The horses have all learned quickly to drink from them and some prefer them over their buckets in the barn. They are essentially maintenance-free other than once in a blue moon cleaning the small filters. The water is always the same temperature, year-round and they self-clean when the water drains back down into the unit. They have never frozen and we can have some pretty cold temps in Maryland. I truly, truly love these waterers.
              GoodNess Ridge Farm


                Just installed one in replacement of a Nelson waterer. Decided to try one and see how it goes. We have Nelson's in every turnout. Unfortunately, the idiot who installed them wired them in series so if you want to use the heaters in the winter, you have to have all of them on. Since I do not use all of our pastures and turnouts in the winter, it is a waste of power, etc to have them all running. I look forward to see how the Bar Bar A performs.
                Quality Hunter Ponies


                  I have had one for 5 years and love it. It is used in a field with two horses, so no need to have a large group, it works fine. I just ordered two more TODAY, that will be installed before winter. The worst thing is if they ever get iced up, I have to pour hot water in it to thaw it. It happens only a couple of times during the winter...I live in winters are long. It is so much easier than any other way of watering though. I have also used the drinking post. They are both good, each one has pros and cons. I now dread digging holes though, because hubby and myself install them


                    Mine is broken again. ive gone out in the pasture too many times to find it shooting water like a geyser draining my well or it not working at all. would never get another. i have traditional heated waterer in other field, not one prob in 6 years.


                      Wow! Those look like a great idea! Pricey, yes -- but on my wish list!


                        Our first snow storm with one, below freezing temps, covered in snow, came through like a champ
                        "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

                        "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


                          I was amused by the notation on the diagram about, "Gravel not included with drinker." I wonder if they really got phone calls asking, "where's my gravel? I looked all through the box!"

                          Since these operate with the paddle, is it possible for a horse to learn to hold it down and overflow these? I've seen some bored horses do that with the small stall types with the paddle and can just see some of the warmbloods I know doing that just for sport. Maybe there is something I'm not seeing that would prevent this?


                            I had my paddle get stuck down one time by a pebble ( the only time in 6 years). The pebble came from my connemara ponys foot that he would stick into the bowl. His daughter actually did the same thing as a foal, when she was in the field and she was never turned out with him.....I think it was a pony thing!

                            Problem was very easily fixed, we cut out a blue plastic barrel, to increase height, and dropped it around the waterer. ALSO, the comapany was very helpful with ideas to fix this. you just might have to be creative. The Bar Bar A's are very user freindly too. Every horse here has picked up on them in a day or two at the most. The best teacher is another horse.


                              I love bar bar A!! I've got four of them. In response to the one concern above about the horse having to wait for them to re-fill after each drink: They hold the paddle down as they drink, and it fills up as fast as they can drink it. The water pressure is adjustable, so if you had a real guzzler, you could adjust it so the water comes out faster. I suppose if you live somewhere that doesn't have good water pressure, that might be an obstacle.

                              *doesn't require electric, no horses getting shocked, no worries during power outages.
                              *Doesn't grow algae since the water drains.
                              *It's always the right temperature...even in winter, water is tepid.
                              *very little maintenance
                              *Seems intuitive for horses to learn to use.

                              I can't say enough good things about my waterers.


                                I wonder if they could make a taller one--our frost line is 48", so a five foot long unit would not be tall enough. Mine is seven feet tall and fully buried to the frost line is still low enough that it comes close to being buried in snow with some of our epic snowfalls! I wouldn't want it much taller, though, or the Shetland wouldn't be able to reach!
                                Click here before you buy.


                                  Finally got mine in...but question for y'all

                                  Got mine installed great - love it! Still haven't seen the horses use it yet but leading them over frequently and showing them the waterer, scooping water in my hands and wetting their lips, etc. Any tips would be appreciated for those of you that have the Bar-Bar-A or other paddle-type waterer.

                                  Question...our unit is installed in a fence line between two turn out areas. My plumber was very meticulous about the installation but we realized after the unit was in that we centered it between the fence posts and not the fence line. (I have 4 board wood thus the actual fence line is offset 4 inches since the boards are nailed to the post.) So, as a result, my waterer is not really in the center of the fence line. I think it will be ok as it seems the waterer is still very accessible from both paddocks but wanted to see if anyone has any suggestions/ideas. For those who did fence line installations, how did you do it? My other thought is to do a section of electric rope rather than boards around the waterer ...the electric rope could be installed between the center of the two posts and then the waterer would be centered. Thoughts? Ideas?
                                  Chestnut Creek Farm
                                  Visit us on Facebook!


                                    Originally posted by RTF View Post
                                    I had my paddle get stuck down one time by a pebble ( the only time in 6 years). The pebble came from my connemara ponys foot that he would stick into the bowl. His daughter actually did the same thing as a foal, when she was in the field and she was never turned out with him.....I think it was a pony thing!

                                    Problem was very easily fixed, we cut out a blue plastic barrel, to increase height, and dropped it around the waterer. ALSO, the comapany was very helpful with ideas to fix this. you just might have to be creative. The Bar Bar A's are very user freindly too. Every horse here has picked up on them in a day or two at the most. The best teacher is another horse.
                                    I posted last fall about trying them at two other facilities. As luck would have it, I found an unused pair of them on CL locally and snapped them up at 50% of retail. SCORE!

                                    Reality set in. The install was a PITA, it cost me several hundred dollars, following the instructions to the letter. The reason I wanted these is that we have hauled water at our winter home, and we just can't waste it. A malfunction could drain our 5,000 gal storage tank and burn out the pump.

                                    Quite promptly our crew of smart, destructive draft crosses managed to slightly bend the paddle, and then created a giant wet spot extending out 10'. We pulled the unit, each time the horses drink, a quantity of water is forced out into the base, hence the French drain with all the gravel. Not good for conserving water. So it's working, but not well. Also, one of the units promptly broke--the end of the cable that operates the valve broke off. Also, as another poster mentioned, they can and do hold the paddle down for amusement. It's been 90-100 degrees here and a cool wet muzzle feels good. The extreme tub splashing we had before is why I bought these.

                                    We're going to try RTF's very good idea of sleeving it with a cut out barrel to discourage pawing. We'll install the second unit at our summer place and figure out how to keep it safe from the beasties.

                                    At the moment I am less than thrilled. What I am trying to design is a raised trough with an unbreakable float or valve, that can be easily cleaned and won't provide a hiding place for snakes at the base. I think it should be outside the paddock, with a yoke of some sort to prevent sloshing, but not too restrictive, so the horse can't get trapped by a bully. And it needs to prevent major water loss if it breaks.

                                    Outsmarting horses is a full time job.


                                      Auto waterer

                                      I have a Richie waterer. I picked them because there is a small reserve of water. (I think 15 gallons) There are no paddles. One side is open for drinking and the other side, where all the working parts are, has a lid. However, I do have to use a heater in the winter here in MI. It gets placed in the side with the lid so the horses can't play with it.
                                      They do require cleaning, more in the summer. But I love not having to deal with frozen hoses. I too, check it at least once a day. And if we lose power I worry. The power is only necessary to run the pump on our well, not the waterer. But since we have a generator, we can get water out there and into a big tank if necessary.


                                        I purchases two Bar Bar A waterers and had them installed about a year and one-half ago. They were recommended by a friend. I have been quite disappointed with them. When they work, they are great (the horses use them without difficulty), but I have had a lot of different problems with them and they are quite a headache to deal with when there are problems. Some of the component parts have failed (one within a year of purchase) and while the manufacturer was good about sending replacements, they are hard to reassemble and reinstall. The whole thing is sort of gerry rigged together with a PVC pipe linking together the plate the horses use with the valve that opens and closes. There is a wire that goes from the plate to the valve assembly. If everything isn't oriented just right when you reinstall, it won't work and everything rotates around the center pipe so getting it just right is a matter of luck. This means you have to keep pulling the unit out and putting in back in until it orients just right which can take multiple attempts. Freezing is a problem and on two occasions the water just started to flow out like a geyser (this is the one that didn't have parts that had to be replaced) when we were not present to catch it. We are in upstate NY and they haven't worked through much of this winter. The manufacturer will tell you that its an installation problem but cannot tell you what that might have been. The ones my friend had were not working the last time I checked. If you are going to get them, put in a separate shut off above ground (rather than just relying upon the one that is in the unit).