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It gonna snow!!

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  • It gonna snow!!

    Well we don't usually get snow here on the coast of VA, and now their saying up to a foot .

    I have a dry lot where horses can access their stalls, and my question for the more experienced at this is should we try to clear out the snow in that area. DH said he would attach the blade to the tractor and drag snow out, but wonder is it better to leave it. I'm afraid it will leave a fine slick layer. If he does this should I put something down (salt) to melt residual or is that a bad idea.

    Both horses have shoes one front the other all four.

    Any advice will be great. I love to see the flurries, but this is going to be the 1 in a decade type of event. I noticed we've had a lot of those this year, our first year with the horses at home.

  • #2
    This is what 13" of snow look like in our horse pens yesterday noon and it has been and is still snowing and blowing, no telling what it will look this morning:


    The horses are in other parts of the pens, where it didn't blow so much in there.

    TV is still saying roads are closed in our area and will be until the storm moves on and roads are cleared.

    Even if you clear the snow, but I don't know where you will put it, here horses seem to get around fine on the little bit is left on the ground after clearing it.

    Now, if you had a sheet of ice first, then that is a different problem.


    • #3
      I'd leave the snow alone. I think your horses will love playing in it. Mine are out, barefoot, have access to shelter, and they still choose to stay out. If the snow is packed down (plowed) seems to me they'd lose traction.
      We're supposed to get 8-10 inches down here.
      Where is global warming when we need it????


      • #4
        WOW, Bluey, you must be in West Texas!!!!


        • #5
          I'd leave it. My horses have done fine in deep snow. We got 22" of the stuff last month (not a usual occurrence here in NoVA). Both my horses enjoyed plowing their way around in it, dropping and rolling to make "snow horse angels", etc.

          As long as they have a place to get out of it (stalls, barn overhang or other covered area), they should be fine.

          While snow does make barn chores a bit more difficult, I love how clean my horses stay (until it melts down to the mud!).
          Equus Keepus Brokus


          • #6
            Originally posted by 3dogfarm View Post
            WOW, Bluey, you must be in West Texas!!!!
            TX panhandle, I-40 is closed from one end to the other, as are most other roads.
            No one is going anywhere for now.

            We don't clear snow, because here it melts in a few days.
            We may around the buildiings, to get around better, but it is a mess to try to find a place to go with all that snow.

            At least it is moisture, so no one is complaining.

            I hope those getting this snow in the East won't get ice first, that is what is really bad.


            • #7
              Only problem is snowbals in their hooves. Had to soak feet in warm water last time. Getting ready to fight the battle again tonight! We don't have pads or rims because it never snows like this in Kentucky and as soon as I put them on, it won't snow again!


              • #8
                One concern with electric fence is that your fence may short out if a strand is under the snow. We will pull the plug on our fencer most likely. We are close to the NC/VA border where the heaviest snow is forecast. Like you, we are trying to get ready.

                I am putting round bales out in all the pastures today as close to the shelters and the leeward side (from prevailing winds as I can get them...so they can hole up in there and eat with a windbreak. Keeping water open is a problem for us as we don't have heaters on most of our large tanks. There is no power source close to the back pastures so running drop cords is not practical. We will probably be carrying warm water out daily to keep the ice and mess down to them and as long as we keep the water open in the barn, we should be OK.

                There is one shod horse on our farm...a boarder's horse so he'll be the only one we'll have an issue with snowballs. That is a relief to not have to mess with that too much.

                We have plenty of hay and feed on hand and a stocked fridge. We are as ready as we can be. My biggest worry is a power outage. UGH...in which case we will move into our living quarters trailer with a propane furnace. At least we will have some heat. Our house is all electric and one of these days when we get finished remodeling it, we will have a wood burning stove.


                • #9
                  I just got back after walking thru 5' snow drifts and I am 4'11".

                  Who would have tought 140' from house to barn could have that many big snow drifts built in one night?

                  As soon as this clears, I am getting snow shoes, so I can WALK over the snow drifts next time.
                  I miss the bulldozer, thought we would not need it in the plains, like we did living in the canyons.

                  All is fine otherwise here, sure hope those of you waiting don't have it too hard.


                  • #10
                    If you're in a more temperate climate where deep snow is very rare, it will probably be gone within a few days. Definitely be as prepared ahead of time as you can be, and make things as easy on yourself as you can with expectations of closed roads, etc. I would leave the snow alone--the horses will probably enjoy it. If they're out all the time any snowballs in their feet won't bother them. If/when you bring them in, just pick them out as needed.

                    Stock up the fridge, fill the tanks with gas/fuel, make sure you have enough hay thrown down for a few days, check on things that you don't want to get buried and "found" later with a snow shovel--pick 'em up and put 'em away now. (dog toys + snow blowers = not good)

                    Button up and enjoy!
                    Click here before you buy.


                    • #11
                      We got 2' at our place in the Dec. blizzard here in VA. Luckily we're in the 6-8" forecast range this time.

                      It was a huge PIA and my horses stayed in the first two days but hubby did take the tractor and blade and clear a path in the barnyard. Thank God he did because a few days later I had a colicky horse that I needed to walk and there is NO WAY I'd have been able to walk him in 2' of snow. So I'd at least recommend making yourself a walking path. My horses were fine out in their pastures, I just threw a ton of hay. They're all barefoot so I was lucky in that respect.

                      Make sure you have plenty of water on hand if you don't have a generator, plenty of hay easily accessible, and that you're stocked up on grain in case you can't get out for a couple of days. You'll be fine.

                      We still have snow on the ground in places around here (where there were snowbanks) from that Dec. storm. I'm just glad it's going farther south this time!!! Sorry, but it's your turn!


                      • #12
                        I wouldn't worry about clearing it. We get bad drifts around here and mine purposely plow RIGHT through the middle of the drift. There was be one drift in the entire pasture and they'll hit it. One mini tried it and got to the top and fell straight down in the middle of it! Totally covered mini. Luckily he didn't do that again and we were more careful with the drifts in theirs! fyi... not only horses with shoes get snowballs. I think I read someone say that. My horses aren't shod and I have to chisel snow and ice from their feet every single night there's snow on the ground. It starts packing in their frogs and just builds from there! Usually also attaching to the hair on the back of the hooves, etc. I HATE winter.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                          Only problem is snowbals in their hooves. Had to soak feet in warm water last time. Getting ready to fight the battle again tonight! We don't have pads or rims because it never snows like this in Kentucky and as soon as I put them on, it won't snow again!
                          Try spraying cooking oil spray on their feet....it works great on the snowplows, so should help on feet, too!
                          "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James

                          Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.


                          • #14

                            Just take a deep breath; pour a glass of wine, build a fire and enjoy it! Honest! Stop worrying!
                            I grew up in Norfolk (Ocean View!) so I know how ya'll think about snow down yonder and trust me! YOU ain't gonna die! Your horses will be fine and may provide you with some fun entertainment when some finally accumulates on the ground!
                            Get some photos! OH...and Bluey is just trying to SCARE us with her drift & the barn pictures! Yikes!
                            The problem w/snow is the drama we give to it! Keep a sense of humor, call your neighbors & invite them over for a chili or tv watching party!
                            Get prepared then just let it happen!
                            and yes...horses DO make snow angels.....imagine what my draft crosses make! Looks like an elephant layed down there and had a seizure or something!
                            And besides....it melts quickly here in ole Virginny compared to the rest of the US. We don't get any sympathy ya know!!


                            • Original Poster

                              Thanks everyone!! Done with the prep - just wait to see which forecast will pan out - 6-10 inches or 12 - 16 inches . Well cookie makin stuff in for the kids - fridge full of beer for me and DH - firewood moved into the garage - think were set.

                              Bluey - some drifts - these horses probably have never seen anything like that.

                              Daydream believer - Your close to me, but more inland so you'll probably get it worst there. I'm right on the coast. We too have the fear of power outage - only because it takes days usually to get it back on.

                              Delta - I hope your right, but it doesn't look like we'll have temps warm enough to melt for a while. Our area doesn't have much in the way of snow removing equipment so it will need to melt especially on the secondary roads. They never get to them.

                              I'm a nothern transplant so love the snow - we just don't get it like this so little in the way of proper snow play (waterproof) clothes, but we'll make due.

                              Everyone in the path of this storm stay warm, safe and enjoy it if you can.


                              • #16
                                The latest is 6-12" in Fredericksburg.
                                Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.


                                • #17
                                  Well, I grew up in the mountains of Pennsylvania and then spent three years in Northern New York near Watertown...the winter "never never land" of the East...so I know what snow is and what to do. I can even drive in it if I have to...but I suspect that few others around here have a clue. We will stay put short of an emergency.

                                  The hassle here is that there is no infrastructure to manage snow removal and if it stays cold, it will take days to get the roads cleared. It looks like it will stay cold so this could turn into a several day shut in event.

                                  I am mostly worried about the outside horses. I know they are hardy and tough and all have good coats (those who need blankets have them on) but it still worries me as this is much worse weather than they are used to. Our normal high's around here this time of year are 50F!!!

                                  We put round hay bales out for all of them either inside their sheds or as close to the shed's opening as we felt safe doing. Some get along better than others).

                                  For several horses that were born here, this will be their first real snowfall. We've had an inch or two that lasted a few hours for the last few years, but this will definitely be a respectable storm no matter where you live and what you are used to. If we get a foot or more, I saw that we are in the running for the top 3 snowfall's recorded ever.

                                  They are calling for 12 to 16 inches here at this point.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by ddb View Post

                                    Daydream believer - Your close to me, but more inland so you'll probably get it worst there. I'm right on the coast. We too have the fear of power outage - only because it takes days usually to get it back on.
                                    We managed to get a 8 KW generator today from Lowes so we will be OK in that respect at least. We have enough fuel for a few days on hand also.


                                    • #19
                                      I actually do clean out the snow in the sacrifice paddock, with a snowblower (it's about 30 x 40 feet) and the reason I do it is that when it melts it just adds to the muck factor. It doesn't get slippery because all our footprints and their hoofprints over it end up making the necessary traction. If it weren't for the melt --> muck issue I would probably leave it alone.


                                      • #20
                                        Well, we have at least six inches on the ground and it's coming down fast and hard. The wind is picking up too...which is my worry more than the snow. The horses are doing great. The yearlings have the option to stand in a shedrow run in and eat hay but they are out in the middle of their pasture running around and checking out the snow.

                                        I have no idea what the roads are like but no snowplows have been down our back road. I think canceling Pilates today was a good idea!