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Winterizing

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  • Winterizing

    Getting things around for winter. Ordered 2 rainsheet and a light blanket to stay ahead of possible needs as it gets colder. The two horses in training needed 2 rainsheet to stay dry and sort of clean over at the Trainers. She said they both like standing out instead of inside their shed during the rain. Then rolling in mud GREATLY increases grooming time, so they needed covers. Ok, I then had one extra rainsheet for the older horse, until Trainer called to tell me Lia had torn off her front buckles, needed another rainsheet! At least they were on sale, with good price reductions.

    Weather has been "wet" the last couple days, ditch is running fast, lots of standing water. Horses were soaked last might and it was snowing. Still have some snow stuck on the north side of things this morning. Got my tall boots on for turning out! I keep checking for rainrot, this is certainly the conditions for it. Husband did manage to sneak in a drive in the arena with the Pair on Tuesday. He said it is interesting that they seem to like the marathon carriage better than the lighter funline carriage on air filled tires. Arena sand drains well, very firm being wet, so pulling either vehicle is not hard. They are improving at stop and stand quiet. Gave him a lovely back up too.

    Took my stuff to Topeka Saturday, it was controlled mayhem with consigners, a horse auction going on and.....rain! I planned to go back Monday but did not. Afraid if prices were low I might buy my stuff back! Having the room they took up is nice. Also heard the weather report of only 3 nice days, then snow. So I stayed home, cleaned my gardens, hauled the cut foliage. Amazing to me how much foliage the plants produce each year. Why do i have so much garden? Put covers on some of the roses, picked the last bud and some hydrangeas to dry.. Then rearranged outside things for clearance when snow plowing, checked fences for loose staples. Still need to move tractor implements into their winter parking area, but it has to be weed whacked first. It is a 2-person job, one hitching, unhitching, other one driving and parking them. Otherwise climbing on and off tractor gets very time consuming. I got a lot done which was good because Wed was NOT nice as promised, rainy most of the day.

    Need to get winter insulated tanks out and in place. Who knows when it will freeze?! Still have a couple bags of flower bulbs to plant after the rain stops so they don't drown in the holes. Ha ha I told the Trainer we would be picking up horses around the 15th, so we are not caught with trying to come home in icy weather. I would like to get them now, but the full month is not over until the 15th. HOPING they don't get snowed in like the horse there did 2yrs ago. He was there until Dec!!

    Starting to feed hay, though grazing is still available. Picking up apples daily from the neighbors tree hanging over the fence. They enjoy apples for supper. When it dries some, I will be clipping legs, shortening tails, to let hair dry faster, avoid mudballs, ice, dragging hair thru mud and snow.. Tails grow back by spring. Got things inside barn and sheds arranged better, despite the rain. I feel pretty prepared for winter, with the exception of having the training horses home. Have to see if we can keep horses worked over winter.

  • #2
    So, like Sam Elliot in the movie "Road House", you'll sleep when you're dead...

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by DinkyDonk View Post
      So, like Sam Elliot in the movie "Road House", you'll sleep when you're dead...
      Ha ha, it does seem like it sometimes!

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      • #4
        Winter surprised me here.
        Tuesday was damp & chilly, Wednesday a bit less dreary, then came Thursday....
        Drizzle turned to snow by noon, with a strong West wind. Continued until the evening, then temps fell to low 30s.
        I think we ended up with 2 or 3 inches of wet snow that was still on the ground this morning.
        But sun & temps near 40 disappeared the snow by noon.

        Of course, I had put off installing the de-icers.
        So horses' 50 gal barrel had a good 1/2" of ice & fish (stock)tank had a thinner skin with the fountain pump still unfrozen so there was a spot open on the surface.
        I had never unplugged the heated buckets in the stalls, so water was available.
        Ice was broken, heaters put in place - sinking for the horses, with cord run through PVC & weighted with cinder block, floating for the fish.
        ​​​​​​
        Chickens declined leaving the coop.
        The 3 young roosters had never seen snow & were not going to chance walking on it.
        Not even for their favorite treat of Cheerios.

        I got stalls rebedded with fresh pellets.
        Horses have been doing me the favor of not using the stalls as toilets, so not much to pick.
        But last night was nasty, so this morning I labored.

        ​​​​​​Guess I should get used to the Winter routine.
        Already layering & broke out the fleece.
        I need new barn boots for snow this year.
        Time to see what Goodwill has.

        Having my annual Snowbird Wishes.
        Some day.....
        *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
        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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        • #5
          I've learned (the hard way) better to get winter tanks set up the first week of October with heaters in place so all you have to do is plug them in; dig out the horse blankets and have them hanging, ready to go on beasties. IMO, nothing worse than having to do the above in a freak blizzard/arctic express. I'm getting wiser with age I guess.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            2 Dogs, I bet it was nice to get back inside and put your feet up! We had a pretty good day Friday, sun came and went, water running off nicely. Got half a bucket of apples after the wind went thru! Now raining again, so outside stuff put off another day. Husband remarked we had one week of early fall weather, needing one-layer sweatshirts. Then straight into coats with insulation and stocking caps, warm gloves! High 30Fs, low 40Fs, but windy.

            Our tank ice was just a slight layer, easy for horses to break for drinks. I want the filly to know how to do that, might be useful to her at a later time. She does learn by watching, very smart. We have the insulated bucket holders in the barn stalls, which do keep buckets unfrozen until it gets into the teens, then is just a skim they can break. My electric buckets, tub, are put away until it gets very cold. Don't need them presently. Having lots of stuff plugged in at the barn makes me nervous. Husband needs to look at the insulated tank boxes before we put them out, to be sure they are in good repair.

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            • #7
              goodhors It is early Winter here, temps averaging 10 degrees less than "normal"
              But I know some day (soon) 40F will feel like a holiday, so I layer up, get out & enjoy getting back to my electric fireplace.

              Horses are all nicely plushy for winter, the mini is a Yak.
              And they continue to use the Great Outdoors over the stalls for pooping purposes
              The de-icer & 3 heated buckets are the only things plugged in, so {knock wood} I don't worry.
              I know there are horror stories of melting buckets, but at 15yo, mine do not even get more than a tinge warm even when near empty.
              I refill 3X daily and mostly they are drinking from the trough/barrel. Buckets stay filled or at most, 2/3 down.

              I am keeping Winter Blahs at bay thinking about the Ntl Drive Spring Fling and/or Indiana Whips & Wheels clinics at Hoosier Horse Park.
              Bugs & I need to polish our Dressage & up our Marathon Game.

              Hope to GTG again.
              I will even take you to the 100+yo ice cream parlor in Columbus - a mere 20min drive from HHP
              *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
              Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Well winter arrived today, surprising us again! Last night's weather said snow showers on Monday, but there is at least 6 inches of white stuff and more expected. Temps now supposed to keep dropping for a couple days!

                Sure not what we had Sunday! Ha ha Got the gelding home on clear roads, just wearing a 2 layer canvas (breathable) blanket in the stock trailer. We did put up the wood sides to prevent wind on him. He was pretty warm under the blanket when we unloaded, so it must have been too heavy.. He was turned out with another horse this morning and enjoyed the snow. Much zipping around blanketless, rolling, puffing up clouds of fluffy snow. His sister stayed at the Trainer, just in the process of hitching the cart with her.

                Husband wants more hitching before she comes home. Trainer and husband are using long lines, leadline, driving her from the ground still. Don't want her to have any bad experiences. She is only 4, a bit juvenile silly and reactive. Taking more time is best. She is there "alone". No family with her now, so she has to manage by herself. Always changes to get used to for young horses. There still are at least 14 other horses around her, just not her brother!

                Got most of our other winterizing things done, so any plowing will be easy. Insulated water tank heaters working fine. Horses drinking from tanks well. Hose is in the slightly heated tack room, for filling stall buckets and tanks. Found all the hats, gloves, mittens, boots, for cold weather. Hoping snow melts in a few days, so I can get my bulbs planted! They were pretty low on my list, may have to plant them in pots with bagged dirt, then let them freeze for winter.

                Driving anyplace is terrible. Folks going too fast for conditions, sliding off the roads or causing others to get in trouble avoiding the speeder. 4WD is NOT going to keep you safe at speed! Semi truck accidents closing the expressway. Road workers trying to keep things plowed and salted for better travel in the heavy snow. Glad I can stay at home until better conditions arrive!

                Comment


                • #9
                  goodhors, I saw the Michigan snow totals and thought about you. Glad you are doing OK. I hate to gloat, but I am so glad I moved to South Carolina! Where I used to live in Colorado is getting clobbered with snow regularly.

                  Rebecca

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                  • #10
                    Winter has hit us here in Ontario quickly as well! Several inches of snow and down to -17C at night. Too cold, too snowy this early!! Yuck!

                    Glad to hear you were able to get things all in order before the cold/snow goodhors. We saw our forecast and we were able to get our water put away, heated outdoor buckets out etc before the freeze. The crappy thing is we had our last horse show a few days ago and went down to Toronto in the snow/sleet and salt all over our new trailer. We came home on Sunday with below freezing temps so we were unable to give the trailer a wash. We have to wait until this weekend where the temps go above freezing...

                    Poor ponies were body clipped for the show but do have 2 blankets on, one being a heavy winter with attached hood so all that is expose is the head and legs. Our barn stays warm and they do come in at night, so they are coping well.

                    Glad to hear your mare is doing well and you are taking your time with her. Its so worth it in the end, as I'm sure you know!

                    We get a lot of accidents here as well, people forgetting how to drive...my husband is a firefighter so he gets to see all the accidents!

                    Happy early winter everyone!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't want you to hate me too much (#yesIdo) but this is a picture of Xan and I "winterizing" last Saturday.

                      If it makes you feel better (#itwon't), coming back from Florida was not fun, it's going to be 24 tonight in Atlanta, and that is just beyond the pale for this time of year. Xan was supposed to do an hour of walking yesterday and get today off, but by the time I winterized the place I was too exhausted to hitch him up, especially since everything was still in the trailer.
                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        DMK, hope you got sunburned! It will keep you warm outside! Gloating has to be fun, but it was short because then you came home to Winter. Ha ha We had liquid water in puddles Saturday, but we did need coats too.

                        Supposed to drop down a lot tonight to quite cold, then warmer by the weekend. A lot melted today in the BRIGHT sun. At least they are pretty clean rolling in the snow!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh man!! No fair!! We got about 6" last night and it was -20C this morning. Crazy cold!! Looks like you had lots of fun and even 24 is pretty nice! Could be worse lol!

                          Enjoy!

                          goodhors - thats what I said yesterday, socks are all clean and winter blankets are spotless. No mud left on them. For now at least lol!

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