Monday, January 14, 2013

Buckets and Breaking Ice

First of all, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who left encouraging comments on my show posts.  Since I primarily train Winston on my own, I feel like all my followers are my "barn."  Axel is a tough judge, but he was very fair in his comments and marks.  I feel encouraged and enthusiastic about my dressage journey with Winston.

I have homework between now and the next show.  I need to get Winston's canter consistently forward and responsive.  He needs to carry himself at canter and I need to stop swinging my upper body.  I'm working far too hard.  I also need to get very firm with the Winster on his manners.  He is good about respecting my space because I consistently enforce it but he still tries to head butt people.  He did it to Brett at the show and the buckle on his bridle caught the back of Brett's hand slicing it open.  I always tell him "no" but I can tell I need to really get after him when he does it; make him back up; make his life not so happy.  Gayle commented that he did it to her (or tried) and he can't be thinking he's in charge.  I have to keep his "appy-tude" in check. 

Last night we got home well after dark so Brett just left the trailer hitched to the truck and parked in front of the barn.  It was bitter cold when we got back up our mountain.  The minute Brett stopped the truck Winston started up kicking and carrying on.  let me out!!  I put him in his stall and then went back to the trailer to get his blanket.  When I came back into the barn, he was in his turn out touching noses with Tuffy through the pipe corral... and he doesn't even like Tuffy.  Once his blanket was on, I opened the turnout and Winston gleefully trotted out to join the herd.  Brett and I hightailed it back to the house -- which was freezing cold. 

Brett was up at 5am this morning for work.  With him gone, the temperature in the bed dropped drastically.  I put a hoodie on and pulled the covers up, sleeping another hour.  The cold windy weather followed us home from the desert.  It has been in the teens at night for the past four nights and highs are not getting out of the 30s.  We turned off the water in the barn before we left so the pipes wouldn't burst.  The water is still off because nothing is thawing.  After feeding and picking up manure, I worked on the water situation.  I filled a watering can with hot water from the house and used it to thaw the water in the chicken pen.  Then I broke the ice on all the water troughs and buckets, topping them off with water I hauled in a bucket from the house.  I thought of Lori Skoog hauling water out to her barn every day in the winter to soften the beet pulp for her horses.  My hat is off to her and all of you who live in cold winter climates.  It takes forever. 

As luck would have it, Brett had to deal with an arrest at the end of his shift so he will be home late from work.  That meant I got to do ice patrol along with feeding again tonight since I managed to get home from work before dark.  The weather is supposed to warm up this week, hitting 60 by the weekend.  I'm so ready! 


  1. Regardless of the temperature, your photo is gorgeous! About hauling water and beet pulp in the winter. With two horses, I measure one cup of beet pulp pellets (no mol.)in a covered container and take it into the house, where I cover it with about 3 inches of warm water. Leave it there until the next feeding and it fluffs up (to about 5 cups...3 for Berlin 2 for Abbe) before I mix it with their Safe Choice. No biggie. They also have a heated water trough and I put out a bucket under the shed roof each morning. At night they each get a gallon of hot water added to their buckets which encourages them to drink more. Nothing has frozen so far. Fortunately we have a hydrant in the barn (just cold water). Your nights have been colder than ours. Again, good job this weekend.

  2. BRRRR! Two years ago, everything froze solid for two weeks. Even the water coming into our house froze, but we managed to get it going again. I kept several dustbins full of water in an empty stable. I had to crack the ice evry day to get water for the horses but it worked. When we had used them up, we refilled from the kitchen tap and hauled them back to the yard. That was for five horses - thank goodness I never had to do it when I had fifteen horses in the yard!

  3. I think the water work is just more accepted by those that actually live where you KNOW it will get cold. Doesn't make it anymore fun, ya just do it. Tank heaters for sure are a blessing (although expensive to run). Glad you got home safe and sound and it will be warming up (here too - we were at +20 this morning rather than -20 of yesterday).

  4. Yep, winter makes things harder. We are climbing out of a string of negative temps. 4 area schools had to close due to broken pipes. All is well on the ranch, knock on wood.

  5. Ah yes, iced over water...we had that this week to. The temps were dipping to 19 degrees several nights....made for two inch thick ice..or inthe chickens case solid bucketful of ice....insteadof rolling out the hose, I chose to bucket warm water out from the house...filled two buckets for the chickens, a 10 gal trough (40gal trough that has a break in it that causes it to be a 10 gal) then filed a 40 gal, and half of the 150 gal trough...A great thing is, I use these green containers that I get cat litter from costco in, holds about 5 gal of water, has a lid to keep the water from slopping over, and a handle to carry it is a reuse of something, :) I also use them to store water in case of power us water to flush toilets, or water animals....used it this summer to carry water for the horses when we went camping....

  6. Oh Annette I cannot believe the cold you are having down there. Good luck. It is warm here but turning very cold in the next few days. I think our world is upside down. Take care. Love the pic. B

  7. First of all I'm glad that you and Winston had such a good show!

    The best investment I ever made was to have a small heater in my tack room. It's also my feed room so the beet pulp is prepared in there! I also always have 2 buckets in there so I can swap out the frozen for the thawed.

    I also love my insulated coverall for freezing weather.


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