The opinions expressed in previous entries may or may not express the current opinion of the author.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Water and Food

Yesterday afternoon, with a high of 28F forecast for the next day, I decided it was now or never.  Time to put the new stock tank heater into action. In the gathering darkness, I dumped the ice and water out of the tank and moved it to a location closer to an electric source. The horses milled about, wondering what on earth I was up to.

Here is George inspecting the heater, which has been plugged into the tank's drain hole. We used to use a floating heater, but I'd put money on a certain Miss Bridget being unable to resist the temptation to play with such a thing. I walked back and forth with buckets of water until the heater was well submerged, as per the instructions.

Of course they also tell you on no account to use the heater with an extension cord. Ha! They're kidding, right? I hung the extension cord in the trees to keep it away from the dogs.

This morning I scurried over to the tank to see if the whole rig had functioned as hoped for. Hooray! Liquid H2O!

If I schlep two or three bucketfuls of water two or three times a day, it'll get gradually fuller. Our trusty standpipe never freezes, unless I'm foolish enough to leave a hose attached to it.

Of course what I really want is for Santa to bring me a heated hose. I'm not sure if 100 feet would do it, though, and then then there's the problem of Lucy, who likes to decimate hose pipe.

Lucy also thinks it's fun to chew ice,

while Malcolm enjoys leftover beet pulp.

Speaking of beet pulp, I bring the bucket in to the kitchen to soak, so that it's not all freezing for the horses to eat. The bucket is not food-grade plastic, but it has a handy snap-on lid. I'm afraid it's bad for you to eat out of the wrong kind of plastic. Need to go to the restaurant supply store and look for a healthy bucket-with-lid.

I don't know what it is, but the horses are giving off a well-fed vibe. Thanks to Sandra, I've switched to feeding beet pulp and chopped forage (as well as hay, of course). The horses seem to be thriving on it, and I like that I can give them large portions as compared to the more concentrated grain-based feeds. Even after a day and a half straight of 40 mph winds in freezing temperatures, the horses seemed quite at ease with life. Even George, although he does his rocking-horse dinner dance when I show up with the feed, waits quite politely while I mix up the buckets.

Breakfast time is happy time.


  1. George certainly looks in excellent condition! Another thing I love about beet pulp, it is great to feed warm when it's cold. The equine equivalent of having porridge for breakfast and stew for dinner. My two love it!

  2. I love Lucy's jacket. What a cutie she is.
    Griffin enjoys beet pulp too. He gets a senior feed additive with his daily ration that contains beet pulp. He just loves it! ....and it also helps him keep his weight up, being an older guy.

  3. It's rifle season, so the dogs have to wear their orange jackets!