Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Cold Care

with 6 comments

Yesterday, while cleaning the horse stalls for the second time in two days, it occurred to me that keeping the horses indoors overnight creates a situation a lot like taking care of 4 very large bed wetters.

DSCN2679eDSCN2677e.

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It’s a lot of work to give them clean accommodations every single night. I’ve been spoiled by not needing to change their bedding when they stay outdoors, which is most of the time.

The last couple of days I’ve been bringing them inside at dinner time, and then before we go to bed, we walk down to the barn with Delilah to make sure they have enough hay and water for the night.

Even though it was starting to get pretty windy and the temperature had dropped below zero outside last night, the unheated barn felt pretty comfortable in comparison. It’s a nice thing to have this option for the horses.

On Tuesday morning, before letting them back outside for the day, I went to top off the hay in the slow feeder boxes. I discovered that the metal rods of my custom-welded grids that lay on top of the hay were so cold that things were sticking to them. I wondered if the horses were having problems with that. I sure wouldn’t want to put my tongue on that metal at these temperatures.

I decided to remove the grids for the coldest days, and let them have full access to the hay. Horses burn more calories to stay warm, so they need as much hay as they can get right now, anyway.

Pretty much like they did last winter, our horses seem to be dealing with the current extreme cold snap just fine. Their whiskers get a bit frosty, but other than that, they haven’t shown any negative effects from the frigid temperatures.

DSCN2682eThat’s more than I can say for Delilah. The pads of her feet bother her whenever it gets below zero. Despite that, she has continued to be exceptionally patient with me when I am working with the horses.

Here she is, politely waiting for me to finish so I can take her for an abbreviated below-zero walk.

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Written by johnwhays

January 7, 2015 at 7:00 am

6 Responses

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  1. Your horses are gorgeous! I bet they appreciate being in the stall. I’m mean and force mine to stay outside, but it doesn’t get nearly as cold where I am.

    Courtney

    January 7, 2015 at 10:18 am

    • Courtney, you are not mean to leave them out, of course, as that is where they are meant to be when it is not dangerously cold! Our beautiful horses are a true gift to behold. We leave them out as often as possible. (My preference, you know, because that means less cleanup!) We are lucky to have them to care for and learn from. Thank you for writing your compliment to them!

      johnwhays

      January 7, 2015 at 10:32 am

  2. LOL, 4 giant bedwetters!! wow, horses are a lot more work than I ever realized.. a true labor of love. I love driving by the farms and fields here and seeing the horses, cows and sheep but now I have a better appreciation for the caretakers of these beautiful animals.

    Cynthia

    January 7, 2015 at 10:04 am

    • Cynthia, you are so right! A lot of work, yet a true labor of love. The animals return the love in so many ways, which is a precious bonus.

      johnwhays

      January 7, 2015 at 10:26 am

  3. Love your horses, they are beautiful!

    C´Ubuntu

    January 7, 2015 at 7:26 am

    • Yes, Dunia, you know them personally and I am so grateful for your continued thoughts for them from afar! Cyndie was just talking about the day we were walking all 4 together and you called to Cyndie that Dezirea needed her to be present, when Cyndie was trying to step away toward the house for a moment. We try to be just as attentive to them still. A gift of your example for us!

      johnwhays

      January 7, 2015 at 10:24 am


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