12-28-2012, 01:32 PM
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We don't have water running in our barn currently. We put out a 150 rubbermaid tank as close as we could to the house. Then we ran pvc pipe all the way to the tank; we were able to hang ours along a fence that separates two pastures. To fill the tank, we hook up a 100' hose to the house and to the closest end of the pvc pipe to fill the tank. I've seen people use this "pvc extension" over hundreds of feet; it's nice if you can get a slight downhill slope so it drains in the winter.
There is a waterer made for cattle that has a floating ball in a hole. When the animal wants to drink it pushes the ball down. When it is done, the ball pops back up to seal the hole.
I know there are solar powered stock tank heaters, but they are expensive and I have to wonder how much heat they can produce. They do make solar powered aerators that, depending on how cold it gets, might keep the water form freezing. There are also batter powered heaters.
When I was boarding my horses while I was in school, the facility had no electric to where my horses were. I dug a hold, set a tank down into it (about half way deep), and then used horse manure to fill in to the top of the tank. Kept the tank from freezing most days (and these were Iowa winters). I'd have to add manure from time to time as it broke down. One of the other boarders simply piled horse manure up around her horses buckets daily to keep them from freezing.
It helps tremendously to: 1) cover the tank with a dark cover leaving only space large enough for the horse to get its head down to drink; 2) insulating the outside of the tank with good insulation; 3) set the tank on good insulation.