On Sunday it rained and then froze... then a few inches of snow. So the pastures and pretty much pure ice. Is there anything I can really do to avoid my horse getting hurt? I went up to the barn last night to find that all of the horses were in the barn, the BO was in the hospital all weekend for treatment so her dad brought them in and didnt let them back out because of the icy conditions. I let April out in the arena for a couple hours while I cleaned and she had a few close calls with slipping but really wanted nothing to do with being out there... even the walk to the arena was a bit edgy since she wasnt sure footed and was getting worked up about it.
So what do you do when everything is engulfed in ice??? I have a hard time walking on it.
We have had snow on the ground since November 25th here at our farm. Right now I have about 1 foot + of fresh on the ground and it continues. As I have boarders I have to keep it safely cleared for them to use the common areas, parking and access to the stable. I am lucky to have a tractor which I use to move most of the snow but find I have to shovel alot too. After I clear the snow I put down a special salt mixture that de-ices and seems to have good staying power. Sometimes I have to do this 2 or 3 times a day depending on the temperature. However, be careful as it is very caustic and will hurt dogs feet.
This time of year, the horses are in the stalls for the night but I like to have them out during the day and they all have access to outside stalls. If I can not manage the ice in the access areas and in front of the outside facilities they stay in the stalls until I can get it cleared up. If needed, I can turn them out into the arena. Since most of my access areas are cement, it also helps to throw some gravel down with the salt if it gets really bad. If necessary I let my boarders know what our weather and turn-out situation is via email in the morning.
I hate to say but the only way I have found to manage our ice is through hard work and use of a good product. Happy winter from the pre-alps in Switzerland!
Thanks, it is just tough for me because i am the only boarder on a private place. i dont have access to the tools to clear the ice and snow. I feel bad for my horse cause I knew she wanted to run and play but she was very leary of her footing (almost walking on her tips of her toes) Thanks again!!!!
Angel are you a member of the TCCT group? If not today an email went out about this exact thing because we are also here in Minnesota. They said to lay salt (like what you would use in your water softner) then lay fresh manure or the wet shaving from the stalls, that way as the salt makes the ice melt once it does refreeze the wet shaving and broken up manure will freeze and give a better grip in the ice.
We are holding up hopes for warm 20 degree weather tomorrow!! lol good luck.
Looks like it might get to 17F today here and the snow is going to hold off till tonight.
Thanks again for that!!!
Just a tip for yourself and walking on ice. Believe it or not, slipping an old tubesock OVER your shoe/boot, mainly at the toe, will give you a decent grip. Not enough to go running or anything, but you will be able to walk a little easier. Works on solid sheets of ice.
For the horses, they are pretty smart about not running when the footing isn't too grand. Problem is when you keep them up all the time and they get full of energy so they may overdo it when they finally get out. Mine have 24/hr turn out, and choose to stay in most of the time if the footing is bad, but do venture out to stretch their legs throughout the day. Yes, the potential to slip or pull a muscle is there, but I'd rather them take it easy a few times a day vs. being cooped up and running full speed later on when it's muddy.
Your welcome Angel, I know it felt like a heat wave today didn't it!!! lol If you would like to become a member of the TCCT group do a MSN search for twin cities combined training. It is a yahoo group where all equestrians can post all kinds of questions and concerns. It is for anyone in the Mpls / St. Paul and surrounding areas.
Once you have done the search it should come up as the 3rd one down "TCCTList:" click on it and you should see a picture of a dressage rider, then in the right corner it says Join this group.
Snow should be coming in about an hour from what I hear but hopefully it will only be the 2 inches they are talking about. I am not looking forward to the storm on Satr. though!!
Barefoothooves- Thanks for the advice. I wish she was outside more, before the BO got sick she was out most of the day and then brought in at night because she doesnt have much for any wind breaks at this time. April seems pretty cautious about how she steps and moves when she is outside (big relief for me!!!) She is also barefooted so we dont have any problems with slippery shoes or anything. When she is turned out though she likes to run the fence back and forth till I bring her back in the barn, Im not sure why she started that because before I moved to the cities she was outside usually 24/7 (unless she wanted in)
prbygenny- I was happy to see just a light dusting when I got up this morning!!! Im not sure where you are at but im west metro and my horse is kept north of Anoka. I will get to escape the storm this weekend since we are headed to TX for Christmas. I will look in the group when I get the chance... thanks for informing me of it!!!
Have a great day all!!!!
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