Another Cold Weather Rant... Warning LONG Rant - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By RhondaLynn
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-28-2014, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 346
• Horses: 7
Another Cold Weather Rant... Warning LONG Rant

This streak of bad luck has to end right?

First a week or so ago my well pump went out in my barns... its only 1 1/2 yrs old, practically just replaced it... So every day twice a day i water the horses running a hose from the basement thru the coal chute and out across the drive to the horse pasture. This past week the wind and cold was horrible sub zero temps, and i have to stand in that wind guarding the hose from mouthy horses... Then truck water buckets to the barn for Belle and Cherokee... I had a working system that was working great until last night....

I get everything ready to go, hose outside and i tip over the 100 gallon rubber tub to knock the snow and ice out. Tip it back over and notice something aint right... THERES A BLEEPING HOLE AT THE BOTTOM!!!! I was livid... I had nothing else to put water in, nothing that could keep the amount of water like this tub could, and after nearly all other feesable buckets had cracks or holes in them... and my horses were thirsty... at 4 in the morning.

So I go to my boss and ask if he has anything he can spare, and turns out he doesnt- not without a lot of cold hard work to get it ready... and it was an expensive plastic lick tank tub... nope my horses break plastic. So i scrounge around my barns at home and find an old "muck bucket" that never had muck in it but still i needed to rinse it. Go to rinse it and find MY HOSE IS FROZE!!! And its hooked up to a running hot water heater... go figure. So I shove the hose back into the basement.

Go back in side and the light is burnt out in the basement. Go up stairs get a light bulb. Go back down stairs and bad bulb wont come out. Go up stairs to get work gloves to protect hands. Go back downstairs bad bulb comes out real nice, plug in new, but light aint coming on... go back up stairs turn light on.... remember hot water bucket half back down stairs .. get hot water bucket back down stairs...

So i pour the hot water onto the nozzle of the hose. When i figured it should be enough i try to turn the nozzle on... i BREAK THE LEVER....

So I search EVERYWHERE for a pliers but you think i can find one in the house? No. Hubby's car NO. The Garage? NOOO!!! ?So back to boss i go. Find pliers? Yes. Go back home.

Get back down to the hose and first twist... off comes the remainder of the lever and water spurts in my face.... So i just tear the nozzle off the hose, I've reached wits end... lost my give a hoot.

Water coming sluggishly but melting the ice. Toss it back out the coal chute. Hose slithers back down immediately. Toss it back out and toss some more... hose slinkies back. Frustrated, i just toss the entire length, fighting it tooth and nail to get it all out the coal chute with out it falling and threathen its inanimate life if by the time i get out there it is not still out there i would destroy it. It was still out there....

Watered the horses froze my hands, probably will have mild frostbite (lost gloves long ago- they was soaked anyway). Put hose away, turned water off, closed the coal chute... got ready for bed as Hubby got ready for work... 6 am now.

Later that morning 11 am.. Before work i grab the water bucket in the pasture, not broke thank goodness. Put it outside of the fence so it stays that way. Come home from work at lunch (1) find bucket mysteriously back in the pasture and no broken fence... fence was hot. Hope it was worth it horse.

Leave for town to buy METAL TANKS! Went to Fleet farm... entered the building and left 3 times in under 30 mins.
1. entered bought all the stuffs, fill out form to have them find the receipt for well pump to get a new one- gonna take about 2 weeks they said.... (how many well pumps did they sell that particular day... at that store... sheesh)
2. Go around back to pick up my METAL tubs.... the guys bring out PLASTIC... NO NO NO NO! I guess the tag i picked up underneath the METAL tub was for the invisible PLASTIC tub. Go back inside and "exchange", pay 30 more- hope its worth it. Go back out and METAL Tubs are loaded, so i leave.
3. Remembered that i needed new nozzles for hose. Go back and bought a couple. Not much to choose from tho, their garden center aint together yet.

Got a smoothie at DQ... tastes like cold medicine, icky cold medicine :(

Got home and watered the horses, horses happy, me happy.

Go to work, find my jersey bull, the sweetest cutest guy ever, almost dead cuz he was laid out flat with his head stuck in the feed trough.... Boss and i get him free. Hes covered in grossness (soaked on one side)... we are covered in grossness. Get him over to another pen so he can wobble around safely without others pushing him down and get the trailer and haul him home. Haul him home and bring him into the warm barn because he was freezing. Get him almost in a stall, falls in gutter and wishes to stay there... Hes too little to do hip lifts so we have to drag him by the neck to get him out... (if we didnt his already banged up legs would get hurt more laying in unnatural position bearing his weight at odd angles... and potentially never have him get up on his own ever again) Drag him out. He stands his butt up but not the front... falls back into gutter when asked to pick up front end. Drag him forward again, he lays nice and we tie his halter so he cant go back.

Still have chores to do tonight... I'm tired. Probably gonna get kicked by the psycho cow but whatever. I'm really tired. And cold. Is this deep freeze ever going to end? Seriously. Two or more inches expected tomorrow and currently -16 degrees out plus another -5 or -10 where i live. I'm about ready to throw in the towel.
LadyChevalier is offline  
post #2 of 8 Old 02-28-2014, 03:12 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 47,408
• Horses: 2
Good Golly! may I never complain about a rough day, because that is a ROUGH day!
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-28-2014, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,059
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Wow! Your day sucked! I hope you get some warmth soon, meanwhile I think you deserve a treat.
VickiRose is offline  
post #4 of 8 Old 02-28-2014, 09:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,639
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Oh you poor thing! You have all my sympathy. I don't know if you want to invest more money in an alternative solution, but this is what I do:

I have a water hauling tank that fits either on the the back of my Gator, or in the bucket of my tractor. Once every two weeks I fill it from the garage tap that isn't frozen (then very carefully empty the hose before I hang it up!), then drive around to the trough to fill it.

In the summer the same water hauling tank is useful to slow water my veggies so I don't resent the investment.

Spring will come! Soon..... Just not this weekend.

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
Shropshirerosie is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 02-28-2014, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,293
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If one can afford it, invest in a frost-free standpipe. You'll never regret it. A trench is dug 8' deep, well below the frost. At the business end is a simple lever, nothing to break down. The standpipe is a double pipe. When the lever is closed, the water in the inner pipe empties back down into the trench. Mine is out in the open and regardless of wind and cold, water comes out when the lever is opened. A 4" dia. length of sewer pipe directs the water to the pans that are secured to the fence. The pipe has a 45* end on it. A couple of screws and plastic twine allows me to hang it right at the spout. I do have a coupler that screws inside the spout for a hose in summer but the larger diameter pipe is better in winter. A little ice doesn't interfere with water flow. I was watching kids slide with a saucer and had an AHA moment. I bo't one to try as a watering pan. $6. It works slick and it's surprisingly tough. It holds about 2" of water, enough for two horses. When the ice builds up I slide it out, tip it over, whack the backside, the ice lets go. The saucer weighs practically nothing and isn't heavy even when full of ice. And it slides across the snow so easily to where I tip out the ice. It has endured an impatient horse pawing it in -35. I've even used a plastic toboggan for winter watering but it doesn't slide across the snow as easily as the saucer. I water 3x daily so there's no need to have standing water that will freeze.

Saddlebag is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 03-03-2014, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 346
• Horses: 7
Hey guys thanks for the support and advice. Im just really sick of winter.. its currently -20 or so and wont get above freezing tomorrow. I think there will be a day barely above freezing later this week. I realize that there are others dealing with much colder and worse things but seriously, I have never dealt with a winter like this one and my bad luck hasnt run its course yet....

So far this winter I have put my truck in a ditch and my boss' truck in a snow bank (both in the same day)
Got my parents van stuck in the driveway in another snowdrift.
Due to my new filly jumping a gate in the barn and riling up my herd to push her thru a fence and a very intelligent mare, who found the ONE gate that was missing a clip lock and managed to get it open, twice my entire herd has traveled the neighborhood covering a few hundred acres before they were found/caught. The first time they sent me and my boss on a wild goose chase in a tractor that was barely crawling thru the snow as the engine tried to gell up trying to follow their tracks that the wind and snow quickly were filling in every minute....finally found them and half mile away they spooked at the tractor so I had to go on foot to get closer... it was -40 out...snow was up past my knees.... at least when I got half way and I called, Dante, my big baby came a galloping to me... well to the bucket of grain I had. Then I had to catch remie, get on, and ride her home two miles on an icy road... then fix fence when I got home... The second time I got a lovely phone call from neighbors saying my herd was munching on a hay baleat there place.... go up there Remie was a B**** to catch... got snow in my boots so I could barely walk- got mild frost bite. Then once on the way home a gelding didnt follow us on the road like he was suposed to and nearly killed himself by thinking about going down a very steep 20 foot ditch to get back on the road and then got himself stuck in extremely deep snow drifts... I litterally thought I was going to have to get a tractor to haul his butt out.... luckily for both of us he got out and then managed to follow us home in the field while we were on the road- dad was in the van behind us playing guard for any on coming vehicle so no one would rear end us. Both times I got mildfrost bite and both times I was very lucky that nothing else happended to my brats I love so much.

Then there was a week in january that the house, my horse barn, and my boss'youngstock barn water pipes all froze.... I had spent 3 hours thawing out the pipes in my house and then I noticed that something was off about my horses, most were in the barn and it was not too bad out. So I check the waterer in the barn... bone dry. Opened it up and there was a chunk of ice sitting there down the tube... tbe heat light burnt out. Urgh spent a good 6/8hours with a nipco heatertrying to melt the ice... sometime around 2 am finally sputtered water. Temporarily fixed a leak I found and tested the outside spicket- that worked too. But the next day it quit. Not sure exactly what is wrong with it but it dont work- so ive had to truck water to the barn from the house... (for belle n cherokee).

Then a few weeks later the waterer started acting up and when I thiught I fixed it... well pump that is practically brand new, goes kaput... and so on from my original post.

Now there has been other stuff besides horsey related stuffs that have happened this winter for instance my family being torn apart by selfishness and drama, long story, and most recently my ps3 system dying and then go to trade it in they guve me a system that has the same issues ans its back and forth on that... Something broke on my truck again so thats in the shop... again. Third time this winter...

Oh and those NEW METAL tubs I bought... well I will tell ya that yes they hold up well to horses stomping and chewing on it but ONE WRONG SWING FROM AN AX? Nope. At least the hole I made was small and high enough that it still holds enough water for my monsters to last awhile but... it freezes so darn fast! And theres no way to set up a heater without my horses eating the heater and they know no bounds of getting what they want... so I ax the ice.

Worst thing above everything else was the mini heart attack my 30 year old pony gave me when he LAID DOWN, its not the fact that he laid down to rest but its when he did it. I sound crazy but cherokee has never lays down when its chow time. I was pulling their feeder out to put hay in it with the skidsteer and he plops down all of a sudden... I didnt do any thing, just watched. He didnt roll but after a min or two he got up again. All the while he looked fine, eyes bright but at the first sign I saw he was going to roll I was gonna call the vet.
You see He went thru an extremely rough bout of colic a couple winters ago and nearly lost him- even the vet didnt think he was going to make it but he was a tough old coot. He and I walked all night in freezing cold, went thru like 4 doses of pain meds but eventually he passed manure and by morning we were in the clear- I'll never forget his will to live, there were times he almost dragged me cuz my legs were soooo tired but no he wanted to keep trucking, and we did and he made it. But this winter has been so hard on him weight wise...and I have to be careful the amount he eats and what he will eat... hes picky. So its been tough and now I worry has this winter been too hard on him...?

He did get up and didnt go down again, tho it looked like he wanted to a couple times. After I was done with chores, I put him in the stall with his feed/hay for the night and he was happily munchin. So I turnnin for the night and wake up from a nightmare about loosing him and a horrible feeling in my gut, so I go back out to check on him. I find him standing quietly but gave me a look like "why are u still up, stupid human?" And I give him lots of hugs and kisses before going back. So far he has been doing great, acting normal but im watching him like a hawk after that. I realize it could be a number of things or number of nothings. If anything does change, which I pray it doesnt, I have the vet on speed dial.

This winter has been harsh and unforgiving but im managing. I am thankful for all the learning experiences its forced me into and im thankful that nothing absolutely serious has happened, to me, my family, or my herd, and I pray nothing does. I just hope warm weather is on its way soon...
Im sick of winter.
LadyChevalier is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 03-03-2014, 10:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Resaca, Georgia
Posts: 426
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As we say in the south.... Bless your heart!!!

And that is from the bottom of mine!! I hope the rest of your winter goes smoother and warmer and thawed!!!

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RhondaLynn is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 03-03-2014, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 346
• Horses: 7
... can a day go by without more bad news? Nope. Today my boss told me we are out of baleage for the cows. This means two things- 1. My horse hay is now being eaten by cows. And we were covered to make it thru to spring maybe a little longer if winter persists but when it was just my horses eating the hay a bale every 3 days now cows are chewing a bale or two every day.... 2. Cows eating horse hay, while its great hay its not like baleage, and so their milk weight has dropped significantly. Which means monies will be tighter with a smaller milk check. And it happens to be too dang cold to run silage to feed the cows. The silo unloader likes to get hung up on the ice build up in the silo, so me or boss has to go up and chip ice while it runs, but even the silage is tough to gather/throw down anyway cuz its so cold... *sighes*

But I am trying not to worry, I have money put away that i can use in case of hay emergency... just want that saved in case of vet emergencies... and I hate to say it but the hay prices are scary around here... But to help sooth my fears, Boss wants to buy baleage, that way their milk will stay high and my horse hay wont be touched. But yes, for those of you who might suggest, the thoughts of having to downsize have already crossed my mind, as heart-breakingly painful as they are my herd and their well being come first. I just want spring to get here soon. This winter is seriously going to break me.

On a brighter note, Bambi, my jersey bull, is doing SOOO much better! He gets up, eats, and drinks really well. His front right that he had hurt when he was down and was swollen at the ankle has broken open with a small infection but we have him on antiboitics and I flush the wound with anticeptic every couple hours and let it drain on its own. It looks gross but its already looking better. He is such a sweetie, you would have no idea he was an intact bull. He's never once acted like a bull- tho yes i am always very aware that he is and could act like one at any moment, but he just loves attention and getting his face and neck scratched. I had felt so bad for being rough with him trying to get him in the barn when he was already so beat up and i sat in front of him while he was resting, and i was just rubbing and petting him and he stretched his head out on my lap and took a nap for a couple mins... it was so cute. Its moments like this and moments with my horses, like a simple greeting or them coming up to me for some loving that all my hard work and long-sufferings are worth it in the end. I love my animals. I will do anything for them.
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