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are yor horses in a shelter or barn? try to get a heated stock tank if there are in a shelter. if in a stall in barn, heated water buckets. one for each, horse water is a must for horses, know matter what the weather...........good luck stay warm...
 

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Thank you for replying! They are in a stable with paddock... it is not my barn, so I don't know how I feel about trying to install heated waters. Is there a temporary heated water element that would work? I am not familiar with a heated stock tank, but it sounds pricey!
 

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We wrap bubble wrap around our buckets to try to keep them from freezing fast. We just break few times a day and make sure they get their fill when we bring out the hot water for them.
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Add hot water a couple times a day, make sure the horse(s) are there when you do it. They can drink then while it's still fresh and not as cold or wait until the next time. Horses are clever enough to deal with water not being available every second of every minute for a few days. So long as they have unlimited fresh liquid water available to them 2-3 times a day they'll be fine. In the future, heated water buckets like this: Farm Innovators Heated Rubber Bucket, 18 qt. - Tractor Supply Co. would be a good investment to make life easier in the winter. If this is a freak one-off with the storms, your local stores may be sold out though.
 

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Actually, hot water will freeze faster than cold water.

There are several types of heaters for water tanks. Some that float and some that don't. Some go thru the drain hole at the bottom of the tank, depending on the type of tank you have.

Ask the stable owner if it is OK to put heated buckets or a tank heater in their water.

How many horses are you watering? A stock tank and heater should be around $100. Not too terribly expensive.

Stock tanks are about $70 for 75 gallon or 100 gallon.

Heaters run about $35.

Heated buckets are about $35.

Prices from fleetfarm.com. You might find cheaper prices at a local farm supply store.
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The ones that screw into the drain holes work the best, heat rises. But not all drain holes are the same size so some tanks won't work with that kind. So, I guess your best bet is to get a floating heater, about $35-$40 dollars. On occasion though with the floaters is the top of the tank can get a layer of ice, but usually the ice is thin and the horses can press on it and still get water, keep a eye on it. Break the ice if needed and scoop the ice out of the tank. I have one of each because I have two different type of tanks and my horses drink more water out of the tank that has the heater that screws into the drain hole, the water is more cool and not ice cold.
 

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Have auto water now but we did have stock tank/trough with the floating heaters:) Then we always covered our tank 1/2 up with board or something so only part of water is exposed:wink:We then try to have the floating heater hiding under the covered part as Some horses think they are great play toys:lol::lol:
 

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The ones that screw into the drain holes work the best, heat rises. But not all drain holes are the same size so some tanks won't work with that kind. So, I guess your best bet is to get a floating heater, about $35-$40 dollars. On occasion though with the floaters is the top of the tank can get a layer of ice, but usually the ice is thin and the horses can press on it and still get water, keep a eye on it. Break the ice if needed and scoop the ice out of the tank. I have one of each because I have two different tanks and my horses drink more water out of the heater that screws into the drain hole, the water is more cool and not ice cold.

Iv been using the floater tank heater for 3 years now never have had ice on my tank. We had 33 below zero yesterday morning no ice on tank, its a 100 gallon one too.

Had nothing but trouble with drain plug heaters only good for a year then they quit working. Or they leak out the drain plug to make a icey mess. Every time they quit working tank was full of water and 30 below zero....That can bring out the worst in a person.
 

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Iv been using the floater tank heater for 3 years now never have had ice on my tank. We had 33 below zero yesterday morning no ice on tank, its a 100 gallon one too.

Had nothing but trouble with drain plug heaters only good for a year then they quit working. Or they leak out the drain plug to make a icey mess. Every time they quit working tank was full of water and 30 below zero....That can bring out the worst in a person.
The seal gets worn and has to be replaced. When using the floaters I think my issue is where the tanks are situated in my pasture, there is no wind break but the tanks are closest to the barn, convenient. I have wrapped the tank before but the horses like to "explore" new things. Partially covering the top is a good idea, helps keep the heat in.



Tseluyu….Yes they have to be plugged into an outlet and the heaters described here are for bigger tanks, 75-100 gallon.
 

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Wow thanks guys! This is such great information! Do all of these water heaters need to be plugged into an outlet. Also, would they be safe in a regular sized plastic water bucket?
They have to be plugged in, and No! They can't be used in a regular plastic bucket, they are made for metal troughs. Plastic would melt with the heating element resting against it.
 

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They have to be plugged in, and No! They can't be used in a regular plastic bucket, they are made for metal troughs. Plastic would melt with the heating element resting against it.
If you look at the photo I posted you'll see that they have a guard to keep the element off the bottom. Lots of barns use them in plastic troughs. The floating ones are even less of a problem but typically cost more.

And yes, of course they need to be plugged in.
 

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We used a floating one the first year we didn't board our horses. The heater seemed to always float to the side away from the horses and allowed ice to form on their side.

Last year we went to the drain hole type. No issues except one horse that liked to stand in the trough and bent the heater up. The seal did leak but after we retightened the plastic nut on the heater, it was fine and didn't leak again.

Op, there are heaters that can be used in buckets but they are smaller. If you want to go the bucket route, may as well but the heated buckets as they are about the same price as the heaters.
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You have had horses that stand in a trough in the winter? Hahaha, sorry but that is just odd….I can see summer time but winter?
 

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You are talking about a situation that doesn't happen on a regular basis or you would have some type of heated water system. This weather will pass so just deal with frozen water for the next 2 days and don't worry about it. Fill your water tanks about half way. Add a few inches of water at a time. As it freezes, add some more. If you water with buckets, have extra buckets available and in the morning, pull the frozen buckets, set them upside down in the sun, fill up a new bucket, repeat. They don't have to have water in front of them 24/7. You do need to make sure they are drinking but if they drink their fill twice a day they will be fine.

Having enough power to run multiple bucket and tank heaters is the main reason they don't do it.
 

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Just thought I'd add that if you need to get your horse rehydrated, here's what you should do:

Take a 4-5 gallon bucket and dribble in about 2 tbsp of molasses. Fill the bucket part way with hot water and stir until the molasses is well dissolved, then fill the bucket the rest of the way with tepid water. Give it to your horse, and he should suck it all down pretty quickly.

It has been super cold in my area as well. I manage a barn of 10 horses. I have been offering the horses molasses flavored water as a precaution to make sure that they are all drinking enough. Of the 10, only one has refused the molasses water. All of the others happily chug it down in a minute or two.
 

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Honestly, if it's not freezing solid (just a skim of ice on top?) most horses will figure out how to get through it if they've had some cold weather experience. If the heater has been unplugged during an unexpected cold snap the Clyde in my avatar picks his foot up and literally plunks his foot through the ice, pulls it out, and then takes a drink. All his paddock buddies then follow after him to enjoy the nice new hole. ;)
 
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