Cold weather water strategies


Water strategiesAfter enjoying spring like temperatures here in New England last weekend we were plunged into winter with a vengeance this week. Overnight lows have been in the single digits — and occasionally negative single digits. The day time highs have been in the teens.

The horses have been bundled up in their winter blankets and are getting extra hay, so they look comfortably warm.

The real problem is water. I have a 70 gallon tank which is ideal most of the time. But when the temperatures get this cold my pump freezes and then 70 gallons doesn’t seem like much at all.

You don’t really have an appreciation for how much your horse drinks until you are schlepping it by hand. A gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds. Today I carried 30 gallons — 250.2 pounds — of water to the tank. The first 10 gallons I brought from home. After emptying those, I went up to the house where the barn owner lives and fill them again from her kitchen. It gives me the chance to catch up with her and my dog likes to visit with her dogs.

Later in the day I stopped by with another 10 gallons.

By my estimation, Freedom and Willow drink close to 20 gallons per day. I add about a half a gallon to Freedom’s grain to soak it and then we lose some to evaporation.

My schlepping will continue tomorrow. The temperature is supposed to rise to a balmy 27 but even with a heating coil on the pump, I’m not sure it will thaw out. No, I may well need to wait until Monday when we’re supposed to have a veritable heat wave of 45 degrees.

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