Two days ago, I awoke to find the most beautiful sundog looming in the horizon of our mare pasture. Sundogs are formed by plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals during very cold weather, by ice crystals called “diamond dust” drifting in the air at low levels. These crystals act as prisms, bending the light rays passing through them by 22°.
Of course, around here sundogs can also indicate a change of weather pattern. As such, this was the scene a day after the sundog was visible:
Looking out the window on that second day, I could tell something was up. Horses were running around and there was a general sense of excitement outside. Turns out, it was nothing major – just another frozen waterer. And since it wasn’t going to be a quick fix, the guys decided to move the mares to another pasture where water was flowing freely.
For some reason, horses get all excited when you move them to new pastures.
Next, Clay appeared in his big green tractor with a giant windblock on the front of it.
He simply tucks the tractor bucket underneath some metal piping on the back of the windbreaks and moves them around like they are pieces of cardboard…
Determined not to let another frozen waterer stand in his way, Clay’s plan was to surround the waterer on 3 sides in the new pasture. This ensures wind cannot get to it and cause the same kind of freezing problems here.
And I’m happy to report, his system is working well! Plus, with a shelter and a windblock system, the mares seem quite comfortable in their new home.