In the winter, a noise I have learned to dread is that of a horse\’s hoof thudding away against the side of an automatic waterer. And thud, thud, thud, went the bay mare\’s hooves yesterday afternoon.
Upon inspection, I could see a crowd of horses gathering around a specific watering area. Luckily, I wasn\’t the only one who saw it – David our barn manager saw it first and quickly ran for reinforcements.
I ran for my camera. Did I ever mention how nice it is to be pregnant some days?? I\’m not allowed to life heavy objects or overexert myself in any way. So this is the scene as it all unfolded.
David quickly ran for a bucket and easy-to-carry water jugs (that is, easy-to-carry for him, not me). Then he set the bucket down for our weanlings inside the pasture with the problematic waterer and began filling it up with water from the jugs.
As you can see, the weanlings were pretty thirsty. We check our auto-waterers every morning and every night and therefore, we knew the problem waterer had been working earlier the same day. However, some time between the morning and afternoon, it quit. It just goes to show you how much water horses actually consume in the winter. A lot.
After 6 jugs of water, David went over to help Clay with the problem machine. I stayed on the other side of the fence to visit with the weanlings.
They took it apart:
They fiddled with the float:
And quickly Clay and David realized the problem was simply a breaker that blew. We were lucky this time – the problem involved a quick-fix solution. But as the temperature gets cooler and cooler through the winter months and windchills threaten -40 and -50 temps, we anticipate that the fixing of frozen waterers will be a daily occurrence. Therefore, tomorrow I\’ll be back with some great tips for preventing frozen auto-waterers.
Meanwhile, this was the scene that played out for me from the other side of the fence.
Once the babies had gotten their fill of water, they decided that playing with their bucket was a pretty fun game.
And it was kind of funny until I realized they had become hellbent on removing a piece of twine that had been previously tied to one of the bucket handles. Before I knew it, one filly actually got the twine free and was chewing on it like a piece of hay!
Panic set in and I dropped my camera on top of a snow bank so I could get into the pasture and remove it from her mouth. However, I forgot that my ever-growing belly would make it difficult to climb through the fence like I usually do! Climbing over top was difficult, but somehow I made it and gracefully dropped to the ground on the other side. Then at first, the filly wouldn\’t let me approach her – perhaps my excitable energy told her something was up, or maybe she just wanted the twine all to herself. Either way, time was running out. She was close to ingesting the orange string. And as any horse man or woman knows, this is a colic recipe for disaster.
I took a deep breath and tried to calm my energy and at that point, I was finally able to approach the filly and remove the twine from her mouth. I\’m sure you can imagine, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when it was all over with.
After that, it was back to the house for some warmth and a hot chocolate. With 2 babies on board, I tire pretty easily these days and that was quite enough adventure for me for one afternoon…