Friday, February 25, 2011

Five degrees and falling. Low tonight is supposed to be -6. And my horses think their water is going to shock them. I unplugged the trough heater yesterday when I took Tonka to the trough and saw him very carefully feeling the water with his whiskers and his tongue, unwilling to drink until I unplugged. I bought a new trough heater today. When I got home I led them all to the trough because I could tell they hadn't been there in two days (no tracks in the snow). I guess they've been eating snow and maybe drinking out of the ditch. None of them were happy about sticking their nose in there when we got there. Scout was the only one who would take a sip. Which makes me wonder if the new heater is defective and they're still getting a zing, or if the horses are just afraid of that trough now. So I dragged a different one in there and filled it part way with water, and left the heater in the other in case they get brave enough to drink. I hope nobody colics. I'm tempted to salt their hay but if they eat salt and then don't drink it can make things worse.

Well, at least it isn't windy like they had predicted. That would be awful in this cold. I was really worried about Tonka getting through this, he's more frail than the others, so I went on a blanket shopping trip today. (After making 9 attempts to get out of my driveway and finally succeeding.) Long story short, I couldn't find a heavy enough turnout blanket. I trust his own winter coat more. And I've given them enough hay that they can eat and fire their furnaces until morning when they will get lots of sloppy wet, warm beet pulp with some salt and of course their usual daily supplements. (By the way, Tonka doesn't like the LMF Gold. I don't know why, it smells so good I want to eat it. I think it might be too much molasses for him, and he hasn't been finishing his feed well lately anyway. Soxy LOVES it.)

I am going to order Tonka a blanket for the future though. A midweight turnout blanket, plus a warm liner of some sort in case it gets really cold. What blankets do you recommend? I have only two blankets, and both are not what I want (wrong size too). Also, is there a type of fabric that might cause static? If so I need to avoid it because Tonka is incredibly sensitive to the tiniest shock (I accidentally zapped him with my finger recently and he was very upset).

I hope you and your horses are comfortable and happy, whatever weather you're having.


Lea and her Mustangs said...

We don't blanket. For a good buy come up early on the 12th. to the 4-H tqack swap - always lots of blankets.

Linda said...

I have a wonderful blanket for Cowboy that I never use, but I keep it around just in case. I think it's a Rambo, but I'll have to check. I bought it in Lewiston a long time ago. Without the wind, I left them turned out tonight because they'll get warmth from each other and eating the round bales. Good luck with the water!!

Anonymous said...

At least 1,200 denier, waterproof and breathable. Brookside (Valley Vet) has a good line of medium weight turnouts that I've been pretty satisfied with - not too pricey and pretty durable, and they fit pretty well with enough length.

Rambos are very well made but expensive and come in different weights.

Alexa said...

It's freezing up where I live too. Fox has a blanket too. I forgot the brand name of it but it's really nice. His winter coat isn't as long and furry as the other horses' coats are. Whenever it's in the teens or colder I always put a blanket on him. Tonka seems to be a lot like Fox in that regard.