Watering: Tips to Keep You Out of the Freeze
Summer hair starts to shed, a clue that much colder air is approaching. For us, that means it's time to get the barn and pastures ready for winter.
One of the most important items to consider when you are preparing for winter is how you will keep your horse's water from freezing.
Breaking frozen water in buckets can be one of the most challenging chores, especially when it must be done once or twice a day. Be sure that frozen buckets are totally emptied of ice and then refilled to help prevent refreezing. Water troughs present another problem. They can freeze solid and are extremely difficult '”if not next to impossible'”to break. We know our horses need ample water, so let's take a look at several good ways to make this chore easier on you, and most importantly, give your horse the water he or she needs.
Heated water buckets are one way to prevent water from freezing in your horse's stall.
RAMM's UL approved buckets come in 5 and 16-gallon sizes. These buckets are thermostatically controlled to keep the water temperature between 42 and 55-degrees. The bucket automatically turns on and off with temperature changes and keeps water from freezing.
The 5-gallon bucket has a flat back, allowing the bucket to hang on a stall wall.
The electric cord, located at the bottom of the bucket, is 6' in length and is shielded with a strong wire that coils around the cord. We recommend drilling a small hole in the stall wall and passing the cord through to the outside of the stall where it can be safely plugged into an outlet. The bucket holder (5-gal. size), is a "well worth it" accessory for the bucket. This unit helps the bucket stay secure on the wall by sitting in the holder. When buckets become dry, horses may "play" with them, either out of boredom or need for more water. If you find that your horse's bucket is dry, you may consider using two electric buckets, or go with the 16-gallon size.
The 16-gallon bucket is fashioned the same, with the exception that it does not have a handle for hanging. This bucket was designed to sit on the stall floor or ground (for outdoor use).
We recommend securing the bucket in a corner or against a post. Keep the cord away from direct contact with your horse. Try running your cord through a PVC pipe and then securing the pipe. All of these buckets and holders are economically priced and an easy fix to the fast approaching cold winter months.
If your barn is not equipped with electricity, consider the RAMM insulated bucket holder.
This holder is insulated to keep water from freezing and will help to keep water cooler in the summer, too. A 5-gallon poly pail with a float is included. The holder can be mounted directly to the inside of the stall wall. Water should be changed regularly to avoid frozen edges.
Another convenience of these 5-gallon size buckets is that they can all be used with a RAMM swing-out bucket door.
Instead of going in and out of your stall, you can stay in your aisle and change water, a real time saver. Additionally, if someone other than yourself is taking care of your horses while you are out of town, they will be able to change the water without entering the stall. I personally use the heated water buckets and can say they have made life much easier. Now changing the water is a breeze, and I know that my horses are getting the water that they need. If you would like more information on these buckets, please email me. Enjoy this beautiful fall weather. Take time to follow your passion, get out and ride. Happy Trails!
Debbie has over 45 years experience with horses and equine-related businesses. She has owned, trained, boarded horses and run stables at various times in her career. She is a certified fence installer, has given balanced riding lessons, and has shown horses in Western, Western Pleasure, Trail, English, Hunter/Jumper, Fox Hunting, Hunter Trials, Dressage and driving classes. Debbie has been involved in foaling, and just about every aspect of horse ownership possible, and she welcomes your questions and comments. If you are interested in using any articles by Debbie, please send her an email.
RAMM Fence Systems, Inc. makes every effort to provide reliable and useful information on horse health, care and products. The statements made on this website are based on years of experience with horses, however, they are based on generalized situations and should not replace diagnosis or treatment by a veterinarian or consultation by a professional. RAMM Fence Systems, Inc. does not assume any legal responsibility. Readers should always consult qualified health care providers for specific diagnosis and treatment.