Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I feel I'm ready for winter this year. I'm at ease that the horses are prepared. My hay building is full, which hasn't happened too often in the past. I'm usually scrambling to get some more hay in before our winter hits hard, which is usually mid-January for us here in Southern Ohio. I like to distinguish Southern Ohio from the rest of Ohio because we're different around here from what is often perceived of Ohioans. Most people have visions of Columbus or Cleveland. My end of Ohio is more of a West Virginia and Northern Kentucky association. Yeah, we're the "hillpeople". When I was growing up I had a cousin who lived in Northern Ohio. She liked to call me a Hillbilly. I didn't really mind so much, I figured I was better off than her anyway. I prefer hills to flat land any day. We tend to refer to anyone who lives above Chillicothe, Ohio as Flatlanders.

Both horses are winterized with fuzzy fur. My big boy, Bo, looks like a bear, in my opinion. His hair has basically grown into a soft teddy bear-like looking fur and I love hugging his neck and petting him when he's in his winter coat. Spirit's coat grows a little different, but still furry, just not as teddy bear-like. I don't do blankets. Never have, probably never will unless there's an illness. I keep my horses as natural as possible. They've never worn shoes since I've had them. They have excellent hooves, so I've been told, by three different farriers and two vets. And they even have, the supposedly dreaded, light colored hooves! Guess I got lucky.

The heater is in the water tank. Sure, I know all the controversy about water heaters but I chose to go that route because I didn't want to be busting ice all the time. At my age, it's all about ease of the job on my part. I think after a while, we earn the right to be a little lazy on some chores, find ways to deal that make them easier for us.

We were able to get sand into the corral area back in October so I'm free from mud this year. That's a relief. The sand has its drawbacks, it gets tracked all over and I have to sweep off the stall mats occasionally. The horses have discovered they enjoy rolling in the sand which can be unsightly when it's wet and sticks all over their coats. I think Hubby appreciates the fact he doesn't have to listen to me gripe about mud this year. No swamp to deal with. I don't have lava rocks pointing up, which happens when the mud freezes, although the water logged sand did freeze after the heavy rains we had four weeks in a row. But after the temps warmed up, the lava rocks were gone. I'm thinking I like the sand better than the mud any day.

Brought out my Carhartt overalls last week when the temps dropped. I do love my Carhartt's! Both the coat and the overalls keep me warm on cold mornings. Of course, I feel like the Michelin Man or a human size marshmallow walking around, but I'm not cold.

Of course, Dear Mother Nature has other plans and this week we're back to temps in the 40's & 50's with rain predicted most of the week. No worries, the worst of our winter usually always shows up by mid-January so the worst is yet to come, but I think I'm ready.

Right now I feel confident that when December 22 rolls around next week I can say Winter, Bring It ON! I hope I don't regret those words but for once, I feel winterized and energized! 

This photo was taken a couple of years ago after a serious ice storm in early February.


Linda said...

It sounds like you've done everything right and you truly are ready for winter. I think you're smart to use a tank heater, too, btw. Horses will go off water, if it gets too cold, and then colic. Better safe than sorry! Let it snow!!

Leslie said...

Honestly, right about now I'd prefer snow to all the rain we've been having. More forecast for tonight.

I've dealt with colic twice in one of my horses and once with a horse at the facility I used to work at. Flo was my first equine death by colic. Very sad but enlightening experience on dealing with colic. All my colic experiences have been in warm weather though, so far.

For my guy, walking did the trick. The vet believed Flo's colic was probably more serious to begin with and she could have had an obstruction. They tried mineral oil and we walked/rested her for hours. We were never sure how old she was, but the guess was over 20. I've developed a deep seeded fear of colic since that experience with Flo.