Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crunchy Snow, and Dawn Thinks Her Water Bucket is a Toilet

Sunny and cold this morning - it was in the teens with a sharp wind when I got to the barn.  The little bit of snow/ice mix on the ground had formed a thin layer on top of the short grass, and Dawn and I were crunching as we came down the hill.  We made our usual stop at the water trough - I think it's only polite to offer her a chance to drink before we ride - and she took a long drink.  Dawn's looking much better this year than she was at this time last year - she's at a nice weight, her coat is thick and glossy and she even has some dapples. Although it was barely 30 in the indoor, we had a very nice ride with lots of lovely, forward trotting.

Red and Pie get the day off, with just a quick check over and hoof picking, since I have my music lessons this afternoon.

I did a few chores after Dawn and I were done with our ride, after I turned her back out.  Dawn regularly - not every day but often several times a week - poops in one of her water buckets - always the same one.  She apparently does this because she often stands with her tail in the water - this morning she had frozen manure in her tail which I'm waiting to remove until it thaws and dries.  This made some sense to me when we were at our last barn, where the buckets were heated since the barn wasn't - at least then she perhaps was warming herself on the bucket.  Now it makes less sense for her to do it . . . The guys will rinse out her bucket, but sometimes they don't really wash it with soap, so I prefer to do that myself if I can.  I also clean all my horses'  water buckets once a week, usually on Saturdays, since the guys only clean them once a week on Tuesdays and they can get pretty dirty - there's a lot of dust from the shavings and Red is a "dunker" - he likes to take a drink while he has a mouthful of hay and often gets a lot of hay in his buckets.  So I got out my soap - I use Seventh Generation dish soap, which is unscented and pretty plain - and little scrub brush, and went to work - it only takes a minute to do one bucket.

The things we do for our horses . . .  Is there some job you do for your horse that falls into this "special" category?

11 comments:

  1. Glad you and Dawn had a nice ride. Our waterers are scrubbed and cleaned everyday, inside the barn and outside in the paddocks. It's easier with automatic waterers but Sami has a bucket since he lives in the grooming stall. That gets scrubbed everyday too. Our feed tubs need to be done at least once a week because they get pretty dirty.

    The only time Dusty poops in her feed bucket is when I give her hay cubes, apparently, she's making a statement. Always the critic. She doesn't get hay cubes anymore by the way. I got the message, more than once.

    As for a special category I don't know. I do clean her udder area once a week. Is that special?

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    1. I rinse my feed tubs - pans on the ground - out every day. Funny story on udders . . . Lily used to pin me to the fence with her hindquarters - she would back up into me - looked menacing, but all she was doing was insist that her udder be cleaned, right now!

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    2. I rinse my horses' grain pans every time they are used, too. Most of the other boarders just leave them dirty and store them that way, even the ones who (as I do) feed beet pulp or other mashes that really dirty the pan. If you ask me, not only do my clean pans offer less temptation for the mice, but my pan is also holding up far better than anyone else's -- it's 5 years old (at least) and looks a heck of a lot newer than anyone else's.

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  2. We keep Sugar and Morgunn in our 'backyard' lot - about 2/3 of an acre. We have a two-stall stable, but their stalls are open 24/7 so they can go in or out. We feed half their hay (plus a little feed - about a cup - and supplements) in their stalls. The remainder of their hay goes in an outside feeder so they have to walk back and forth to eat all their hay. We have an 80 gal tank under our kitchen window for their water so they come up to the window to look in while they drink. The only treat they get is carrots and that's always after they have worked. They have a pretty good life, I guess.

    Dan

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  3. Feed pan cleaned daily, although with all the pathetic empty licking it gets, that might not be necessary.

    Water bucket emptied + rinsed daily - scrubbed weekly. (So far) Val does not indulge in retaliatory pooping... another thing to add to the thankful list. ;D

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  4. And then again, here's an example of "precision bombing", courtesy of Red:

    http://ayearwithhorses.blogspot.com/2011/11/precision-bombing.html

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  5. When I did chores at my last barn there was one horse that regularly pooped in her water bucket. It was usually in the winter when we used heated buckets and it was almost always filled to the top. Her stall was on the far end of the barn so you had to carry it to the other end to dump it, and the 'soup' always got all over your pant legs no matter how careful you were. Gotta love winter chores!

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  6. You would laugh if you had seen me a few years ago with my niece's horse Eurus (we called him "Sh*ts where he stands " for a while) several times a winder I would be out there shop vac-ing out the stock tank he shared with Phoenix because he had pooped in it again!!! , couldnt just dump it as it would create an ice patch in the pen so I vacuumed it out and drained the water away, cleaned it and refilled it , tried several different things to keep him from doing this , finally found a spot to put the tank that he wouldn't poop in it !

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  7. I keep a big bottle of Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap in the barn and use it for anything I need soap for. Generally with feed tubs and water buckets I use the spray bottle of apple cider vinegar and water - it cuts grime of all kinds and the horses actually love the taste so I never have to worry that they'll go off drinking if they get a sniff of it. :)

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  8. You might use baking soda instead of soap. I do and it leaves the buckets nice and clean smelling, no residue and no potential harm to the horse.

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    1. Good idea - but does baking soda kill germs? I use hot water and soap for that reason, but the baking soda might make a nice rinse . . .

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