We never know when winter will start or end. The long, fairly warm (30-40Fs) fall was so nice! The few days of cold near Christmas came and went, then near 40Fs again until recently.
Part of my winterizing takes place in the fall, when working outside is easy, no frozen parts on my body. Check fences, sll wires stapled up tight. Fences are hot all the way around the farm. So MUCH easier to repair in warmer weather! Gates open and close easily. Water tanks in insulated wood boxes, with a half cover on the top. Half cover holds heat in better to prevent freezing. Other half cover there for covering tanks at night when horses are inside. Tank heaters working. 12gauge, lighted end, electric cords are run if needed, hung from fence posts to keep them off the ground, out of snow piles. We run tank heaters only at night for cheaper electric and no chance of heater leaking electricity so horses won’t drink. Spare new tank heater on the shelf in case a heater dies. We use the big circle, pipe looking circles, easy to replace if needed. No reason to empty the tank to make an ice slick.
Coolers and blankets handy if needed to dry them or warm up a cold horse. The old horse has his 3 different weight “covers” ready when needed. He mostly needs wind protection, has a lovely coat. But after one chilled horse episode, Vet call, he now has to wear a covering during winter. He is uncovered nightly in the barn to fluff again, with no wind. So far, it has mostly been his rainsheet, but upgraded to a light blanket last week with the mId 20F to 30+F, but good wind chill. . Heavier blanket is hanging ready for teens to 20F, with the very heavy blanket if we get single digits during the day hours. The other horses go out uncovered, but we bring them in early on really cold days. No shelters or much windbreaker outside. Hay rations go up as the temps go down. They have insulated plastic bucket holders in the stalls, heavy plastic, which have been really nice keeping water liquid in the cold. We might add some hot water to hose water if temps get in the teens. I like saving on the electric, not using heated buckets, or possible fire danger keeping them all plugged in.
This is our second year of leaving the hose lay outside. No well at the barn. We attach one end to the air compressor and blow out the hose. We let it blow at least 10 minutes past seeing any spray come out, which seems to “dry” any connections or pockets of water inside the hose. So far, no frozen hose! This saves quite a bit of time daily, unrolling, then rolling the long hose up again, putting hose cart in the tack room to keep it warm.
I suggest getting something HEAVY to put on the loose hose end before attaching the compressor. That loose end really whips about under pressure, could hurt you or damage something it hits!! We have the big shop compressor, lots of air getting pushed thru the hose. Love this method as a time and work saver. We do have extra hose sections stored in case of hose breakage. Cold plastic will surprise you, and not in a good way!
We get our sawdust delivered, trying for the “normal” times of moderate weather, less snow and before the frost laws on road weight go into effect. That is usually March, but last year it was the first part of Feb! Just got a load in yesterday, so we should be good until April.
Tails got bobbed off in Nov, they look nice. No tails dragging to collect ice or mudballs. Kind of funny looking down the tie stalls, seeing rumps, that I got tails all even! Same distance on everyone from the ground to hair! That almost never happens. Cutting does make tails look darker and thicker. Length will be back by spring.
Tractor implements parked in an orderly fashion in front of the barn, back away from travel lines. Landscape rake in front, should we get sheet ice. That rake is very handy to break up sheet ice, get reasonable footing in the barnyard or a path to the pastures, driveways, so we can then plow ice away. We plan for the worst, nicely surprised when we don’t get that weather!