Thursday, January 11, 2018

winter's got me #triggered

Ok everybody. It's January. Like, Winter, and stuff. And a pretty cold, snappy winter at that for many regions of the country, particularly some states not accustomed to this sort of thing. (Colorado tho.... I'm not even gonna talk to you right now #notfair).

And I get it. Horse keeping in wintertime, especially in temps well below freezing, is a real challenge. Among (many) other things, the logistics of accessibility to fresh water poses huge issues. Pipes freeze and burst. Hoses freeze. Troughs and buckets freeze. Everything fucking freezes. But those horses are still thirsty and you can't actually drink ice, it turns out.

Of course there are other challenges too.... dealing with snow accumulation, icy pathways, and fingers so goddamn cold they feel like they might actually fall off. And that you might actually wish that they would hurry up and self-amputate.

So. Ya know. I get it. It's miserable.

this is charlie out in his frozen field. separated from me by frozen peaks of mud lying in wait to destroy his fragile hooves (hint: the muddy peaks are the ones with the bloody daggers). there were no survivors.
What I don't get is why all this crazy stuff is getting published lately spouting off about not just the inconvenience, but the actual straight up DANGER posed to our beloved ponies by the apparently murderous season known as winter.

I already ranted once about the heavy misquoting and disinformation spread after Dr Yates' fairly cut and dried synopsis of available research on the effects of exercising horses in cold temperatures. Cliff Notes Version: Neither Dr Yates, nor the research, ever said that it was inadvisable to do anything more than walk in temps below 20F. Anyone who tells you differently (cough, Kristen Kovatch, cough) either didn't understand, or didn't bother to read the full story.

But then I saw yet another Horse Nation post that just.... Got me all hot and bothered. I mean, maybe this is their tactic to keep us warm in cold temperatures?? But c'mon guys, quit it, already.

What, exactly, was it that triggered me to immediately screen shot the article and send it to my friends, ranting all the way about "What the fuck, have any of these people ever actually even seen a HORSE before? Or WINTER???"

these horses dared to frolic on frozen ground. they were never seen again.
Ha. Thanks for asking, let me tell you.

This time it was at least a sponsored post, rather than an editorial claiming to backed up by science (ughhhhh): "How to Outsmart Your Farm's Frozen Ground Hazards."

That's a pretty interesting topic to many readers right now. And I'm always down to learn about new #hacks for navigating winter's challenges. So I read it. It's basically a listicle, summarized below by yours truly:

HAZARD #1: Ice is slippery, yo! Be careful on that shit! The article advises salting or otherwise treating areas where horses won't be loose or grazing, but that's about it in terms of advice.

Oooh but there's a cute anecdote about the author's husband carrying 8 gallons of soupy mash on an icy pathway and falling down! Thus spilling the bucket of mash on his head! Omg poor man, giggle, the horror!!!

(Unless you're me and you get totally stuck on the idea of a single bucket that holds 8 gallons, while also calculating on your fingers that a gallon of water weighs roughly 8lbs, so 8 gallons of mash likely weighs at least 50lbs, and who the fuck carries a single bucket that heavy {what kind of bucket even is it, like a muck tub or something???} by themselves on a slippery pathway??? Drag that sumbitch, buddy, c'mon now! Work smarter, not harder!)**

Ahem. Anyway. I guess it would have been cool if they had other ideas for treating pathways beyond just like, salt or whatever, but still. Solid advice: Be careful on ice. Gotcha. Thanks Horse Nation for watching my back.


{**Ok I re-read it again and he is actually carrying multiple buckets, not a single one - probably two buckets making it easier to balance side to side. Mea Culpa. I like my imaginary version better tho so I'm rollin' with it. Kinda like how the rest of the article includes imaginary factoids. It's the season's hottest trend!}

that time we spread manure on all the walkways to combat the ice. pros: it totally works. cons: it's a bear to clean up.

Onwards!

HAZARD #2: Yo, did you know that the ground FREEZES when it's really cold out?? And that it freezes in whatever shape it was in when the cold set in?? Including freezing into ruts and hoof prints, complete with sharp, mountainous peaks?????

WELL. The author has news for you: "These points can cause hoof damage in less than an hour by jamming into a horse’s sole. They also put the horse’s hooves at an unnatural angle, which for some horses can put painful pressure on the inner hoof structure, and in others can strain muscles or tendons as horses stand or move with their hooves at different extreme angles."

LESS THAN AN HOUR, DID YOU HEAR THAT? OMG GET THOSE HORSES OFF THAT FROZEN MUD THIS INSTANT!!!

......Or. Ya know. Maybe the horses are probably fine? Maybe don't pull your horse's shoes right when the ground freezes, sure. But otherwise? Just bc you toss around terms like "inner hoof structure" and "unnatural angles" and "painful pressure" doesn't mean that most horses aren't pretty well adapted to, uh, the ground.

Those razor sharp mud peaks? Uh, horses can usually trod them down into flattish paths. Bc it's mud, it's generally still softer than gravel. Or the big stones and rocks a horse might encounter on the typical trail.

you might see a normal farmyard road. *i* see a path strewn with treacherous sharp stone peaks ready to damage my horse's hoof and make him step at unnatural awkward angles in a way sure to lame him forever!
Not to say horses just adore walking over these surfaces -- no, a lot of them will pick their way along carefully, or will maybe just be a little more sedentary in the field. But that's not the same thing as the ground literally injuring their feet. This isn't life or death, here - the average horse does not need to be kept from turnout bc the ground is frozen into a non-flat surface.

Sure, decisions on whether to turn out or not tend to vary by region - esp areas that have a more slick type soil like clay or something, I've noticed might choose to keep horses in when other areas might not.

My barn, for instance, couldn't turn out to certain pastures when those paths slicked over with ice after a recent storm. So.... they just put horses in paddocks instead. That Hazard #1 thing is real - ice is dangerous - but frozen mountain peaks of mud damaging my horse's hoof in less than an hour?? Or making my horse stand at awkward angles??? Uh. No. C'mon guys. My horse can stand awkwardly all on his own, thankyouverymuch.

But the article goes on...

these animals could have been saved. if only we thought to confine them to their stalls!

HAZARD #3: Now that we've established that the cold frozen ground is enemy #1 to your horse's precious hoof (remember, folks: No Hoof, No Horse!!!!), and that you are a BAD horse owner if you turn your horse out in frozen fields, this next hazard is that your 24/7 stalled horse is now at a higher risk for colic.

Meaning you better be out there all day every day hand walking that thing around (just avoid the frozen muddy peaks, yo) or your horse is gonna colic and die! (Those poor souls limited to strictly stall rest bc of injuries are just shit outta luck, unfortunately).

The article will even quote you stats on how much less domestic horses move around even in a pasture relative to their wild counterparts (while conveniently ignoring that said wild counterparts seem to do just fucking fine in winter too, btw) and that when you cut out that pasture time, the horses move even less.

I might suggest that you could avoid the whole "no turnout means your horse is gonna colic and die!" doom and gloom by just... ya know... turning the horse out. But what do I know!

these geldings are looking longingly at isabel bc they wished their people loved them enough to not subject them to those frozen muddy peaks!! but, don't hurt your eyes trying to find those muddy peaks and awkward hoof angles... i swear they're there - you just gotta look beyond the areas that have been flattened down by traffic. 

Anyway, finally we're left with the last gem:

HAZARD #4: Frozen ground is harder on your horse's joints. Esp older arthritic horses may have a harder time in these conditions.

The horses feel this especially when trotting through otherwise safe-looking turnouts. You know it must be true bc "the ground’s reduced shock-absorbing properties can easily be felt in the soles of your cold feet when you dismount."

That painful, shattering feeling in your cold feet? Definitely has nothing to do with your own body's circulatory issues in extremities in the cold. Definitely nothing at all to do with that. It's bc the ground has reduced shock absorbing properties. Try not to think too deeply about why dismounting on a paved road in July doesn't hurt as bad as landing on soft arena footing in January. Just accept that arena footing is less shock absorbing in January than that road in July.

So... the article recommends (jokingly, but still) that maybe everything would be better if we could all just move to Costa Rica!!! Which like, ya know. Yea, sounds great buddy. All those breeds native to temperate climates where winter is a real thing might be super eager to meet that elusive indigenous Tropical Sport Horse!!!

go riding. or the terrorists win.

Anyway tho, the sad thing in all this, to me, at least, is that the sponsor is actually selling a pretty cool product. It's this mesh grid type thing that holds gravel in place that you install under the surface in high traffic areas prone to mud. Thus creating a stable surface. It's interesting. Gravel works well on its own, sure, but if you've got the spare cash this is a neat upgrade.

But I can't even appreciate that bc I'm so #triggered by all this talk of MUD DAMAGING MY HORSE'S FEET IN UNDER AN HOUR and how I have to keep him in from that awful sharp mud --- Because apparently horses are just like those infomercial actors who can't figure out how to execute even the simplest tasks!! --- But then once he's stuck in his stall he's gonna colic and die unless I'm out there every waking minute hand walking him!!!! Unless - unless - I wise up, plan ahead, and install this miracle device in my pastures.

honestly it's amazing horses have even made it this far, from an evolutionary perspective 

C'mon, really???

I mean. Maybe I'm splitting hairs here, but this kinda shit just grinds my gears. Gets me hot under the collar. And for that, you get my second rant in as many weeks on people publishing dumb stuff about horse care in the winter.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who reads stuff like this and scratches my head???? I know there's a ton of crazy stuff going around right now, and everybody has their own (strong) opinions on what does and does not constitute good horse care....

But you gotta tell me that you find some of this stuff utter and complete nonsense too? Or maybe there was some other pseudo science or borderline ridiculous "life hack" you read recently that just about made you blow your stack? Like, what was the actual dumbest piece of advice you ever read or heard about horse care in winter? Or whenever?

67 comments:

  1. Drives me insane to be told "don't turn out, it's icy and cold"! Oh yeah cos we all have time to be hand walking our horses all day every day but not turning them out!.... Our horses go out no matter what the weather, full stop. Nothing - even a foot of snow, a bit of ice or below 0C temperature - is going to change that. Sure they spend less time outside, but I am not going to start forcing them to live in their stables 24/7 just because its frozen outside.

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    1. yea i'm with ya there. like everybody will ultimately make their own choices based on the conditions that present themselves, and most people will differ slightly (or drastically...) on what those choices are. but reputable, well-known publications like the Nation Media group should really reconsider publishing bogus nonsense like this. c'mon guys!

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  2. Anything to sell a product I suppose. One of my absolute favorite things to do is go hiking (or even just walk in my own yard) after a hard freeze and hear the crunching of the ground as all those sharp frozen mud peaks break under my foot. It’s actually something I really miss about winter. If my 135 pound body does not with no extra effort I’m pretty sure my 950 pound mare will flatten in in mere seconds. Not sure the ground would even last an hour being sharp and all that. Sheesh.

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    1. right???? like.... omg. ppl. it's MUD. like i'll allow that clay can be tougher stuff, but still. come the fuck on. it's not like it's puncturing car tires either. horse hooves are shockingly pretty sturdy things in the average case.

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  3. 😂😂 It's a goddamn miracle my two barefoot thoroughbreds came through this last cold snap alive and *gasp* sound!

    These sorts of articles prey on gullible and uninformed people. Honestly, using common sense is probably the best damn way to get through winter, and I wish the people writing these articles mentioned that!

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    1. little do you know, your horses are already probably dead. all you see are holograms. or something. maybe?

      idk. i'm like three seconds away from needing a tin foil hat before i start shouting at the sheeple warning them from these dastardly conspiracy theories.

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  4. HAHAHAHAHA!! FFS people just put your horses outside and go ride. Ain't nobody gon' die.

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    1. not today, mother fuckers! (which, coincidentally, it's quite warm today - hallelujah! - and all those frozen mountainous peaks are now transforming into swelling seas of molten lava. i mean, mud. personally, there's some advantages to the frozen stuff over the liquid stuff imho.... lol

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    2. Omg for real. I much prefer frozen ground to seas of mud. I'm sure your horse's tendons feel the same way. Also, mud is slippery AF. When will someone blog about the risks of SPRINGTIME?!

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    3. ha patience my friend, it'll only take another couple thaws before the inundation begins on the dangers of spring grass and dewy mornings with crumbling hooves, and wild weather swings and colic and mud and all the other things that will certainly kill us all.

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  5. i have a friend who moved her horses from a new barn just because of those idiot thoughts. If it even snowflaked they didnt go out. They were going to be left up 48 hours over Xmas due to not wanting to turn out due to 'frozen ground' etc etc. People are idiots. UGH

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    1. right?? like, charlie ended up stalled for 36 hours straight last winter while i was out of town bc of "weather conditions" and he ended up weaving so violently he broke his splint bone, that then nagged at him and flared up repeatedly over the course of 8 months... eventually requiring surgery and extended stall rest. like. maybe the fucker would have been better off being a little wet and chilly that night after all. c'mon.

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  6. I've been avoiding all horse groups lately because with the cold snap there's been a spike in this posts about putting a mix of salt/water in a milk jug to place in your troughs so they won't freeze. ... And I just can't 🤔🙄 hahahaha. Or the people in Florida running out to buy heavy blankets because it's gonna be 45 😂 common sense yo. It's not so common.

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    1. hahaha yea..... i read that milk jug thing and at first was like, 'huh what an interesting concept, i wonder if it works!' and then it occurred to me that i'd never ever seen it put to practical use at literally any of the many farms i've worked at even in deep winters and.... yea. it probably doesn't work well enough for the effort and potential mess. but like. clever innovative ideas are one thing. spouting off the dangers of horses conducting their every day lives? no. stahp.

      (i will give a pass to the folks in sub tropical climates who are totally not acclimatized to freezing temperatures and possibly over reacting..... but meanwhile it's like 40* here right now and my hands were literally burning from holding my coffee. we adapt, i guess lol)

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  7. Wow that article simultaneously made me laugh while being super annoyed. Someone better tell my horse who LIVES outside 24/7 (yes even in winter - I know. gasp.), and has for at least the 2.5 years that I've owned him, that he is gonna die from those mud peaks. Oh, and don't trot around in your pasture either. You might fall down and break something. If these people saw my pasture, and my horse literally galloping around it some days, I think they would have a heart attack.

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    1. omgggg horze abuzzerrrrrr over here haha. except, uh, last time i checked, your horse was thriving. who knew, they CAN actually live like animals!

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  8. this is my fav post of yours maybe ever. the captions on the photos are amazing.

    or we're just horse abusers.

    YOULL HAVE TO KILL ME TO KEEP MY FROM MY DREAMS. YOU CANT STOP ME, WINTER.

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    1. winter ain't got shit on our sheer, single minded focus on doing fun things with our horses! no matter what horse nation wants to say about the ground murdering said horses!!

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  9. You're not the only one- I was scratching my head, too, when I saw that Horse Nation article. But I'm one of those crazy horse abusers who not only has my horse turned out 24/7 (even in the winter...the horrors!),but dares to even RIDE in the winter. Yesterday we jumped courses and then he went back to his pasture. He's probably lame forever now.

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    1. oh yea, you totes kilt him. he gone. charlie too, probably, considering we did the same. they're all just shadows and dust not. probably reincarnated into future frozen peaks of mud to haunt and fell their former pasture mates.

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  10. I must own zombies. They've been on 24/7 turnout with no shelter & barefoot for years. Stan hasn't even worn a blanket this winter through it all (he destroyed it on day 1). I guess droids must be masking his true appearance from me,too, because he looks better than ever despite standing unsheltered and unblanketed in -30°F multiple days. Apparently they've achieved a remarkable feat surviving like their ancestors once did.

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    1. smoke and mirrors. or droids. actually, yea probably zombies. or white walkers??? ain't no other way to explain how a horse could possibly thrive in those harsh, unspeakable conditions!

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  11. What bothers me the most is the rumor that after you hose your horse off, you have to scrape off the excess water or it will be trapped under the horse's hair and the horse will overheat. Hahaha! What about the horses sweat? Won't sweat be trapped under the horse's hair? Don't ever let your horse sweat or he will overheat and die. lol

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    1. lol yea that's definitely a topic that has come up in contentious conversation many a time! i actually *do* buy into it, for the most part. mostly with the idea being that sweat serves to cool the animal by promoting evaporation, so by applying cool water and scraping it down to a thinner film, more evaporation is promoted (vs a very soaking wet coat with a thicker layer of water that will evaporate more slowly). the sponged on water also has the heat transfer properties of absorbing heat from the body that is then scraped off. repeated actions of sponging and scraping does seem to cool a very hot horse faster than not doing that. tho... the whole evaporation thing kinda goes out the window in very humid conditions anyway, so it's maybe more helpful to just keep a continuous stream or application of cool water (like a shower) on the horse for a couple minutes. really tho... again. they're horses. they're generally fine with a huge variety of standards or types of care.

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  12. I didn't ride at all last week during our deep freeze (non-temperature related reasons) and despite having all day turnout, the lack of activity in such cold weather caused Harley's junk to swell massively. After two rides it is completely back to normal so I actually caused more damage to my horse by NOT riding him in the freezing cold than I ever could have caused by working him in the cold. There. I've completed my own clinical study based on nearly the same amount of research as all of the others and I have determined that NOT working your horse in temps below 23 degrees may cause your gelding sheath to look like a set of truck nutz. Don't be THAT owner.

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    1. omggggggg can we PLEASE submit an editorial to Horse Nation on the presentation of truck nutz in geldings during cold weather inactivity?????? pretty pretty plz???? hahahaha....

      seriously tho. like. horses roam. they're built to move. literally every physical system in their body does better when they're not confined to limited mobility. that whole "five hearts" thing. we can be thoughtful about how we keep them moving in sub-optimal conditions, but they are always better off moving.

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  13. Things like this drive me crazy. I know a lot of it is total BS, but articles like that prey on my insecurities and cause a lot of extra anxiety, even when I can look out the window and see my horses choosing to stand outside of their shelters or running, playing and rolling in "extreme" weather. I'm actually quite happy with my uninsulated, unheated barn because past experiences with the heated barns in my area have been obnoxious; they cite horse safety and don't do turn out below a certain temp, but it really is because the workers don't want to do the work in the cold. And it screws over poor/frugal people like me who don't want to pay for blanket service when I'm already paying an arm and a leg for board. I guess I traded one type of anxiety (my horse roasting in an ammonia-stinking heated barn and going quietly insane due to no turn out and never enough hay) for another (keeping them warm and happy when the barn they come into is hardly warmer than outside).

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    1. ugh yea- that's exactly the issue. for profit companies preying on good-minded horse owners' insecurities and anxieties to sell product. it's like the same sham with so much of the supplement industry. not every product is a gimmick, not every tool or nutritional additive is bad news or useless.....

      but it can become very difficult to sift through all the noise when everything is claiming to be backed up by science or nestling bogus claims amid other, reasonable thoughts. like the list above, where points 1, 3 & 4 are more or less reasonable, but #2 is fucking insane. if you've never heard anybody say #2 before but #s 1, 3 and 4 all sound familiar, maybe you're more likely to just accept #2 as fact instead of the actual literal bullshit that it is.

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    2. It definitely takes a lot of work to sort the wheat from the chaff, especially in the "lets panic about winter even though it happens every year" stage, along with the 52 thoroughbreds that need rescuing and those great blanketing fake studies. This is probably a good time for me to either a) develop my own philosophies and beliefs and stick to them until I find valid reasons to change said beliefs or b) share my own experiences via my blog and have great discussions with awesome sensible bloggers like you :D

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    3. yea it is really hard to figure out what's up. it's hard not to go to one extreme or the other: believing everything you read, even the trash; or being skeptical of everything, even the good stuff. neither is quite right.

      both your options sound good, tho i'd suggest there's a better third option too: finding someone you know personally whose judgement you trust and whose horses are healthy and happy - bonus if they have senior horses who are thriving -- i once heard a quote from some professional who was recounting advice they'd received early on that went something like "Learn from people whose horses get old." with the idea being, those are the kind of people who aren't cutting corners. for instance, my trainers are my go-to resource for any and all horse care related questions.

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  14. AAWWWW, Izzy canterleaping in the snow!!! <3 lol!! Okay, so you noticing the 8-gallon pail nonsense. That right there is why I like you so much.

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    1. lolol but like, seriously right??? i just sorta skimmed over that and my mind immediately snagged and screeched to a halt. 8 GALLONS? and he some how managed to upend the thing to spill on his HEAD while falling??? waaaaaait a second, something here isn't right. this isn't passing the sniff test guys. like, how did he not manage to blow out an ACL or something in what must have been the most epic and cartoonish of falls ever??????

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    2. ok i just read the article again and there is in fact a plural on the bucketS, uh, oops. so.... he was probably carrying TWO five gallon buckets in what seems suddenly much more plausible. still not buying that it landed on his head tho! haha...

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    3. That last comment made me giggle. He's probably an infomercial actor.

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    4. omgggg haha YAS he probably is!!! clueless infomercial actors errywhere!

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  15. AHHHahahahaha I think this is my favorite post of all time! Yes, it drives me crazy, too. I even got a text from my mom on one of the cold days that "horses get frostbite too." Yes, mom, when it's -30 degrees out, there might be a slight chance that the horse will get frostbite.

    It bothers me immensely that people seem to think that horses are so frail and stupid that they have zero capability to survive without extensive monitoring and management. These are people that have been riding for a long amount of time too! If you (general) really think that your horse can't handling step on an uneven surface, probably shouldn't be riding it ever. (Unless in their world they only ride on the most carefully leveled fiber/sand mix?)

    I will say... I did do the saltwater in a jug thing in the trough because I can only run one heater and I have two troughs, and I was desperate to make sure everyone has water. (20 amp circuit, water heater is 15 amps). It... actually works somewhat. Only from 20 degrees up thought. Might only be because my horses play with the fun floating toy all night though.

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    1. well... the reality is that there IS an entire subset of established equestrians who DO believe that horses should really only work on the most perfect of surfaces. and that horses need to be protected from themselves. and ya know. that's fine. you all do you, i guess. but... i'm gonna do me too, and it's also probably fine.

      re: the saltwater jug thing, that actually did sound interesting to me. and i'm glad to hear it sorta kinda works in some conditions! i love the idea of clever #hacks and innovations that with a little investment up front can improve or make life easier down the road. so many of them don't really work, or aren't always worth the time spent on it.... but hey. sometimes it's worth a shot!! (like the above manure spread across the pathways haha....)

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    2. I know there is, unfortunately. I guess it's fine if that's how they want to live their life, I think what annoys me the most is the assumption that I care less about my horses because I don't follow these completely arbitrary ridiculous rules.
      A prime example is blanketing - Sure, some horses need blankets, clipped, thin coat, whatever, but there seems to be the thought that ALL horses should have blankets because that's just how it's done. In reality, it is adding an extra unneeded step, because (shocker) horses can regulate their own temperate very well, and much of the time putting blankets will either make them too cold or too hot. Done right, the blanket weights would need to be switched out with the changing temperature, requiring a full (expensive) wardrobe. So, a completely unneeded expensive waste of time. Thanks for making it harder on the barn staff for literally no reason!

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    3. ugh yea. i think that's what bothers me the most - the idea that bc i don't conform to others' ideas of what is "best" that i somehow am making choices at the expense of my horse's health and well being. or that i somehow am terrible for not feeling like it's "worth it" to spend the extra cash on those amenities. or whatever.

      if i've learned anything from horses, it's that honestly there are so many "right" ways to care for them, and really just only a few truly "wrong" ways. anything that tries to say otherwise is.... highly suspect imo.

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  16. My horses can find plenty of ways to kill themselves on a sunny day without other people's paranoia.

    As for ice, if horses are outside WHEN the ice is falling, they have an easier time navigating then if you turn them out in a slippery paddock... Of course, I'm sure I should be shot for leaving my horses out in ice storms and blizzards and all that...

    But know your horses. Blanket (or not) accordingly. Which is why Subi had almost 700 grams of insulation and was JUST toasty and Batt and my CLIPPED MINI were fine with a medium (and eventually 2 when it was 0). Some horses run hot, some run cold, some are just insane, needy, or stupid and forget to drink...

    (the tripping gif was me walking into tractor supply yesterday...)

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    1. awwwww haha i hope you didn't actually fall down in the store!!! that's.... honestly totally something i would do too lol. sigh.

      but yea. the horses are all better off with a little less paranoia from all quarters, methinks. and.... yup, like you say they're all individuals who often don't do well with a "one size all" solution, esp when that solution is more invasive vs more about letting them be

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    2. Yep, completely fell down walking into the store. Knees bleeding and everything. I hurt today. I tripped over my own feet or lots of invisible monsters that horses would only see...

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    3. ohhhh nooooo :(

      ugh that's awful! damn those invisible monsters, always causing trouble!!!

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  17. Horse will survive.
    Holly will not.
    Holly will not ride when it's too cold, not because her horse will omgdie but because she will.
    She is a displaced Southerner. Horse is fine. Holly ded. Frozen and ded.
    She needs to stop referring to herself in third person.

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    1. lol poor Holly!! she's already succumbed to the terrors of winter!! another victim of this unnatural oppressive force! ;) just kidding tho, stay warm! winter is a real grind, yo. no need to subject ourselves to any more of it than we absolutely must! the horses tho? yea they fine haha

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  18. I am so surprised this was an article. Like....wow. Really?! I'm actually still in utter shock; like who the hell wrote this?! I mean, yes frozen ground is dangerous and you need to be careful, but I feel there's a big lack of common sense here. My horse can sure be uncoordinated, but she grew up in a huge pasture with a creek - she knows how to break ice so she can get to water (destroyed many a plastic frozen water bucket before I could break the ice and before I realized what she was doing and got her a heated one lol), she knows how to watch for her feet and is very wary of slippery ground and is smart about it. This just is still crazy to me, sorry - I can't get over it lol.

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    1. lol the author, as far as i can tell, is a rep for the company sponsoring the post. she's going on at great length about the many and numerous issues caused by mud at farms in order to introduce her company's unique product as the solution to all these woes. tho she ups the ante slightly too far by sliiiiightly exaggerating just how dangerous that mud can be to poor poopsy-woopsy's delicate hoofs-woofsies and.... i'm calling her bluff haha

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    2. Ahhhh okay makes a lot more sense that she's a rep for the company sponsoring the post. But still like....wow haha! I'm actually more inclined NOT to buy the product because of her exaggerations haha!

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  19. I hear ya. Sometimes I feel like an alien on this strange planet where no one apparently has critical thinking skills or analytical abilities. But maybe people who haven't actually had to take care of their horses day in and day out thru everything get what goes into it. Most people pay to board I guess? And then those things are up to someone else.

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    1. yea that's a pretty fair point - a lot of horse care isn't as obvious or intuitive as it might at first seem, and nothing beats first hand experience. it just seems so strange to me that this would be the marketing technique of a company selling an otherwise neat product.

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  20. don't get me started on people claiming i abuse spud because i refuse to blanket him unless it's *REALLY* cold out.

    also. #triggered.

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    1. ugh yea, poor spud. woe is spud. how that despairing little mini suffers!!! or... ya know... maybe he's fine?? sigh...

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  21. I think the “you will kill your horse if you ride it unde 23°” is this year’s “Colorado University’s Blanket Study” 😂😂😂😂

    Also apparently I have lamed all my horses by keeping them outside all last week when temps were dipping down into the teens and single digits bc omg the frozen ground peaks!!!! Oh wait I rode Chimi yesterday and he was SOUND!! What a miracle!!!!

    Oh and what about frozen poop turds in the stalls? If you horse steps on them then OMG their hooves are subjected to uneven ground in their STALLS!!! The horror!!!!!

    And my biggest winter pet peeve is OVER blanketing your horse! It’s 40° outside your non clipped horse should have a sheet or nothing on not 2 medium blankets!!! Just bc you’re cold doesn’t mean they are 🤦🏼‍♀️

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    1. ha i'm so glad you brought up the frozen turd piles - i had wanted to figure out a way to work those in, considering i trip over them all the time (i can't be the only one to absentmindedly kick at one almost to break my goddamn leg bc it's frozen to the ground, right? RIGHT???? lol...). but yea. these stories are too much sometimes

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  22. During those last two weeks here when it got super cold, we were the only barn in the area that had horses out. BM drove around spying on people, and there are A LOT of barns in our immediate vicinity. Clearly these people are HN fanatics. My philosophy is mostly to just throw them outside and look away. They're horses. They're going to maim themselves in perfect conditions. I certainly don't want them in the barn while I'm trying to finish chores. #byefelicia Really the only time they get left in is when the wind couples with cold and snow because lake wind is usually a steady 40mph with gusts to 60 and nobody wants to be out in that. They'd rather colic in their stalls. ::facepalm::

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    1. ugh yea my barn in rochester, as far as i could remember, basically always left the horses out. only a couple of the schoolies wore blankets too, just those who needed them. and.... ya know, they were fine. idk. like you say, they can find ways to do crazy shit even in the most perfect conditions. horses. blargh.

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  23. Ugh. Mine are out in all weather conditions, if they chose to be. I literally have no way of locking them in their shelters...and yet, that has never caused any one any problems and they seem perfectly healthy and happy? Weird, I know :)

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  24. The year I brought Carmen home we had so much snow (or fucking snow as I was calling it) that I had to dig out the fence so that the horses could see it. The horses wore a path to the top of the hill- if they stepped off it they sunk up to their chests. As it melted I watched Irish one day gingerly stepping around checking the depth before committing to putting weight not hat foot.Carmen was coming behind him stepping exactly where he stepped.

    So yeah, horses figure it out. And are probably smarter than people.

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  25. I solve this by forcing my animals to live outside 24/7.

    I'm a straight up equine terrorist.

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  26. "go riding. or the terrorists win."

    I. Lost. It.

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  27. Thank you for your hilarious post & the comment thread — I was feeling so alone as a person who tosses my old retiree outside every day, followed by his mini friends. They know when I open their Dutch doors and say “you guys are such assholes, get out” to gallop all the frozen ground flat, eat snow, break ice in the trough with their teeth, and otherwise attempt suicide. They like to cheer me up. The mini’s enjoy rodeoing until they wipe out and have been observed getting right back up. And living. Which makes everyone who knows them slightly ambivalent. If winter kills, why are these two demons so cheerful? And fat? And that old horse? For god’s sake — he drinks about a gallon of liquid water a day and eats snow the rest of the time. For kicks. He’s huge, he’s active, and this is how he rolls. Year after year. He sucks down an enormous amount of $$$ hay daily. Impaction colic? Err, no. But he can manage his airs above the ground routines still. The winter-phobic stuff has really it peak craziness this year — thanks for taking it down a peg and getting me to laugh.

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  28. Mine have lived outside 24x7 for 4 years straight now. It's a miracle they have survived!!! I should submit them for doctorate studying so the author can figure out how the heck they are still alive!

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  29. I really love riding in the deep fluffy stuff but ice... Ugh.
    Pal attempted to jump an icy patch a few years ago, landing and falling then in her panicked attempts to get up sliced her pastern some good. It ended up in permanent jewelry ....

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  30. I would've believed this a few months ago when the mud was eating Mae's back shoes and her hooves were ripped to shreds. Funnily enough, her feet look awesome now! Our outdoor arena is frozen solid, which when they're undragged turns into a disaster (and three kids falling off so far). I think it's the same as any other horse-related advice. Understand the risks and be smart. Seriously though, riding in the cold sucks. I'm over it

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