Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Preparing for winter

Winter is just around the corner, teasing some folks with scant layers of snow, a tickling reminder that we had better be prepared. Our farrier, St. Butch, had an inch on the ground at his house this past Sunday--a mere hour or so north of us. Last year, we'd already received our first big snowfall with the Halloween storm. We'll see what Mother Nature has in store for us soon enough.

Not only am I preparing for winter at home, but at the barn as well. John sprung for a "shelter-in-a-box" so the horses would have a run-in shed while we are both at work. I'm hoping it will hold up to winter's brutish winds and snow loads. The past few days have put it to the test with gusting winds, day and night. We will have to keep the roof clear of snow with a broom, but I'll have peace of mind when I'm 30 minutes away at work, knowing the horses have an option. Rolex has shown no fear of it (our brave brumby), but Harley and Ruffy might need to get used the the flapping green structure sprouted in their pasture!

I'm trying to pack the "safe" pounds on Harley as we head into winter. This involves a nice mash made of up from rice bran, flax seed, beet pulp, corn oil, and alfalfa-blend hay. He and the girls love this warm concoction, but heating water by the bucket is slow, especially when the temperatures are down in the twenties. So John purchased a nice hotpot--instant hot water for the mash, and for a nice cup of tea!
We've got little containers with sugar and tea, ready to heat up our innards and extremities while the horses slurp up mash. This is a must-have barn accessory when there is no running hot water. I wonder why we didn't get one sooner? After waiting for slow-to-warm buckets in freezing temperatures, I finally said, "We need a little hotpot here." And this is what I got for my birthday! Thank you, John--and the ponies thank you too.

"Yummy, yummy, yummy, I've got bran mash in my tummy."

On these cold nights, I like knowing they've had a little warm treat to tide them over until morning. Oh, and it smells good too! I've got the recipe down just right--mix up a rice bran slurry, with flax seed, add oil, and beat until smooth. Pour into pre-soaked beet pulp and stir until blended. Feed to happy horses.

Ruffy and Harley got their shoes pulled this week; another step towards winter. Here's a shot of Harley and John coming in for dinner Sunday night--my two best boys.


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  2. OH I adore that last photo of Harley and John!!! That is a keeper for sure. Stay warm - that mash looks good enough to gobble - glad you got a hotpot to make the yummy treat for your babies.


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