I got to the yard this morning to hear that everything was frozen – water drinkers, troughs, taps, even the water bowser stored in the barn. Abe got his hoof trim first and then went out; he was a bit antsy while getting his hooves done, possibly because he was thirsty and late going out, but quite calm in the field. Once Poppy and Dancer had had their trims and gone out as well, I took the ragwort fork and went round all the troughs and water buckets out in the fields, breaking ice to let the horses reach the water in the troughs and lifting the ice out of the buckets so they could get at the unfrozen liquid underneath.
This was what I hauled out of Daniel’s bucket:
My glove’s there for scale – it’s about a three-inch thick chunk of ice.
Odette mentioned that she has something called trace heating for her water – which means the drinkers and troughs never freeze. She said it’s not expensive and her husband put it in himself, so it’s not too complicated to do (her words, not mine! I assume he’s not a plumber by trade, anyway).
I definitely want to know more!