Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Arctic Blast Aftermath

We are still very cold, much colder than we should be this time of year. We should be in the 30's and 40's, not the single digits and negative digits at night.. but we are dealing.. The horses have all done fine, even Otto,  who I was most concerned about. The water tank heaters have not caused us any grief and have quietly hummed along as they should , even in -25 with the wind chill factor. That makes me happy.

Less than a week  ago we had been getting torrential rains  for about a two week period. As you can imagine,  that made for a major mud disaster in the corrals.  We have a type of dirt that is a mix between a clay like and sandy loam type soil so when it rains, our Mud is really something to behold. It's like gumbo. We also had standing water in many places because everything was so saturated, it wasn't sinking in any more. (you desert dwellers don't know how fortunate you are to  have sand ) Horses came and went in and out of the corrals through the  mud  in order to get to the water tanks and barns. Well. with the artic blast on Sunday night,  that all froze rock solid.

 We are now left with really hard ground that has divits from hoof prints and high spots in between.  Its ankle breaking footing and very difficult for the horses to walk on. They don't like it at all.
It's so bad  that the horses don't want to come into  the one corral area from the pasture  (the one that Cassidy and Otto have been living in ) to get water. Unfortunately, the way we are set up, we have a designated area for the water tank because we have electricity run right next to for tank heaters. The option of moving the water tank is not an option.

The rest of the horses are in the other corral and theirs isn't as bad. They also aren't as bothered by the footing.. since they have grown accustom to this over the years.

Otto will come into the corral and walk around the edge of the fenceline where the divits and ground aren't quite as bad  in order to get to his barn, but in order to get to the water, he has to go through the worst part of the footing.

So, I either let my horse get dehydrated or  I have to somehow find a way to get him water. I have been haltering Otto a few times a day and dragging him over to the water tank so he can drink. It takes us forever because he doesn't like it but we eventually make it there with alot of coercing. Sometimes, I just haul a bucket out to him, which is easier and less time consuming. It's also  the method he prefers , but I don't want him to come to expect that special treatment!

Obviously, neither of those are good long term solutions to our issue with this footing thing. Not a whole lot can be done because everything is frozen so hard. After talking it over last night, we decided to give something a try. It might turn out to be money thrown away because in realty NOW is not the time to be laying down gravel but we are going to anyways.  It's really the only solution we can come up .

The idea is that with 6 inches of gravel laid down, it should  completely fill the low spots and level it  they have a level base to walk on.  3/4 " gravel with a binder should  do the trick. Come spring, alot of it will sink in but gravel is cheap enough and we can bring more in to keep building it up, which is something we have been wanting to do anyways.  We will place it in the barn , 6 feet in front of the barn ,  in front of the water tank and in front of the gate that goes in and out of the corral. That should pretty well cover the worst areas and hopefully help the horses travel alot easier.

Fingers Crossed!

No comments: