A day in the life.

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What a crazy long day. I can handle snow. I can handle rain. But one right after the other is a recipe for disaster. So today started with flooding. The barn flooded and the shed in front of the barn that holds all their feed flooded. It was right at the point of touching feed bags. Here is the good part, my wonderful BF was home and able to save the day. He had been working since 3 am plowing but was done early so we borrowed the neighbors skid steer and started moving snow water and slush from in front of the barn. Crisis averted no feed was lost and water is no longer rising.

But tonight down to 12 degrees,  the next day we had an ice skating rink.

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All the stores were out of rock salt, so I found out a good alternative is water softener salt.  Just don’t use it on paved surfaces.  Put down the rock salt, now the horses can go out to the pasture with out fear of slipping on ice.

Day part 2. This one too has a ended well. So with the freezing rain, the whole neighborhood’s electricity goes out around 6pm. I start panicking. How will the horses have water in the morning? All their water will freeze over night. So I was envisioning boiling water on the wood burning stove and bringing it out to the barn. But the water would only last a day. My only recourse I could think of was to buy a generator. Which luckily Lowes just received a large shipment of. We get it home and an electrician friend comes by to help out. He makes sure it is set up and shows me the separate electrical panel and switch (between generator and main power). Then low and behold the electricity comes back on. All of that a for 3 hours with out power. Well luckily we are prepared now.

Winter is not over yet

The Beauty of Winter

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 This week we had about 8 more inches of snow.  Sure it is pretty to look at and the horses love to play in it but it makes everything more difficult:  Walking out to the barn, opening doors, gloved hands can’t do anything.  Enough complaining, because it also make for some very pretty pictures.

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A couple of days after the snow storm we found ourselves in the the midst of Frozen Rain and slightly Warmer temperatures.  A layer of ice coated everything.  I had some fun with these pictures, as it is really quite beautiful.

Winter Write up

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Today I received a request for to answer some questions about this winter for a human interest story for PSU Extension Equine newsletter.  So I figured I would share with you.

Name and location in state: Golden Spike Farm; Quakertown, PA

How many horses are you caring for? 10 horses and 2 mini donkeys

What challenges has the harsh winter conditions in January 2014 caused for you?

  • Frozen water buckets in the stalls
  • Frozen water hose
  • Barn doors frozen shut
  • So cold your hands and feet hurt so you minimize your time outside (horses not receiving as much attention)
  • Horses not being brushed as much so a wound was missed.  I am now dealing with the abscess.  Twice daily wound care plus antibiotics (topical, oral, intramuscular injection)

What changes have you had to make this year that are different from past years to manage and care your farm and/or horses? 

Personal Comment on Winter of 2014: 

Everything takes longer starting with getting ready to go outside.  I usually can be found wearing 3 layers on the bottom and 5 layers on top, hat, gloves, and my Columbia cold weather boots.  Luckily I have help; all my boarders share the work load.  I am originally from Miami, so I have jumped into this the hard way but we are getting through it and I am looking forward to warmer temperatures this weekend.

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