Arctic blast

It was a cold weekend here in Oklahoma! Friday was a balmy 55 degrees, but temperatures were predicted to drop quickly on Saturday, and the oncoming cold front was bringing high winds, freezing rain, and snow with it.

I spent Saturday morning preparing the barn for the winter weather. I cleaned stalls, added fresh bedding, scrubbed out buckets, brought extra hay inside, and disconnected hoses. Moe got a snuggly stable blanket tucked under his turnout sheet; he seemed very confused about why this addition to his wardrobe was necessary.

Saggy, shaggy winter Moe!

By mid-afternoon, the sleet had started. I brought the ponies in around 4 PM- they seemed grateful to be out of the chilly north wind! I retreated to my house for the next couple of hours and ventured back to the barn around 7 PM to feed the horses dinner.  Snow had been blown into the barn aisle under the north doors, and it was considerably colder than it had been earlier. (The windchill temperatures for the evening were predicted to be between -10 and 0 degrees!) The horses’ water buckets were already beginning to freeze, so I added extra water to their dinners and topped off the buckets with hot water to encourage them to drink. I tossed them some extra hay, shut both sets of barn doors, and headed back inside.

I spent Saturday night making a batch of DIY Horse Ownership’s homemade horse treats; baking is the perfect activity for cold winter nights! I followed her recipe as exactly as I could; I didn’t have sweet feed (and didn’t want to buy a bag of it), so I left it out. My mini muffin tin is in a box somewhere, so I baked my treats in silicone muffin cups. I filled them with about 1.5 tablespoons of treat mixture and baked them according to Olivia’s instructions. Since I only have a dozen muffin cups, it took a while to bake four dozen treats, but it was totally worth the effort. They were really easy to make and looked beautiful! Two dozen are headed to my equestrian blogger secret Santa, a dozen are going to a local friend, and my horses are enjoying the last dozen!

Yesterday morning dawned very cold and sunny. It was 8 degrees when I headed out to feed! EIGHT! The average high in December in Tulsa is nearly 50 degrees, so you can imagine that eight degrees was a very rude way to start the day. Fortunately, there wasn’t much snow or ice accumulation, and the horses didn’t freeze to death during the night. Their water buckets didn’t fare as well- every one had a thick layer of ice on the top. My hot water spigot was stuck, so ponies ate dry feed and got kicked out to the pasture with a heated water tank. I put the buckets on the barn porch in hopes they’d thaw a little in the sun.

I recruited Johnny to assess the spigot last night; he grabbed my hair dryer and heated it enough to get it moving again. Unfortunately, no water was moving. We poked and prodded the pipes and the hot water heater in the tack room, and discovered the pipe carrying hot water from the tank to the spigot had burst in the cold. Fortunately, it’s not a big length of pipe, and we ought to be able to replace it ourselves without a lot of trouble. Unfortunately, the floor of my tack room is something akin to an ice rink at the moment.

The cold weather is leaving as quickly as it arrived- tomorrow’s high is 50! I’ll be glad to get back to normal temperatures (and Moe will be glad to lose the blankets)!


Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

9 thoughts on “Arctic blast”

  1. I’m glad the treats worked out so well for you. I actually left sweet feed out from the video version of the recipe, so you were fine. I don’t even own sweet feed either and usually just throw in ration balancer or all-in-one. But people kept say how they looked good enough to eat (they’re not unless you really like molasses and bran) and figured a version without the horse feed was in order.

  2. Oh man. Burst pipes are terrible – glad it seems like an easy fix tho! And yea that ice is just the freakin worse. It hasn’t gotten that cold here yet but damn. 8* is COLD.

  3. The cold weather has been no fun. My “frost-free” hydrant was frozen solid for three mornings in a row. We’ve figured stuff out over the years, so I now have a blow-torch and a giant kerosene heater to thaw stuff out! And my tack room is heated, so I put frozen buckets in there to thaw during the day. Do you use heated buckets in your stalls? Or just a big tank outside?

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