snowHorse owners around the country are getting hit hard by winter weather. Even the Alpha Mare is dealing with arctic temps and frozen pipes!
There are several freeze-proof water buckets available and various styles of stock tank heaters, but a ball waterer is often enough to break up any ice when the horse goes to drink. While cost-efficient, this method may not be equally as efficient at preventing frozen buckets and tanks. Your thoughts? Read more on Waterers that Work in Winter.
Heated buckets and automatic waterers will do little good, however, if your pipes burst and you’re having to haul water all day. Some tips for avoiding frozen and burst pipes:
-      Let faucets drip overnight and open cabinet doors to allow heat in around pipes.
-      Insulate pipes, particularly in vulnerable or exposed areas, with a pipe sleeve, heat tape, or heat cables.
-      Seal leaks that allow cold air in near wiring, vents, and pipes.
-      Disconnect garden hoses. If necessary, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.

Listed are a few more low-cost ways to get by in the winter. Share your own in the comments box below!
-      Use a large sled or toboggan for hauling hay and supplies across snow and ice
-      Keep an eye out for old carpets being thrown out or lining the roadside on trash day. They can make great bridges (if used with caution) for getting a horse across an icy area or can be cut up and used if your truck or trailer get stuck in mud or ice. If you live in an industrial area, find out if any industrial belting is available from companies.
-      If you need a quick solution for a horse without pads or traction on icy ground there are a number of things to try: Pam cooking oil, Vaseline, Crisco… See what you can find around the house.
-      Save money, let your horse go barefoot during winter months, and ask your farrier if trimming intervals can be extended slightly.
-      Don’t necessarily close horses up in the barn with poor ventilation when it’s cold. Horses do quite well turned out in a pasture with a roomy, three-sided shed. Plus this saves on maintenance and shavings.

Check out The Horse’s online winter care section for more advice.