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Friday, December 29, 2017

When whiskers freeze, Sophie has a slumber party and Matilda gets a coat

Old Matilda with frosted whiskers
It is really cold. Not just a 'tad chilly', it is dangerously cold. But we are fine. It's one thing to have this weather for a few days, but we will have it for over a week, maybe even two weeks. As much as I love the winter, I'll be honest, it adds a lot onto the daily chores-ice buckets, and making sure everyone has extra hay so an additional trip tot h barn in mid day is necessary.

I put out a request this morning to Apifera Angels for another horse blanket for Matilda, and bam, one was purchased. Oh the power of the village of love. Thank you!!Don't worry, Matilda is not in danger, she has one winter coat but I'd like a 300 gram weight one for her to give additional warmth. Matilda went into winter with good weight and is getting 6# of senior feed daily plus hay. It's all about the hay in this arctic weather. And we are going through double the bales but I will not worry about that now. The minute they get their hay, the shaking stops even in below 10 degrees.

All the equines had frosting whiskers and clumps of ice on their nostrils this morning. Boone had frosted eyelashes. I have a 300gram blanket coming today for Boone who never wears a coat but he is going on twenty and has always had a thinner coat. Last winter did help him develop a slightly thicker coat. He is also notorious for ripping off blankets, so I hope he doesn't destroy it. I'll put it on at night in these frigid temps. A horse needs 1-2% of his body weight in hay, and he is getting that and probably double that...so all is well.

I gave Boone a rubdown while he ate hay this morning to invigorate the heat in his body. he seems to like it.

"It's better than flies, Boone," I told him.

So...it's cold. What are you going to do? It does get tiresome after a few days. After the initial onslaught of everyone sharing photos on Instagram of their temperature gauges you are faced with the reality of...

It's %4##@&%$$ cold.

I also brought old Sophie up to the front barn to be with Sir Tripod Goat and Opie. That barn is a tish warmer. She just seemed a bit...off....last night when I did feeding, went to lay down instead of walking around getting into trouble, her eyes seemed dopey. She has water, but I wondered if she had not been drinking. Animals actually tend to drink more in cold weather [in my experience] and I do take care to replenish buckets and chip ice-which is about 2" each morning. SO I took her out last night and she was not thrilled to walk on the cold path with me, but she seemed fine once we got to barn. She has a very good wool coat, and I am pleased I've put a lot of weight on her this year since she has separate quarters. I left them last night and aid,

"Think of it like a slumber party."

They chewed their cud and seemed unimpressed,

"Will their marshmallow treats later, and movies?" they asked.

The donkeys don't have a lot of room to roam in. Last year we plowed but in these temps they sort of hunker down. I was amused that they went out to the paddock, and clearly made a beeline for the barn.

Old Sophie joins Sir Tripod for the winter arctic freeze

The equines went out this morning and did an about face