I've quickly learned that I would much rather muck a stall than the dry lot when conditions are below freezing. As much as I want the horses to have the greatest amount of turnout possible, when conditions fluctuate between rain-freezing rain-snow, I'd simply rather stuff them in their stalls and let them ride it out inside. It doesn't only save me work, it also saves them from being pelted with intense winds and freezing/rain snow that are so typical of our high elevation home.
|After days of rain and a bit of wet snow here and there, the dry lot was a pig sty. This was despite my mucking twice daily!|
As soon as things thawed out - amidst a drenching above-freezing rain, I raked and mucked the hell out of the dry lot.
|It is tedious AF to rake all those little piles, but the end result is SO PLEASING.|
|And I finished just in the nick of time before the rain turned to snow (again) and proceeded to deliver us 7" of snow prior to switching back to rain (2") and the back to snow again (1").|
This minimizes the amount of ice poop picking I have to do (and the number of muck rake tines I destroy...), while also keeping the horses from having to endure the bitter combination of freezing precipitation and wind.
|Frozen, wind blown tail hairs. Yikes!|
|A fashion statement maybe?|
|Then again, maybe not...|
|Those frosted ears though...|
As a result of more time inside, Grif and Q are both starting to keep neater stall than they first did (Stan has always been immaculate and I love him for it). Additionally, each of the horses politely exit their stalls - sometimes even refuse to leave! lol - when the time comes for turnout and rarely do they all bounce in the dry lot and squeal with contained energy following an extended stall stay.
I think it is safe to say that we're all pretty happy with the new routine and accommodations! But who wouldn't be happy about getting to escape windy, wet, and cold conditions?