Sunday, January 31, 2010

@#*! Part Deux

I foolishly interpreted the horses' shedding as a portent of Spring. Mother Nature is not without a sense of humor. We had more than 3" of rain, freezing drizzle, and a dusting of snow. Temps have been in the mid 20s to mid 30s, with wind chills in the teens.

When I got home Friday, Poco practically jumped into his blanket.

We had Jaz built up to most of the day without the grazing muzzle, then I'd put it on him after dinner until the morning. I was concerned about restricting my fair-weather pony's access to hay during the foul weather. In ideal conditions, I would have continued to gradually ease him out of it, but I decided to let him out of the muzzle the night before the bad weather set in. Mr. Fry was home the next day and could keep an eye on him, and I could have run him back up to the farm if I had to. Fortunately, that has not been necessary.

The precip stopped, the wind picked up, and it was bitter yesterday. I glanced out the laundry room window, and to my horror, saw the horses standing at the frozen water trough. Unnoticed by me, my spouse had removed the heater. I ran out with wet hair and no coat to break through the ice for them. I dug around in the garage until I found the heater and the extension cord. I gave both Boyz a bucket of warm Gatorade, which they enjoyed with gusto. It took hours for that water to heat up.

I could not let this go. I asked Mr. Fry, who was at work, what the heck he was thinking. His response indicated that he thought the only reason I was upset was because I was "inconvenienced." No! I was upset because Jaz doesn't drink enough on a good day, and certainly not when the water is ice cold. I tried to explain that I had just spent close to $2,000 on vet bills related to (strongyle induced) colic, and that not having access to water is an open invitation for colic, in any case. Mr. Fry asked if I had actually seen the horses attempting to drink, as if everything was fine as long as I hadn't actually witnessed them trying to get water. Say what?

When he got home, I tried to explain again to Mr. Fry the importance of the horses always having an ample supply of water, but he just wasn't getting it.
I can only chalk it up to sleep deprivation.


The Pink Geranium or Jan's Place said...

Man, it appears you dodged a bullet, a repeat of colic is nothing any of us look forward to. Especially if it can be avoided!

AareneX said...

Close call! Wake up, Mr. Fry!!!

Here's something that might prevent this kind of misunderstanding in the future, and it only costs a couple of bucks:

In addition to the thermostat on the tank heater, Jim added a thermostatically-controlled plug to the extension cord. The cord only draws power when the air temp drops below 34 degrees F, and it has a LIGHT on it, so you can see that it has turned itself on (which is supposed to remind me to plug in the diesel truck to the other outlet...!)

I'm not sure how much money it actually saves us, but everything helps, including have a "double-stop" to turn off the electricity when it's too warm to need the tank heater. Our heating element will probably stay in the tank until May.

cdncowgirl said...

Yikes - rain, freezing rain and snow!! That does not make for safe travel of any kind.
Stay safe girl!

Jenn said...

Have you told him how much water a horse MUST have during the day to survive? Maybe if he could visualize the quantity they must partake to keep everything running smoothly he'd be less casual about it.

I've been thinking about Jaz's proclivity to colicking (aside from the strongyles caused colic) have you considered adding well-soaked beet pulp to his diet? I have used it for YEARS and love it. Adds water and succulence to the diet and is easier on their teeth and guts (like eating grass).

Anyway, just a thought.

the7msn said...

Whew. Close call. About that shedding - it always made sense to me that the growing in and falling out of a horse's winter coat was all because of the change in seasons. Which is true, to an extent. I've since learned it's the decrease and increase in daylight hours that is the true regulator of the horse's coat. Hank starts to shed on Dec. 22 every year, like clockwork.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm glad to hear that Jaz is doing well without having to wear the grazing muzzle all night. Whew!
But the frozen water is scary!
My hubby tends to be lackadaisical (sp?) about water, too. Mostly in just refilling and keeping them clean. I ask him, "Would you want to drink that black filthy water with debris floating around, and he just answers, "I'm not an animal" like animals like to drink yukky water and don't deserve clean water. bah!

Why would he even take the electric heater out in the first place?
We keep our electric buckets on all winter long, until our temps are consistantly (for 2 weeks at least) above 55. At night the temps will drop down and then the water gets too cold for the animals to want to drink, without them being heated, so I'll even leave them turned on longer just to sure everyone is drinking.
Can you just tell him not to ever touch the electric heater? That you will be in charge of it?


Leah Fry said...

Lisa, after the tongue lashing he got, I'm sure I'm in charge of it now, like it or not LOL!

So far, Jaz is doing great. Thanks for all the great suggestions. I'll keep them in mind if he starts acting puny again.

Unknown said...

AHHHH! Okay, I'm never letting my husband near the heaters. He's such a power conservation nut he won't see the fundamental math error between vet bills and electric bills.

Tell him next time you won't put oil in your car for 40K miles. Perhaps that analogy will drive home the point.

Unknown said...

That's something my Hubby would do - and then defend his action even though they were wrong - sorry you had to deal with it. Kinda ruins the day huh?

Jeni said...

I'm glad all is well... I too have recently had the "Just how important water is" conversation with my husband too. Not sure I understand that mentality but I too drove the point home rather forcefully.

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