Frigid Temperatures create problems...
Very cold arctic air came in Sunday night bringing wind chills up to -30 degrees F. This is the 3rd day of these crazy temperatures. Weather this cold can create a plethora of problems for horses as well as people.
It is important to protect yourself from frostbite by covering all exposed skin possible. I found that my eyelashes would freeze so I guess I need some goggles. My gloves were not very thick so my fingertips would hurt for a few minutes and then they were just numb. Time to hit the store for an upgrade!
I bought 3 large round bales of hay to give the horses extra food, shelter and bedding. They ended up not even touching it. They stayed near the run-in shelter and in the barn instead. Walking on the frozen mud was very difficult for the horses so they preferred that I bring the hay to them. Horses that normally didn't get along with each other were side by side eating. I use water heaters in the troughs but worried that they wouldn't work in these extreme temperatures or that we would lose power and the water would freeze. Luckily, heaters worked great and the horses drank enough water to keep their digestive systems flowing. My horses have very thick winter coats that naturally protect them in the cold. Traveler is a bit thin so I blanketed him.
We are almost through this difficult stretch, just one more day and temperatures should be back above freezing. I am exhausted but cannot imagine how the horses feel. Hope this is that last of those terrible wind chills! Spring can't come soon enough!