This week we received our two foster horses, Vai Via and Zeno Bay. They are adjusting nicely but we’ve also been very busy this weekend with other things.
There are a number of major purchases Zac and I would like to make, but our money only allows for so much. Earlier this year we agreed that we’d first look for an ATV, then a truck, then eventually, a horse trailer. For the last few months we’ve been looking around. Most ATVs are too expensive or have too many problems. We agreed that if we were to find a decent machine we’d be looking at $3-5k used.
Cutting back to the end of August; we took a very impromptu and fun trip to a county fair. While there we saw a display of ATVs and Side-By-Sides from a local dealer. Shocked, we found some 2018 models going for under $5,000….and it was a 4×4! We continued on our way but our spirits were lifted knowing that we might find what we’ve been looking for.
The ATV at the fair stayed on our minds for a couple weeks. Last Saturday Zac and I finally took a trip to this local dealer; they still had this offer. The truth is that the manufacturer offers big rebates for end of year models, so we jumped on board. Only days before our visit we had planned to see a used ATV that was 16 years old and being sold for $4,000. This weekend we brought home our Polaris Sportsman 450. Before taxes it cost $4800. We are so excited now that we’ll have a better way to manage manure and pull the gang reel mower. It’s also very fun!
Now that we’ve made this purchase my pockets are feeling the hurt. Nevertheless I have still been thinking of what is needed at the farm. I was set up quite nicely for two horses during the summer. It’s been eating at me thinking of the coming winter, and now I will have the 3 horses.
Why is it eating at me?
The paddocks are far from the house so water and electricity are not an option at this point. Digging is not an option as it would cost too much and we’d have to deal with going under a stream. I have a hair-brained idea to eventually install a solar panel (or 2) on the barn but it would never generate enough electricity to power a heated water tank. I’ve been looking for cost effective methods for keeping water in the winter and I have a few plans for projects I may try. Seriously, there are a ton of ideas online and I will be mixing and matching as I go.
To start, I wanted to find a large water trough that could hold more water (harder to freeze solid that way). This week thanks to a wonderful barn friend I brought home 2 100 gallon stock tanks that cost me half of what Tractor Supply sells them for. They were dirty and needed scrubbing.
One of the buckets has a patch that’s no longer doing it’s job. It should be an easy fix, but I already have a few backup ideas for it that may not require it to hold water. This winter I may be putting in more work but I will be experimenting to see what works best for our situation. Having a larger stock tank is going to be a tremendous help.
Finally, as we were wrapping up our busy Saturday I decided to spend time with Happy and Blade. After all, it is Happy’s last night with us.
I had a talk with Happy explaining that she was missed at home. She has a lovely girl excited to lease her, and that she would get loads of attention again by lots of different people. Her and Blade both seemed to understand (this horse lady has gone crazy?!).
I decided to hop on Blade bareback with just a leadline around his neck. Completely tackless; something I hadn’t really done before with him (but have come close). Impressively he responded very well so we walked and jogged around the paddock a few times and through the woods. Happy was happy to tag along.
After Blade and I were through I got on Happy one last time, also tackless. This time Blade followed along with us (more like pushed up against us) as we looped around the paddock. The sunset was a gorgeous mix of hot pink and deep purple; the weather was pleasantly chilly. I don’t have a photo of the sunset; there are some moments you simply must enjoy and forget the camera.
Awesome fun bargain. I purchased a solar powered battery(looks like a car battery with a little solar panel on top) bout $100 on line works great, keeps the horses in beautifully if we have cloudy days it can be brought inside & charged. I love the expression on the horses faces like, “yes this is our pet we have no idea what she doing sometimes, but she is ours”. The reason I know this is because that’s how mine look at me. haha.
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Thats really neat about the ability to charge your battery? Do you use it for your fencing? We have a solar fence now. I’d love to get something for lighting and I’m still using my noggin to come up with winter water solutions. I have a feeling there will be a lot of “Great Stuff” or other foam insulation in my future.
Yes Williams horse Marlo likes to test all electric fencing & got a great zap from it, silly duffa. The solar + battery charges an acre or more perimeter very well, I’ll put a photo up on my next blog so as you get an idea what it looks like. It is mind boggling the amount of ideas out there, we don’t have a freezing water problem thank goodness ours is more putting ice in the water on hot summer days. lol
I’ve had a similar problem in the summer too. The water gets over a hundred degrees is more like a tea. The solar charger I have at our house it’s supposed to charge up to 10 miles. I have more than enough but it doesn’t seem to pack much of a punch.