Thursday, January 5, 2012


When it's cold outside, the first thing I do during morning chores is to take the cover off the water trough, break up the ice and get rid of it with my trusty strainer... then I throw in a couple of gallons of hot water.  After that I plug it in until evening chores (unless it warms up and I can unplug it earlier). My electric bill goes up for a few months, but it is worth it.
 Then, I go in the barn, turn on the lights and start getting the grain ready.
While the girls eat that, I put out the hay.  Always 4 piles for 3 horses.
 Once they are turned out, I start on the stalls.
 Most of the time I have two wheel barrows with me.
 I also have a fork, a rake and a broom.

 Fortunately we have a hydrant under the stairs that go up to the loft.  I empty the buckets and hang them there until it's time for evening chores.  A couple of nights ago when it got down near 0 there was ice in them by morning (which I attacked with a rubber mallet).  Fortunately they all drink most of their water during the night.  Sometimes I bring out a gallon of hot water so I can really rinse them out well before I hang them up.
 There are always ropes hanging from the gate to the main aisle in case of an emergency.
 The feed room is full of all kinds of things.  Safe Choice, Beet Pulp pellets, bran, shavings, hay, apples, supplements, tool box, little ladder, a calendar and much more.

 Ronelle, over in France, was asking me about beet pulp.  I get the pellets with no molasses.
 For our three horses, I put a little less than a cup in a container with a lid, and cover it with at least an inch of water.  After they have soaked, they fluff up and I mix them with their grain.  (At night I soak for morning and vise versa).  Each horse gets 1-2 cups am and pm.
 As for stall cleaning....picky, picky, picky.
 If you use shavings, it's very important that you shake them out when you are cleaning, or you end up wasting A LOT!
 Once the stalls are picked, I rake them and sweep off the mats.
 Set up hay for the evening.
 Sweep the aisle and rake the run-in area.
 Seeing that it was much milder today, the crew was with me.

 Fast forward to evening chores....
 The water is put in....
 I get the grain ready....
 and the girls come in.  On automatic pilot of course.

 All tucked in and it was not quite dark yet.  A piece of cake.

Night all.


  1. I love your pictures, They are so beautiful. Enjoyed meeting your horses.

  2. Love seeing the details, Lori! Thanks.

  3. Pretty much the same routine here, except a couple of extra feedings each day since Paj had ulcers last year. Our water troughs (sp?) in the pastures are on timers so that when we're ready for turnout, the water's water, not ice. It works for us. Would like to put Nelsons in the pastures some day.

  4. A day in the life of "Lori",WOW!!, do you ever have some time to be yourself, go out, or do you sometimes have many more or fewer horses to care for? Your love of them shows, and they must surely appreciate the unfrozen water, clean stalls and all home comforts.And the covers, hard work to put on,but maybe do they stay on all winter, with extras for the very colder days? Brave little others to keep you company in the snow.
    Cheers from Jean

  5. Oh wow, Lori, I knew you work hard, but only realise how hard from this post. Loved seeing your horses, dogs and cats again. Hope 2012 is going to be the best ever year for you. Blessings, Jo

  6. I really enjoyed seeing your routine. My boys seem to be missing out - no carrots or apples in their feed buckets :((
    Your barn is always so clean! That's important to me - and I find that if I do the chores every day it isn't that big a deal.
    I'm like you when it comes to saving shavings! I really try to winnow out the good stuff. I've been using wood pellets, soaked so they turn into fine sawdust, in Pippin's stall. His stall is so much easier to clean than Doc's, which has the shavings. I'm only using the shavings until they are gone - and I use them in Doc's stall because he isn't quite as messy as Pippin.
    Oh, I also love your barn. Old barns have such stories to tell!

  7. Oh I am exhausted reading this you work so very hard. A lot of hands on, unlike the cattle farming. I like your horses.Great photos. B

  8. Your routine is much like ours. It flows when you do it all the time but sure looks like a lot of work when you break it down. ..I guess it is a lot of work, especially for you. At least we rarely have the water freezing.

  9. I loved reading about your routine...and seeing the pictures to boot! Your horses are so lucky!
    Thanks for the wonderful post!


Thank you for reading The Skoog Farm Journal. I do not have google+ and am unable to comment on those blogs. Would love to reach some of you and need email addresses. Your comments are appreciated.