In the clear cold of this morning’s dimness, I find the hose frozen. Instead of running the water into the horses’ tub, I fill my bucket at the hydrant and carry it across the yard. Three trips are enough for the fill. There’ll probably be a skim of ice across the surface by the time the horses want their first drink of the day. That should melt away by mid-morning, though.
There is extra work in the way we’re handling things now: putting the geldings into the small paddock at night with access to the shed and feeding them there, returning them to the larger pasture during the day, having to have water at both places, time for the transfer from one place to the other before we leave for work in the morning and doing it again in the dark after we get home. It’s made a bit more trouble with the freezing each night.
For now, I do this, mindful of the horses’ preference for more room to move about and for grazing on fresh grass and my preference for not buying more hay than we have to buy. A few more mornings of hauling water bucket by bucket and I will have to re-evaluate my preferences. That’s the way it is with cost analysis: time versus cash, effort versus convenience, work versus rewards.
I’m not sure how this is going to turn out for the horses. I doubt that they’ve given it much thought. Whether it’s faith or obliviousness, I’m sure they’re trusting the same hands that have taken care of them so far will continue to do so.
That’s what I’m doing.