Progress in the Cold

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The horses love that the builders have continued on despite the below-zero wind-chill We've been experiencing here.? They stand in the paddock, munching their hay, watching what's going on. This morning the red roof started on the indoor arena.? The horses seem more excited when big trucks hauling in lumber or rock arrive, but I was thrilled to see that red start up. We've been feeding a lot more hay this month than we had planned. that's mainly because it's been so horribly cold and miserable. they're cleaning up nearly every bit of it and simply maintaining their weight, so I know we're not over feeding (yes, I do the ?touch? weight test, but I find I get a decent idea on how they're doing by regularly taking a rear-end view). I expect we'll run out of hay early this year, but we should be good through the bulk of the winter and early spring. that's OK, though. I want to keep their weights where they belong and avoid having to blanket (the freezing drizzle predicted for this morning may require they go in the barn for the day even earlier, though). I've been able to hold their grain where it is, as the hay is getting the job done.? I normally make a small increase in grain for the winter, always relying most heavily on hay consumption.? Sometimes that changes, of course. I remember last year we fed poor Bonnet huge amounts of an extruded feed to help her get through. The horses? water consumption is strong, too, thanks partially to the wonderful solar water tank.? I've been filling that every day, plus they have two buckets over night in the stall. Most of that has been consumed by morning, too. I haven't had to resort to warm water or mashes yet this year. I try to monitor hydration levels as best I can, too. it's still only December, but it's been such a miserable month weather-wise, that I'm feeling confident the horses will be OK for the next two or three months of rough weather. Spring can't come too soon, though, as the final phases of the barn can start them.