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Winter Weigh In: Robin Pepin

Published: 2/18/2015
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Editor's Note: We asked several horse owners to share their pros and cons of this record-breaking winter - one that’s brought more snow and cold temperatures than most can remember. It’s one that brings the horse community together as we celebrate our blessings and commiserate over our challenges.

Many thanks to Robin, Kim, Nina, and Julie! We're sending you gals Darn Tough socks and Stabilicers to help you get through the season!

By Robin Pepin

Robin lives with her husband and horses in Bradford, Maine. Check out her review of the Equine Affaire here.

Considering the pros and cons of Maine's winter, she writes:

There’s no doubt about it, owning and caring for horses during the winter in Maine is NOT for the faint of heart.

Bummer No. 1: First and foremost the COLD!  Getting out of bed at 4:30 am; dressing in an unimaginable number of layers and stepping out into the brutal cold to muck stalls, water and feed is a complete and total bummer. When I say brutal, I’m talking about below zero numbers. The coldest morning so far this winter has been -21 degrees.  Mornings with temps zero or above have been rare during the months of January and February.

Ain’t life grand No. 1: It’s too cold for bugs to exist in the arctic zone, so the horses don’t need any bug deterrent devices.  Maine is notorious for all kinds of nasty flying and biting insects that constantly harass the horses. They like not having to wear humiliating fly masks.

Bummer No. 2: Lack of daylight. I work during the day (7:30-5) so most of my time spent with my horses for a good portion of the winter is spent in the dark. 

Ain’t Life Grand No. 2: Finding my way down to the barn in the wee hours of the morning has not only honed my night vision but it wakes me up quicker than a cup a dark roast coffee.

Bummer No. 3: Having your electricity bill triple between the months of November and March (and possibly April) from using stock tank and stall bucket heaters.

Ain’t Life Grant No. 3: The horses seem to enjoy drinking warm water that stays in liquid form. They don’t concern themselves with expenses and insist they are worth it.

Bummer No. 4: As the snowfall  rises, the fence height lessens.  This is gets a bit sketchy because the horses could easily breech their compound perimeter.

Ain’t Life Grand No. 4:  Thankfully, my horses are rather lazy so they have no desire to wade thru snow on the other side of the fence. They realize the grass is certainly NOT greener on the other side.

View Reader Comments:

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2/19/2015 Doris Luther, Hollis, Maine
When the horses and the human (me) have icicles on our eyelashes, you KNOW it's cold!

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