Tips for avoiding frozen water buckets

by horselover2


Winter winds and crunchy snow are prevalent in cold weather climates. With the many challenges this time of year, providing fresh water for your horse shouldn’t be one of them.

Shelter from cold winds, sufficient hay, grain and water are all necessary for your horse.  Horses need fresh water; snow won’t provide them with enough moisture and water. The following alternatives to regular water buckets can help make winter chores easier and less stressful.


Insulated Water Buckets

If your barn doesn’t have electricity insulated buckets may be a good choice.  Although not entirely ‘ice-proof’ they’re better then regular buckets. Insulated buckets come with a wall mount that helps to keep ice at bay. The “floater” stays in the bucket with the water and allows horses to drink.  If water is kept below the floater, it won’t ice up. And changing your water twice a day will also help avoid freezing water.

 Heated Water Buckets

 If you have a power source in your barn, you will love these buckets. Provided with temperature sensitive construction, heated water buckets turn on at 42 degrees and off at 52 degrees.  The heat keeps water from freezing while allowing horses to drink freely.  The 6′ cord is shielded with a coiled wire.  If you have 5 -gallon flat backed buckets, consider mounting the buckets onto the stall wall which helps to keep horses from ‘playing’ and knocking buckets off of the wall.

 Heated Automatic Waterers

If you live in a harsh cold climate and have electricity in your barn, heated automatic waterers are the easiest solution.  They can be mounted to the stall wall or installed in pastures and will provide your horse with a continuous supply of water. Most models have a removable drain plug or removable bowl that can easily be cleaned. 

 Make sure to follow the manufacture’s instructions during installation to avoid freezing problems. And contact your local extension agency to find out what the frost depths are in your area to avoid any freezing issues