We collect water off the barn roof for the horses to drink. Why? Well, it started as a project to reduce erosion. When the heavy summer rains gush off the barn, the ground washes away, leaving gullies under the eaves.
We (Jim) put up plastic gutters and collected the run-off in a 50 gallon drum.
The horses drank it up like it was a magic elixir…which, compared to the taste of the well water, it probably is.
Then we got more horses and realized we could also do our environmental bit to reduce the pressure on our well, so we put 570 gallon tanks on each side of the barn and a 600 gallon tank up at the house.
The water starts out clear and in just a few days, hay drops in (from some thirsty mouth), dirt blows in, algae colonizes and in the summer, water bugs appear. From where? We live over a mile from the nearest live water!
In short order, we have an entire ecosystem in the tank, mainly blown in on the wind.
When the water level gets low, we clean the tanks.
This weekend, Jim cleaned. Risa was in the pen with him, and the wind was blowing fiercely when Jim tipped the tank up to wash it out. The tipped up tank twanged and rattled.
Risa was dumbfounded, and when a swirling gust hit, she thought she might need to leave. She crouched into a spring-loaded jumping position at the green gate to the north lot.
She was seriously considering her options.
Jim started to yell her name in his best Dad voice, and finally, she turned to look at him.
“OH!” she said. “It’s you!”
The rest of the cleaning time, she quietly ate a bit of brunch.
Jim filled the tank with well water.
Later on, Pepper, who was in the north lot, decided to untie the gate rope and come check out the project.
She dunked her nose in and flung water about. Penny and Risa crowded in to watch.
“Looks really good! ” Pepper said.
She stepped INTO the tank and began to paw. Water shot over the cinder block wall into the tack room area.
“Get out!” I told her. “You might poke a hole in the bottom!”
She gave me a look. But then backed out, no damage done!
She rolled in a dusty spot, and the dust clung to her water spots in muddy clumps.
She is shedding extensively so with the added fun of mud on a coat that is coming off in handfuls, brushing her is a real treat!
I have spit out a lot of hair lately, and carry spare hair on every available clothing surface, just in case anyone needs some…
Maybe I should jump in that water tank!