Welcome to Fern Valley

Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Tricks and tools

A while back , Nicole asked  how I  didn't have frozen hoses all winter? Now I have posted by times about my Automatic waterers giving me grief ,and the standpipe for the mares has just recently given some trouble, but hoses? I have under control. And that is a good thing , because if and or when I have trouble with the automatics , my fail safe is to  run a stock tank full for who ever is affected until I get things fixed. so I need the hoses to be thawed and available all the time . I used to try to coil them up , and put them in the shower in the barn BR , but 100+ feet of hose is a big pain and I  have tangled myself in them and tripped too many times to count . Another choice is to coil it up in a barrel or some  kind of pail , but again it is a bit of a hassle , doable for sure  but...
Then I found this !
(Sorry , tough to take pics in the barn light )
This is a garden hose reel,  tough , geared reel ,holds up to 70 meters (a whole bunch ) of hose , as it winds it squeezes excess water out , closes and is a seat (in case you are tired from rolling LOL) 
and has wheels on one side ,I tend to just carry it , to the tack room , but in a pinch I could roll it . Stores nicely in corner of the heated tack room and I have hose ready to go at a moments notice! 
The only issue I had with is is the connector  hose , 
Because it doesn't pivot well , and I was connecting and disconnecting it often , it go a bit mangled , this is after 2 years use  mind you . So I went out the other day, as garden stuff is popping up in the stores now , and replaced  it , I also bought quick connectors to avoid the issue in future and a  sprayer end to make it easier to keep my hands dry . As my honorary nephew Robert says  "minus a million" is a poor time to have wet hands! 
Also picked up  one of these to replace the one that has vanished! This works great for horses like my pet Raccoon Phoenix,who occasionally feels the need to wash  his hay in his stock  tank, if you scoop it out sooner than later the water stays nice and you don't have to empty and scrub the tank (see wet hands comment ) when it is cold . However if you have a horse like  my sweet ole pal "Sh*ts where he stands" (Darling Eurus ) I have been know to bail the tank or suck out the water with the old shop vac.in order to clean it in the cold. 
So there you go , some of my little tricks to make life easier. I am telling you this now , as the garden centers are  starting to bring in stock and a lot of these items are tough to find in the fall and winter. but keep your eye out if you are thinking of getting them , the  hose reel s run fro $50-$80, but late in the summer are often at a steep discount ! 
Well worth it if you  can get one ! 
Stay safe stay warm, and keep those hands dry ! 


Shirley said...

Pretty good idea, I'm still doing the coil-in-the-pail thing as I don't have a heated area close to where I have to water. I'm all about quick couplers though,they prevent a lot of cussin'! If I had electricity at my stand pipes I wouldn't have to do the hose thing, as I have only 4 ft of hose between the mare's tank and stand pipe in the summer, but have to move the tank to the other side of the pen in the winter so it's close enough to electricity to plug in the tank heater. But since I haven't needed the heaters for the last month, yesterday I moved it back- yay!
Hope March goes out like a lamb, and stays that way for a while so winter can be a distant memory.

Crystal said...

We luckily have auto waters that have to keep running for the callves and bulls. But I do like the hose reel that squishes water out, ours sure dont do that! Been trying to get Neil to put in a hydrant for me for summer time out by my other pens so I dont have hoses running all over the yard and I could maybe even use them during winter.

Nicole said...

Very cool!

Cut-N-Jump said...

A kitchen seive is also good for straining things out of water tubs/tanks. Dollar store find year round.

A small chunk of hose can be shoved into the water and filled, then kinked shut, pulled out and let go on the ground to syphon the water out. I do this a lot can you tell? It can drain while I deal with other tubs, feeding, turnout or ???

Minus a million is not my kind of weather!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Thanks for the useful tips. I can use both of those items for sure!


kden said...

I am constantly in awe of you and how you can run things, whether in a barn, home, at a show, or on a beach ;-)

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

I have contemplated hose reels but the ones I had years ago didn't squish the hose, so they froze rock solid. Good to know about the draining feature. Thx.

GoLightly said...

A clean hose is a happy hose.

Confessions of a Closet Hoarder but you can call me Judy said...

I love our hose reel! We upgraded to the square one like you have after the first one we had fell apart. It just wasn't built to last. And the quick connectors have saved me countless hours of standing there watering stuff. I connect the hose on the hose reel to a partially buried soaker hose and just let it run for 20 minutes or so before switching it to another garden. Takes all the hard work out of it for me, and I know the plants are getting enough water.

Great tips, for sure! :)