Dave Vigness’ Heated Water Bucket Project

Although the season for using heated water buckets is just about over, Dave Vigness has a good summer project for you talented, mechanically savvy folks to tackle. Here’s his story:

Whispering Creek Rescue got started in somewhat of a backwards way. We initially contacted a rescue north of us to inquire about a horse, but then the kids got a little older and lost interest and we didn’t go any farther.

A while later we received a call from that rescue inquiring about our need for a horse as they had just rescued almost a hundred horses and didn’t have a place for them all. After a bit of conversation we volunteered our acreage for grazing for a few months. In exchange for allowing grazing for eighteen horses we were allowed to keep two of the rescues. Our first two boys were a yearling and an older abused gelding that has taken us three years to be able to get close enough to even groom.

Continue reading Dave Vigness’ Heated Water Bucket Project

Why Run-In Sheds Need Lightning Protection

If you have a run-in shed in your pasture, there is always a danger that the shed, possibly being the tallest structure in the area, may be hit by lightning. Run-in sheds can be grounded; discuss your options with a licensed lightning protection installer.

Trisha Keller lost a beloved horse to a lightning strike. After reading her letter to the Editor of The Horse in June, 2012, I contacted her and she was kind enough to provide this account:

“I just thought that I would share with you my experience with our shed in response to your article “Run-In Shed Rundown”. An early afternoon this past July, in Southeast WI, we experienced a short 10 minute storm that brought with it unexpected lightning. When there are storms in my area and I am home I will always bring my horses into their stalls. On this occasion there was no warning of a pending storm until it had already hit my area and moved on towards Milwaukee. After the storm, my mom went out to check on the horses and to her detriment she came upon our two horses in their shed, one dead and the other fighting for his life. She immediately called me as I have worked on horse ranches as a Breeding Manager for 5 years and have experienced many disasters and fatal circumstances. I was over an hour away so she had to handle this on her own which was extremely hard for her as she has never had a horse die before.

Continue reading Why Run-In Sheds Need Lightning Protection

Info from Fire Safety Expert Irvin Lichtenstein

Irvin Lichtenstein sent a Letter to the Editor of The Horse that was published in the June, 2012 issue, regarding an article, “Healthful Barns.” Mr. Lichtenstein signed the letter as Chief of Operations, Southeast Pennsylvania Search and Rescue, however, his experience over more than 40 years in the fire service is tremendous, so I’m delighted that he’s given his permission for me to reprint his letter, as follows, because his expert knowledge is so important to share:

             “The article on page 50 of the May 2012 issue, “Healthful Barns,” leaves out the most important safety factors for horses in barns. In much of the country barns are not subject to building codes or inspection. This means that there is no guarantee that the structure will withstand high winds, snow loads, impacts, floods, or fire.

            Barns are often huge lumber yards storing highly flammable bedding, feeds, and dusts. The lack of fixed fire detection and suppression systems frequently leads to disasters. When building a large barn, the added cost of thses systems is usually under $4 per square foot for both detectors and sprinklers. If you have an arena dust spray system, you already have the water supply for fire sprinklers. Also, when building a barn, build it to human occupancy standards; if there is no local code you can specify NFPA 150 or a similar best practice. And maintain the systems and good practices. Don’t put anything in a barn that doesn’t belong there.

            Practice your response to an emergency until it becomes automatic, not panic.”

 

 

Non-Metallic Conduit

For those folks who are planning a new barn or upgrading electrical components in your existing barn: Steve Corcoran checked the current National Electrical Code and reports that discussion with the electrical engineering department at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) indicated that any outbuilding where livestock MAY be held, fed or treated, classifies that building as an agricultural building and the highly corrosive environment created by the combination of moisture and livestock manure creates the presence of a possible electrical shock/fire safety hazard, so non-metallic conduit is required.

 

Please consult your local fire safety inspector to make sure you’re in compliance before you begin construction or refitting.

Fire Safety Tip – Using Baking Soda

Michelle Staples, author of “Save Your Horse! A Horse Owner’s Guide to Large Animal Rescue” (www.saveyourhorse.com) sent this information from a student in one of the classes she teaches:

“At two of the larger barns I know, they did a safety audit as they used to mix baking soda with sand and keep it in 5 gallon pails throughout the building. The understanding was that baking soda also smothers a fire like sand but it is a lot lighter in weight and if a younger person or small adult discovers a fire, they can handle the weight of the baking soda/sand bucket.  One hundred percent baking soda works well, too, but should be covered to protect it from moisture. Sand keeps the baking soda stable, but the bucket should also be covered.”