If you haven’t read my review of SmartPak’s Insulated Water Bucket Cover, you should probably do that before you read this update.
I’m assuming most of my US readers live in states that do not include Florida, because apparently Florida was the only state that had weather that wasn’t bone chilling cold today. By the way, if you live in Florida, I envy you and your warmth right now. Today’s high was a whopping 5 degrees, but it never felt like 5 degrees (whatever that feels like) because the windchill was anywhere from -7 to -20. Had I known it was going to get this cold, I probably would’ve held off on my product review, because this is the test of all tests. Granted it doesn’t really ever get this cold in New Jersey, I figured if there was ever a time to see if an insulated water bucket cover worked, now would be the time.
So after putting on four shirts, three jackets, two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, a hat, gloves, and snow boots, I got myself into my car and drove to the barn. I am pretty much at the barn everyday unless my school schedule doesn’t allow, which is rare. But anything else – I’ll be there. Migraines, the flu (which I currently have), work, torrential downpours that render visibility to zero (yes, I’ve actually done this), hurricanes (Sandy was no match for my determination to see my boys).. I will be at the barn. If not, anyone around me can deal with my horse withdrawal miserable attitude, so I figure we all benefit from my craziness.
Anyway, when I arrived, the barn doors were shut tight. Believe it or not, shutting the barn doors keeps the temperature inside relatively comfortable, so even though I might not have a fancy heated barn, it isn’t half bad. I wasn’t even thinking about the bucket cover until my barn manager told me that my pony’s water bucket (with the cover) had very thin ice compared to the others that didn’t have bucket covers or any method of heating the water. I was surprised considering the cover was no match for the last cold day we had. I checked it out myself, and sure enough, the water had a very tiny bit of ice in it, but nothing that would prevent my pony from drinking. Obviously, the fact that the barn was shut very tight probably had something to do with the water not freezing as much, but my barn manager did also say that the bucket with the cover was less frozen than the other waters, so I guess it is doing its job.
Would I recommend using the cover on an outside bucket for horses on 24/7 turnout? Probably not. I don’t think it can withstand very cold temperatures like the teens and single digits. But in an older barn that doesn’t have heat but can be completely shut to prevent cold airflow from making its way in, I’d say that it is a worthwhile investment, especially if other options, such as heat, aren’t ideal.