Why do I want/need an insta-hot kettle at the barn?
The instal-hot kettle is basically a work of art. In a compact and sleek design, it can heat water to a boil before you can say “bring me a hot cocoa please”. As if anyone will answer…. Before I moved to the North East, where seasons exist, warmth in the winter was not something to work for. That’s why, on my first winter here, I nabbed an instal-hot kettle for the barn. I use it for:
- Warming bits. Two ways this can go. Dip the bit in the kettle, or dip a washcloth and wrap the bit with the hot cloth. Either way - check the bit before you bridle your horse. They can get HOT. For other ideas about warming bits, check this out.
- Hot toweling your horse. Nothing gets stains out like some elbow grease with your grooming gloves and then a swipe with a steamy towel and maybe some dry shampoo. For full instructions, this article has you covered.
- Any sort of warm drink. Coffee, tea, you name it. I’m not gonna judge if you only semi-clean the kettle between bit dunking and tea making.
- Defrosting faucets. Granted, if your faucet is really freaking frozen shut, a kettle of warm water won’t defrost it. BUT… it might make a dent in a semi-frozen state. All you need is a little bit to get the water flowing again.
- Drinking water for your horse. There is a handy contraption out there in the form of a bucket insulating blanket. It keeps buckets of water from freezing, and works really well if you start with warm water. Good for horses that prefer a bucket over an auto-waterer.
- Cleaning tack. No one want to clean tack with cold water in the winter.
- Cleaning buckets and feeders. Use the hot water as you swirl around your brush, soap, and hands, rinse with cold. You don’t need a lot of hot water to get the soap going, and if you use it all, the kettle makes more in a minute or so.
- Wound cleaning. Horses get into stuff, all year long. It’s not ideal go to the cold water wash rack for minor scrapes when you can clean and clip with hot water from the kettle instead.
- Cleaning your own hands! It’s hard to keep your mani perfect anyway, much less when you are cleaning up to go home and all you have is icy water. Use the hot kettle water and a washcloth to tidy up before errands or home.
Your horse might like his meals a bit....squishy... just add water!
- Adding water to horse meals. It’s always a good idea to add some water to grain or mash or whatever. For hydration! Using warm or hot water in winter is just nice. More on adding water here!
- Dissolving pills. This tip is good all year long! Hot water makes things dissolve faster. So - those bitter pills that your horse likes to avoid eating? Slosh ‘em up with hot water then add to his rations. Much faster than smashing and waiting with cold water. Although depends on the pill.
- Did I mention hot cocoa?!
****I’ll also mention that YES - there is hot water at the farm where I am! But it’s far from the barn and far from the grooming areas. So I just make my own right there in the cross ties.