Moving the Stock Tank to a Safe Place in the Back of my Garage

Jun 09 2019
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In May of 2015 we had electricity run from my main power pole to the barn because there was a water hydrant out there (dug many decades ago) hooked up all the way underground to my water in my basement. We brought the horses home in June of that same year and, initially, that’s simply where they hung out, that’s where I fed them, where I put up their red fence corral, where I stored their hay and where their water tank was. We cleaned out the old lean-to off the back of the barn for their shelter too. Sadly though, as many of you already know, this last record breakingly awful winter was too much for my old barn (and thousands of others) which means it is truly no longer safe.

Even before this my hay was getting damp, dusty and moldly in the barn and my horses refused to use the lean to off the back for shelter. So, I spent several weekends last summer cleaning out my Grandpa’s old machine shed (which my ex absolutely trashed) for their hay storage and for their shelter.

It went so much better then I could have hoped and now it seems like it was made for them! Almost every morning this long last winter I would see them safe and sound in their new little shed, enjoying the south facing sunshine. Such a relief!

Moving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019Moving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019I have FINALLY finished cleaning up my yard and I fixed my garage's soffits and moved my horses' into their new shed and hauled hay balesI have FINALLY finished cleaning up my yard and I fixed my garage's soffits and moved my horses' into their new shed and hauled hay balesMoving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019Moving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019Moving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019Moving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019Spring is finally here: This weekend at Grandma's House! Moving my horses water tank from the pasture to the barn, moving shelves and more things from my basement to my new workshop. Tackling my big yard plan and reminding myself that nothing needs to be done right now, I am literally without deadlines.

But there are three things my horses need and I only moved two. They also need water of course. But their water requires electricity so I can plug in a tank heater to keep it from freezing all winter long. But there was NO WAY I was keeping their water out in the barn anymore or electricity hooked up out there either.

(FOR REAL I was having nightmares of the front wall of the barn falling and taking my power pole down with it! I got the barn unhooked from the pole ASAP.)

But where was I going to put the tank?

If you read my Summer-to-do-List post you already know my solution.

I was finishing my garage this summer anyway complete with electricity and insulation. My horses already have full access to the back of my garage because I also expanded their horse pasture last summer.

It would still force them to get some exercise to get to their water AND it would get them as far from the barn and as close to me as possible. Safe and sound.

My friend Rachie came over and helped me in mid April (actually it was on Good Friday) to cut the hole in my garage and move the tank into it (which is why I actually have pictures this time that include me in them!)

Unfortunately (and isn’t that just how it ALWAYS goes?) all eight of my livestock mats were exactly where I wanted to put the tank. DKAS;HFH [email protected]!!!!!! THESE THINGS WEIGH 100 POUNDS A PIECE. I looked it up because I knew it had to be over 80 and this is how one website described them: “The tiles are not rollable, they weigh about 100 lbs each and are not very portable.”

And you know when a website describes them as “not very portable” that you’re in for a bad time.

Rachie was nice enough not take a picture of me collapsed on top of them and trying not to die…

It is literally everything I can do, throwing everything I’ve got at them. They’re just ridiculous! I ended up “rolling” them (kinda) so they basically flopped over longways which was actually easier than trying to drag them. I got my butt kicked!

What would have been a really quick job: Cut a hole, move the tank and DONE ended up laying me up with a sore back for two days.

For those of you who are probably wondering: YES, it was kinda awful to cut a hole in my garage but after going over this and over this, it was my BEST solution and I am very happy I did it now!

Moving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019Moving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019Moving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019Moving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019Moving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019Moving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019

After cutting the hole we slid the tank out about two feet. Because my garage slab is a few inches higher then the grade I used some leftover lumber to support the tank on the outside which ended up not doing anything at all because it turns out my slab actually slopes toward the center of my garage so my tank isn’t touching the wood at all.

(I’ve since replaced that wood with cinder blocks and I’ve also put in a header to support that stud I cut above the tank.)

The ground was still frozen at that point so I just screwed a 2×4 to the garage to hook their fence to in the meantime. I will be putting in new posts and wrapping the tank in insulation eventually. I will also be boxing it in (with an insulated cover) so it can double as bench seating in my garage.

I AM HAPPY! This is going to save me money in electricity this winter because the tank is so much better protected and my horses never need to go out to the barn again!

On top of that this lazy forgetful girl is also thrilled because I’m literally parking, every day, ten feet from the tank. I don’t need to freak out and worry and remember to run out to the barn to see what the water level is anymore!

What a relief!

There are two more things still on my wish list though.

The first is a large, heavy duty hose reel to make it easy to tuck the hose away when I’m done filling the tank. I’ll be mounting it as high as I can and I hope that if I slowly reel the hose in it will then totally drain of water so it won’t freeze solid in the wintertime and thus I won’t need to bring it in to thaw it out every time I need to fill the tank!

The second thing is not quite so simple. I’ve wanted for years to put an outdoor spigot on the front of my house. Right now its no big deal to run hoses around to my back deck but this winter will be a different story.

I’m going to be replacing all the stone and stucco on the front of my house with regular siding anyway. So, that’s actually the perfect opportunity to put a new spigot there! I’m also going to go ahead and add another outlet on the front of my house too, as the only outlet I have on the front now is in my flower bed.

June is feeling wonderful after we had such an ugly cold and rainy “spring” but, honestly, after that ridiculous winter I’m just glad the air doesn’t hurt my face anymore!

My grandma’s perennials in my flower bed, along with all the milkweed I planted for the monarchs, are looking good! Next week I’ll show you how I made some “irrigation” for my new raised beds in my vegetable garden and for my flower bed using old leaky hoses.

For those of you that read my summer to do list you know my two big jobs this year are finishing my garage and ripping the stucco and rock off my house. I am progressing on the rock and stucco and this tired girl will be VERY glad when that job is done.

I am so sick of, and I cannot stress this enough, manual labor!

I’m also progressing on yard and garage clean up. How on earth is there MORE trash after all the trips to the dump I made last year?!

Actually, I figured it out.

Going through my garage again I realized that everything in my life has an expiration date of sorts. (I was not aware of this until now – I really thought I got rid of ALL OF MY CRAP last year.)

So it seems that if I’ve owned it for a certain amount of time and haven’t used it then it literally turns into crap to me. So, exactly fourteen garbage bags worth of things that I kept last year I guess hit their expiration date for me this spring…

I even gave away a trolling motor and an old boat my dad gave me because they hit their expiration date this spring too I guess…

I don’t feel like I have ANY say in this matter whatsoever lol It is what it is!

HAPPY SUMMER EVERYONE!

Moving my horses and their water tank to my garage after our barn has become a hazard because the roof fell in this last awful winter of 2018-2019

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10 Comments

  1. kristin howard
    June 9, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Tara:

    I am so sorry to see the loss of your gorgeouus barn. Hint: If you are looking for way to make some “hay” from your loss, send out ads offering the wood in exchange for removing the whole structure. I did that when mine bit the dust and actually made a litle money too. Old barns, particularly post and beam, are hot now.

    Kristin

    • June 10, 2019 at 8:30 am

      Hi Kristin, thank you for the info, that’s definitely something we’ve discussed at length!

  2. LINDA MARTIN
    June 9, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    Good job moving that huge water tank! As for the mats, having another set of hands would’ve made it a little easier. Your friend could’ve put the camera down and picked up the other side of the mats for ya! That’s what friends are for IMO 😉 My horse tanks are smaller and need to be dumped out and cleaned often, so having them thru a wall wouldn’t work here. It’s just too darn HOT! One word of caution with the metal edges on that opening! I had a barrel with sharp edges I was using as a feeder years ago and had cut a hose to slide over the top rim. My horse rubbed it off and sliced her forehead wide open on the sharp edge! 😢 Make sure that whatever you use to cover up that opening can’t be chewed or pulled off by curious lips. Darn horses get hurt in the weirdest ways sometimes!
    Good luck with your projects this summer! 🐴

    • June 9, 2019 at 2:14 pm

      Oh she wanted to help so bad! I should have mentioned I didn’t let her help because she just had a second hernia surgery a couple months ago. No more heavy lifting for her if I have anything to say about it!
      Yeah I’m still working on the plan for insulating and protecting the outside of that tank. It needs to be easily removable so I can still slide the tank out to dump it and clean it from time to time. And it also needs to be safe around the horses as I am convinced they are THE most accident prone creatures alive! So sorry to here about your baby!
      I have the opposite problem in northern MN I’m always trying to come up with more ways to keep the tank warm lol thanks so much for coming by!

  3. Betty
    June 10, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Congrats on all your hard work! I could write a thousand pages how our stories are similar ♡ My suggestion for a simple solution as far as hoses go, I used to load the hose in the back of my van the day I knew I needed to fill my stock tank, that way it would thaw out any remaining water that didn’t drain from the hose… maybe silly, but it worked in the cold Upstate NY winters. 🙂

    I sold my last house and barn , both built in the 1860’s and was heartbroken when I found out the new owner had the Fire Department burn the barn down to make way for an orchard… So sad.

    Keep up the great work you are an inspiration to many ! ♡

    • June 10, 2019 at 11:54 am

      Betty I never thought of that! I will have to try it this winter! I am so sorry to hear about what happened to your old farmstead. It is a common story around here as well. They just disappear under a plow.

  4. June 10, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    I have to say, you are seriously so inspiring! When there’s a problem, you come up with a solution and you work so hard to get it done. I’ve been following for about 2 years and it’s like watching a phoenix rise watching you make that place solely YOURS after your divorce. Keep up the great work!

    • June 10, 2019 at 2:43 pm

      Oh thank you so much hon! I am determined if nothing else lol I’m finally getting there though!

  5. June 12, 2019 at 9:47 am

    You are such a hard worker. I can’t imagine any problem that you can’t come up with a solution for. I’m happy for you that you got a solution for your horses and their water. I’m sad to see the roof on your barn. If you are like me, you have some great memories of times spent in your grandparents’ barn as a child.

    • June 12, 2019 at 11:13 am

      Thank you Amy! Yes it was really hard when it first happened, I have thousands of good memories in that barn but she’s still with us and I remind myself of that when I see her every day 🙂

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